Main Series Trivia WMG YMMV
Murder, She Wrote
Actor Allusion: The episode "Murder In A Minor Key" has Shaun Cassidy playing a young college student who turns Amateur Sleuth to solve a murder, a callback to Shaun's biggest role of Joe Hardy in the The Hardy Boys Nancy Drew Mysteries.
Defictionalization: An official series of Murder, She Wrote novels claiming to be written by Jessica Fletcher "with Donald Bain" started in 1989 and continues to this day.
Hey, It's That Guy!: Recurring guest Harry McGraw is a lot more recognizable as 's Lennie Briscoe, and four-year series regular Sheriff Amos Tupper is equally more recognizable as Law & Order ' Howard Cunningham. Other well-known guest stars who had later roles:
Happy Days Kate Mulgrew of as a Star Trek: Voyager Rich Bitch who killed her husband/lover. Twice.
Rene Auberjonois of played a murderer. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine And a professor character in one of Jessica's novels. And also a Southern doctor.
George Takei of played a janitor whose collection of celebrity trash helps Jessica.
Star Trek: The Original Series Jeri Ryan appeared in a later season episode.
Leslie Nielsen appeared twice in two consecutive seasons, first as a captain of a cruise ship on which Jessica was a passenger, and then as a treasure-hunting old friend of Jessica.
John Astin from appeared four times. Three times as Harry Pierce, a Cabot Cove resident.
The Addams Family Kevin Sorbo from as a VR game designer.
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Neil Patrick Harris from as a young fantasy writer who delivers Jessica's groceries.
Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles each appeared on the show, separately, years before their success on .
ER Courteney Cox of as Jessica's great-niece by marriage, the granddaughter of her late husband Frank's brother.
Friends William Christopher from was a birdwatching enthusiast who turned out to be a cold-blooded murderer.
Mash Speaking of , Larry Linville appeared in two different episodes, the latter as a cop who thought Jessica was a government agent.
Mash Wayne Rogers played the recurring role of beleaguered P.I. Charlie Garrett after Jerry Orbach left to join .3
Law & Order David Ogden Stiers appeared as a Russian cop in one episode, and a radio host in the series finale. He also appeared in a post-finale movie "The Last Free Man" as a southern professor.
Vicki Lawrence appeared twice, the first being notable as her character was named Phoebe .
Carroll Claude Akins, best known as Sheriff Lobo ( no, not that Lobo), played recurring character Ethan Cragg in the first season.
Eileen Brennan guest stars in "Old Habits Die Hard". As a politician's wife.
With a secret. And who's willing to kill to protect it. "The Murder of Sherlock Holmes": One of the thugs who tries to mug Jessica in the alley is none other than a young Andy Garcia!
Bryan Cranston plays a tennis player who gets blown up in a car in "Menace, Anyone?"
Bill Maher shows up twice (as two different characters). Both times with a very impressive mullet.
John Glover — twice. Once as an East German musician, and once as a falsely-accused convict looking to find the real murderer.
Jackie Earle Haley (with hair!) plays Billy Willetts in the Season 2 episode "Powder Keg".
I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach were old friends from their days on Broadway. They also worked together in as the voices of Mrs. Potts and Lumiere, respectively
Beauty and the Beast Name's the Same: "Old Habits Die Hard" has a seemingly- Jerk Ass boyfriend character named Michael Phelps.
In "Murder at a Discount", George Segal's character is named Dave Navarro.
What Could Have Been: Jean Stapleton, better known as Edith Bunker, was first offered the role of Jessica Fletcher. Stapleton passed - ironically, given that she's on record as being unhappy with her Type Casting as Edith, and this show likely would have rescued her from that fate. In any event, the producers then offered the role to their second choice, Angela Lansbury, who gratefully accepted.