While watching another impeccable early Columbo, Suitable for Framing (1971), I was struck by a short, humorous scene of a nude model that makes the detective uncomfortable while he interviews a painter.
This mystery model resembles Sharon Tate uncannily. No mention of her actual name is given in the IMD, wiki, etc. Some others have wondered too, as I discovered when keywords call up sites such as Ask. Someone answered an appeal, writing that she looks like Sharon Tate.
But given that the airing date was November of 71, this would make her appearance posthumous by more than two years (the Manson murders happening in August of 69.)
What a curious mystery; will we ever know?
Anyway, the man of note for this episode, aside from the detective himself, is good old Ross Martin, the perp. He's another of those character actors, exactly fit for the purposes of this blog.
He's etched into my mind from early childhood (just his face, not his name--the case with most all character actors.) Mainly I remember him as the faithful, hammy, expeditious sidekick to Mr. West, in the James Bond Western series Wild, Wild, West.
He's precisely what I'm talking about when I say "I wonder if that guy's still alive?", before wikiing him. Usually I have an intuitive feeling that he's not, and I was correct. (dead in 1981, heart attack while playing tennis.) The reason why I felt he was longer with us is that he is simply associated with childhood. Actors who lived longer would have been changed--would have been diluted into a less clear picture. To remember is to alter. Because I had not really even thought about him for decades, he remained a pure impression, unclouded by adult re-working.