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Trivia: 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 Law & Order's Lennie Briscoe, and four-year series regular Sheriff Amos Tupper is equally more recognizable as Happy Days' Howard Cunningham. Other well-known guest stars who had later roles:
    • Kate Mulgrew of Star Trek: Voyager as a Rich Bitch who killed her husband/lover. Twice.
    • Rene Auberjonois of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine played a murderer. And a professor character in one of Jessica's novels. And also a Southern doctor.
    • George Takei of Star Trek: The Original Series played a janitor whose collection of celebrity trash helps Jessica.
    • 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 The Addams Family appeared four times. Three times as Harry Pierce, a Cabot Cove resident.
    • Kevin Sorbo from Hercules: The Legendary Journeys as a VR game designer.
    • Neil Patrick Harris from Doctor Horrible's Sing-Along Blog as a young fantasy writer who delivers Jessica's groceries.
    • George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles each appeared on the show, separately, years before their success on ER.
    • Courteney Cox of Friends as Jessica's great-niece by marriage, the granddaughter of her late husband Frank's brother.
    • William Christopher from Mash was a birdwatching enthusiast who turned out to be a cold-blooded murderer.
      • Speaking of Mash, Larry Linville appeared in two different episodes, the latter as a cop who thought Jessica was a government agent.
      • Wayne Rogers played the recurring role of beleaguered P.I. Charlie Garrett after Jerry Orbach left to join Law & Order.3
      • 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".
    • Famed actress Jean Simmons, who some younger viewers might recognize as Norah Satie from Star Trek: The Next Generation, played a jealous mystery writer in the two parter Mirror Mirror on the Wall.
  • 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 Beauty and the Beast as the voices of Mrs. Potts and Lumiere, respectively
  • 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.
  • Technology Marches On: During the run of the show, Jessica goes from typing manuscripts on a typewriter to using a computer, as reflected in updated opening credits. The final movie shows that Jessica has even begun using a laptop.
  • 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.

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