Linda Hamilton, Bryan Cranston, Murder She Wrote, “Menace, Anyone?,” 1986
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Murder, She Wrote
Season 2, Episode 20, "Menace, Anyone?"
Episode’s original U.S. broadcast date: April 6, 1986
"Murder, She Wrote" aired for 12 seasons, from 1984 through 1996. The American mystery/crime drama was nominated for a number of awards, and earned five Golden Globes — three for veteran film star Angela Lansbury (b. October 16, 1925) for Best Actress for her portrayal of novelist and crime sleuth Jessica Fletcher and two for Best TV Series Drama — as well as two Emmys for the show.
IMDb episode synopsis:
Jessica struggles to protect her former student Carol when her boyfriend is blown up in her car and she is the only suspect.
This episode of "Murder She Wrote" included Linda Hamilton, Bryan Cranston, Van Johnson, Dennis Cole, Kelli Maroney, Betsy Russell, and Doug McKeon.
Seen here is actress Linda Hamilton (b. September 26, 1956) and actor Bryan Cranston (b. March 7, 1956). Hamilton is likely best known for her roles as Sarah Connor in the "Terminator" sci-fi film series and as Catherine Chandler in the late ’80s cult TV favorite, "Beauty and the Beast." Despite being an actor for years, Cranston was virtually unknown until his big break came when he was cast as Hal, the hapless father, in the 2000 sitcom "Malcolm in the Middle" and then, as Walter White in "Breaking Bad." For his performance as the science-teacher-turned-meth-dealer, Cranston won four consecutive Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.
A portion of a review of the show, via IMDb:
Angela Lansbury IS Jessica Fletcher, a colorful-minded imaginative geriatric author of best-selling mystery novels who always saves the day by helping friends and strangers discover who the ‘real’ killer is.
This show ran for twelve seasons, albeit the last season was pretty crook. Guest stars and friends of Angela Lansbury in the industry from the silver screen would often appear as victims, friends and even the killer throughout the 264 episodes that aired on CBS.
Angela Lansbury, a long time pin-up queen for Disney movies and the like, was the right choice to play television’s leading lady of the endless ‘who-done-it’ mysteries. She plays a kind woman, an unlikely character who would find themselves in the countless situations she got herself into, and someone we didn’t mind having in our living room at least once a week.
A great line-up of guest stars from both the film and television industry would play different characters in each episode. Nearly every episode had at least one ‘known’ celebrity. The most amazing thing was seeing past-Oscar winners playing various characters. From Martin Landau to Van Johnson. From June Allyson to Jose Ferrer. Stewart Granger, Cyd Charisse, Lurene Tuttle, Glynnis Johns, Claire Trevor, Cornel Wilde, Dorothy Lamour, Ann Blythe, Eleanor Parker, Ernest Borgnine… the list goes on. This show probably sported more famous guest stars than ‘THE LOVE BOAT’.
Of course, for every Jean Simmons, June Havoc and James Coburn, there was Charlene Tilton, Barbie Benton and Michael McKean to tickle your fancy.
Unknown stars at the time such as Billy Zane, Courtney Cox, Paul Rudd, Megan Mullally and Bill Maher used this show as a stepping stone to get to where they are now.
Several stars and most likely close friends of Angela Lansbury such as David Ogden Stiers, Fritz Weaver, Pat Hingle, Vera Miles and Larry Wilcox appeared more than three or four times throughout the show’s entire run, each time playing a different character.
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