Columbo (1971–2003)
37 user 6 critic

Forgotten Lady 

A faded dance star of film and stage murders her husband and makes it look like a suicide; Lt. Columbo doubts her seemingly perfect alibi.


Harvey Hart


William Driskill (as Bill Driskill), Richard Levinson (created by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Janet Leigh ... Grace Wheeler Willis
Maurice Evans ... Raymond
Sam Jaffe ... Dr. Henry Willis
John Payne ... Ned Diamond
Linda Gaye Scott ... Alma (as Linda Scott)
Robert F. Simon ... Dr. Westrum
Francine York ... Sgt. Leftkowitz
Ross Elliott ... Dr. Lansberg
Jerome Guardino ... Harris
Danny Wells Danny Wells ... Bookstore Clerk
Harvey Gold ... Coroner


Grace Wheeler Willis was a star, a very famous star. Every night in her house she sees one of her old movies. When she decides to set up a new show and her husband refuses to finance it, Grace coldly kills him, staging a suicide. Lt. Columbo is not deceived from her performance. But at the end, the murderer will escape her sentence, or perhaps not. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 September 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

L'ultima diva See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This was John Payne's final acting role before his death on December 6, 1989 at the age of 77. See more »


When Grace is sitting up in bed and Ned enters her room and sits on the bed she is propped up on a small pillow which is lower than her head height. When Ned is responding to her from a side shot the pillow is massive and clearly well above head height, See more »


Ned Diamond: Lieutenant, you must be aware of the fact that... that men who retire from very active lives very often go into severe depression for no apparent reason whatsoever. I know. I've been there.
Columbo: You didn't shoot yourself, did ya? Big difference between being old and unhappy and puttin' a gun to your head. Has to be a reason.
See more »


References This Gun for Hire (1942) See more »


Speak Low
Music by Kurt Weill
Lyrics by Ogden Nash
Performed by Janet Leigh and John Payne
See more »

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User Reviews

John Payne Steals The Movie
15 February 1999 | by RamarSee all my reviews

Even though Janet Leigh plays perhaps the most sympathetic killer of any Columbo mystery (due to her health in story) the guest performance of John Payne is outstanding as her former song and dance movie partner. Peter Falk as always is excellent as Lt. Columbo and veterans Maurice Evans and Sam Jaffe turn in thier trademark performances as men of fine culture.

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