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?


Jesse Royce Landis played Cary Grant's mother in "North By Northwest" and Grace Kelly's mother in "To Catch a Thief". See more »


Marcia Wallace is not credited in this episode even though she had a speaking part during the inquest. There must have been a mix up during production as she is credited in the first Columbo episode "Murder By The Book" even though she doesn't appear in that one. See more »


Beth Chadwick: Well, if I've changed, it's because I thought you'd like a more exciting woman.
Peter Hamilton: A change, yes, but a complete metamorphosis? I'm not sure, Beth, you're the same person.
Beth Chadwick: Maybe I'm not.
See more »


Love Theme from 'Red Sky At Morning'
Composed by Billy Goldenberg
Heard during the bar scene
See more »

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User Reviews

The worm turns.
13 August 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

When the story begins, you see that a rich woman (Susan Clark) is struggling with a very controlling jerk of a brother (Richard Anderson)....who wants to micro-manage her life. However passive she seems, however, apparently Beth Chadwick has had enough...and soon she hatches her evil plan. She kills the brother and then pretends she shot him because she thought he was a burglar! Can she get away with it? And, does anyone care if she shot the brother?! I was actually rooting for this--especially after seeing her mother!!

Apart from the excessive use of weird electronic music throughout the episode, I enjoyed this one quite a bit. The story was mostly good, though the villain was a bit dumb later in the film....and did a lot to make herself look guilty. Still, an exciting story and well worth seeing.

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