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
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Did You Know?


This was Jessie Royce Landis' final acting role before her death on February 2, 1972 at the age of 75. See more »


When offered cream for his coffee, Columbo turns down the offer and says he has his coffee black, but he is already seen drinking a white coffee. 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
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User Reviews

Susan Clark in a wonderful performance
8 September 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Before Susan Clark became famous for the sit-com "Webster," she was a highly-touted TV movie of the week star and had a film career as well. In this Columbo, she is a mousy, albeit wealthy young woman who has lived her life under the thumb of her father, and after he dies, her brother (Richard Anderson). She hatches a plot to kill her brother, who is interfering with her plans to marry an employee (Leslie Nielsen) of the family company but if anything could go wrong on the evening of the murder, it does.

Columbo is brought in, and he immediately finds some questionable items, and things become clear as, over time, the lady completely reinvents herself, taking over the company, getting a new hair color and hairdo, a fashion makeover, and a rather unattractive, aggressive change in attitude.

There is a great performance by Jesse Royce Landis as the mother (who greets her daughter by slapping her in the face, and makes Columbo pay her exorbitant cab fare).

It's a shame that Clark does nothing today, but I suppose, sadly, her age is a factor. She seems to have found great happiness in her long marriage to Alex Karras, but her fans miss her. If you're not familiar with her work, catch her in this Columbo episode.

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