In Memoriam: Murder, She Wrote guest stars we lost in 2021

It has now been more than 25 years since Murder, She Wrote aired its final episode. Over the past year, I have been struck by how often I would hear the news that yet another actor that I knew from the show has passed away. As a result, I wanted to start a new annual tradition on this blog.

As we are approaching the end of the year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and commemorate the guest stars that appeared on Murder, She Wrote we lost in 2021. The list below is quite long, so it would have taken too long to do a complete profile on each of the actors. However, I did want to make sure I highlighted the episodes that they each appeared in. In the case of actors who made more than two appearances, I have also included collages depicting each of their appearances on the show.

Gregory Sierra (b. January 25, 1937; d. January 4, 2021)

  • Six episodes: “Broadway Malady”, “Murder Through the Looking Glass“, “Day of the Dead”, “The Petrified Florist”, “A Nest of Vipers”, and “Film Flam”.
  • He played a recurring character, Lieutenant Gabriel Caceras, in the three latest MSW episodes.
  • He also had a costarring role in the first few episodes of Miami Vice.
Screenshots of Gregory Sierra in each of his six appearances on Murder, She Wrote.

Peter Mark Richman (b. April 16, 1927; d. January 14, 2021)

  • One episode: “Deadline for Murder”

Bruce Kirby (b. April 28, 1925; d. January 24, 2021)

Reuven Bar-Yotam (b. December 15, 1935; d. February 8, 2021)

  • One episode: “The Monte Carlo Murders”

Geoffrey Scott (b. February 22, 1942; d. February 23, 2021)

Richardson Morse (d. March 14, 2021)

  • Minor or supporting roles in six episodes: “No Laughing Murder“, “Ever After”, “The Big Kill”, “Wheel of Death”, “The Dream Team”, and “Something Foul in Flappieville”.
  • He also appeared in the 1997 Murder, She Wrote movie “South by Southwest”
Screenshots of Richardson Morse in each of his six appearances on Murder, She Wrote.

Yaphet Kotto (b. November 15, 1939; d. March 15, 2021)

Richard Gilliland (b. January 23, 1950; d. March 18, 2021)

George Segal (b. February 13, 1934; d. March 23, 2021)

Jessica Walter (b. January 31, 1941; d. March 24, 2021)

  • Four episodes: “Murder in the Afternoon”, “Magnum on Ice”, “Unauthorized Obituary“, “The Murder Channel”
  • Also starred in Amy Prentiss, a short-lived spin-off of Ironside.
Screenshots of Jessica Walter’s appearances on Murder, She Wrote.

Lois De Banzie (b. May 4, 1930; d. April 3, 2021)

Walter Olkiewicz (b. May 14, 1948; d. April 6, 2021)

  • One episode: “When the Fat Lady Sings”
  • Also had a supporting role on the short-lived 80s detective series ‘Partners in Crime’.

James Hampton (b. July 9, 1936; d. April 7, 2021)

  • Two episodes: “It’s a Dog’s Life” and “Trial by Error”

Johnny Crawford (b. March 26, 1946; d. April 29, 2021)

  • One episode: “A Lady in the Lake”

Billie Hayes (b. August 5, 1924; d. April 29, 2021)

  • A small role in one episode: “The Murder of Sherlock Holmes”

Norman Lloyd (b. November 8, 1914; d. May 11, 2021)

  • Three episodes: “If the Frame Fits”, “The Committee”, and “Murder in White”
Screen shots of Norman Lloyd in his three appearances on Murder, She Wrote.

Robert Hogan (b. September 28, 1933; d. May 27, 2021)

  • Four episodes: “Death Casts a Spell”, “Dead Man’s Gold”, “Obituary for a Dead Anchor” and “Double Exposure”
  • Two of the episodes set in Cabot Cove had him play the same character Dr. Wylie Graham (another Cabot Cove doctor).
Robert Hogan alongside Angela Lansbury in his second appearance as Cabot Cove physician Dr. Wylie Graham.

