TV Log (Daytona Beach, FL)
February 25, 1979
Cover Story
Mrs. Columbo Mystery Solved

Special To The TV Log

NEW YORK — One of the most intriguing characters in recent television seasons never has appeared on the home screen.

She is Mrs. Columbo, the much talked about but never present wife of the wily detective who was one of the most popular crime solvers in the history of the medium. Viewers will get their first look at the mystery woman (played by Kate Mulgrew) when “Mrs. Columbo” premieres as a two hour “NBC Monday Night at the Movies” presented Monday, 9 to 11 p.m. on Channels 2 and 12.
(The series moves to its regular time period Thursday, 10 to 11 p.m., on Channels 2 and 12.)

* * *

DURING the six year run of the popular “Columbo” mystery series on NBC TV, Peter Falk, as the legendary detective lieutenant, frequently hinted what his wife was like, but she never was seen or heard.

He told a famous mystery writer, played by Ruth Gordon: “Oh, Mrs. Columbo, she’s a great fan of yours and has read all your books.”

To Clive Revill, playing a fiery Irish poet, Columbo said his wife “got me out to one of your readings and she thought you were great.” Later adding: “Mrs. Columbo just doesn’t read the newspaper, she reads everything from the obituaries to the personal notices to the shipping news.”

Columbo also told a television repairman: “Mrs. Columbo goes to night school and I work a lot, so the only TV fan in the house is my dog.”

And once Columbo told Louis Jordan, playing an internationally famous food critic: “Mrs. Columbo is a remarkable woman with many interests, but cooking isn’t one of them.”

* * *

DID COLUMBO draw an accurate picture of his wife through these offhand remarks, or was he simply kidding? The brilliant young actress, Kate Mulgrew, will provide the answers when she breathes life into the character — a mother, freelance detective, parttime student, writer for a weekly newspaper, and wife of a policeman who never seems to be home.

Fans of Mr. Columbo won’t be disappointed; his taste in women is as topnotch as his celebrated methods of investigation.

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