Columbo (1971–2003)
28 user 7 critic

Lady in Waiting 

A mousy heiress murders her brother, pretending she thought he was a burglar. Lt. Columbo unravels her alibi.


Norman Lloyd


Steven Bochco (teleplay by), Barney Slater (story by) | 2 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Falk ... Columbo
Susan Clark ... Beth Chadwick
Jessie Royce Landis ... Mrs. Chadwick
Richard Anderson ... Bryce Chadwick
Leslie Nielsen ... Peter Hamilton
Joel Fluellen Joel Fluellen ... Charles
Richard Bull ... 2nd Detective
Garry Walberg ... 1st Detective
Barbara Rhoades ... Hostess
Jon Lormer ... Hearing Officer
Frank Baxter Frank Baxter ... Fred
Susan Barrister Susan Barrister ... Waitress


Beth Chadwick has lived all her life controlled first by her father, then after his death, by her brother Bryce who manages the family business. Now she has fallen for Peter Hamilton, who works for Bryce. But, as usual, Bryce objects to her choice and threatens to fire Peter. So Beth decides to murder her brother and to do it in such a way to let it to appear like an accident. Lt. Columbo realizes at once the truth and starts looking for evidence. Written by Baldinotto da Pistoia

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »





English | French

Release Date:

15 December 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Attente See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Bryce Chadwick was born in 1925. (Heard at the inquest.) See more »


Although Bryce is shot three times in the chest, no blood is seen on the body or the carpet after he is dragged across the room. See more »


Columbo: Uh, my name is Columbo, ma'am. I'm a, uh... lieutenant, uh, from the police.
[shows badge then puts it away]
Mrs. Chadwick: Dah, just a minute. Not so quickly. I'd like to look that over.
[examines his I.D. then him]
Mrs. Chadwick: Well, I must say, you hardly look the role.
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Love Theme from 'Red Sky At Morning'
Composed by Billy Goldenberg
Heard during the bar scene
See more »

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User Reviews

25 February 2011 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

As people know, I love Columbo and consider it one of the best detective shows ever even with one or two lacking episodes later on. Lady in Waiting is a very interesting episode in many respects. And it isn't just because it features the first female killer.

The episode is a little slow occasionally, and I felt the final solution could have been expanded a little more so that the evidence had more time to unfold.

That said, like all the Columbo episodes I was impressed with how it looked. The episode with its clever use of photography and striking locations and costumes does look great, while the music is quite effective and doesn't intrude with the tone of each scene. The writing is good and the story is clever and makes the most of a great idea.

The acting is fine. Peter Falk while more subdued(more to do with how Columbo is written than Falk himself) is still brilliant in the title role, staying true in character and delighting us once more with that quintessential catchphrase. Susan Clark is excellent as well, and I was further impressed with how she was developed in Lady in Waiting, she starts off as someone you sympathise with and are touched by and then quite suddenly she is like a different person, more ambitious and ruthless. Leslie Nielson is good in a different role to what I am used to seeing him in, but supporting wise Jessie Royce-Landis was the standout being wonderful as the domineering mother.

In conclusion, an interesting episode mainly in the show's first female killer and how she is written. 8/10 Bethany Cox

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