Gavin MacLeod (b. February 28, 1931; d. May 29, 2021)

Arlene Golonka (b. January 23, 1936; d. May 31, 2021)

Ernie Lively (b. January 29, 1947; d. June 3, 2021)

Screenshots from each of Ernie Lively’s five appearances on Murder, She Wrote.

Jerrold L. Ludwig (b. June 18, 1941; d. June 5, 2021)

  • Not a guest star, but a writer who wrote 7 episodes (all in the last couple of seasons): “Amsterdam Kill”, “The Murder Channel”, “Murder in High ‘C'”, “School for Murder”, “The Secret of Gila Junction”, “Shooting in Rome”, and “Murder Among Friends”.

John Gabriel (b. May 25, 1931; d. June 11, 2021)

  • One episode: “The Petrified Florist”

Ned Beatty (b. July 6 1937; d. June 13, 2021)

  • One episode: “The Murder of Sherlock Holmes”
  • Also had a recurring role as Stanley Bolander on Homicide: Life on the Street.

Lisa Banes (b. July 9, 1955; d. June 14, 2021)

  • One episode: “Shooting in Rome”

Frank Bonner (b. February 28, 1942; d. June 16, 2021)

  • One episode: “Murder in the Electric Cathedral”

William Smith (b. March 24, 1933; d. July 5, 2021)

  • One episode: “Deadline for Murder”

Al Pugliese (b. December 24, 1946; d. July 24, 2021)

Jane Withers (b. April 12, 1926; d. August 7, 2021)

Alex Cord (b. May 3, 1933; d. August 9, 2021)

  • One episode: “Death Stalks the Big Top” (two parter)
  • Also had co-starring or recurring roles in other 80s detective shows like Airwolf and Cassie & Co.

Michael Constantine (b. May 22, 1927; d. August 31, 2021)

Fran Bennett (b. August 14, 1937; d. September 12, 2021)

  • One episode: “Proof in the Pudding”

Jane Powell (b. April 1, 1929; d. September 16, 2021)

Juli Reding (b. November 28, 1935; d. September 16, 2021)

  • A small role in one episode: “Doom with a View” (also her last ever on screen appearance)

Basil Hoffman (b. January 18, 1938; d. September 17, 2021)

Michael Tylo (b. October 16, 1947; d. September 28, 2021)

  • One episode: “The Dark Side of the Door”

Cynthia Harris (b. August 9, 1934; d. October 3, 2021)

Mario Roccuzzo (b. November 9, 1940; d. October 9, 2021)

Bob Herron (b. September 23, 1924; d. October 10, 2021)

  • Not a guest star, but he was a stunt man in 7 episodes. He also played Tom Bosley’s stunt double on Father Dowling Investigates.

Joy Claussen (b. August 14, 1938; d. October 12, 2021)

  • A minor role in one episode: “Threshold of Fear”

William Lucking (b. June 17, 1941; d. October 18, 2021)

  • Five episodes: “Keep the Home Fries Burning”, “Double Exposure“, “Shear Madness“, “Judge Not”, and “Killer Radio”. He played a member of law enforcement in most of his appearances.
  • Also had a regular role on the short lived 1981 series Shannon (which also co-starred Bruce Kirby, another actor who passed away this year).
Screenshots of each of William Lucking’s five appearances on Murder, She Wrote.

Dean Stockwell (b. March 5, 1936; d. November 7, 2021)

Alex Rebar (b. July 9, 1940; d. November 19, 2021)

  • Two episodes: “Death Casts a Spell” and “Dead Heat”

Mimi Cozzens (b. March 3, 1935; d. December 11, 2021)

Kenneth Danziger (b. January 12, 1945; d. December 12, 2021)

  • Two episodes: “Sing a Song of Murder” and “Tinker, Tailor, Liar, Thief”.

Bridget Hanley (b. February 3, 1941; d. December 15, 2021)

John Arndt (b. November 17, 1928; d. December 16, 2021)

D.J. Sullivan (b. November 14, 1935; December 23, 2021)

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