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Nero Wolfe

john fbi david frank

(ABC, 12/19/1979, 120 mins). Gourmet Nero Wolfe interrupts his orchid-tending to take on the case of a lady tycoon who wants to know why she’s under investigation by the FBI, only to find himself enmeshed in a puzzling murder-mystery. This pilot (based on Rex Stout’s 1965 “The Doorbell Rang”) to a prospective Nero Wolfe series went on the shelf after being made in 1977 because of the death of its star and finally emerged in a late, post-midnight premiere. The subsequent series about Stout’s eccentric sleuth starred William Conrad as Wolfe and Lee Horsley as his right-hand man, Archie Goodwin.

Production Companies Emmet G. Lavery Jr. Productions, Paramount Network Television. Director Frank Gilroy. Executive Producer Emmet G. Lavery Jr. Producer Everett Chambers. Teleplay Frank Gilroy. Based on a Novel by Rex Stout. Photography Ric Waite. Music Leonard Rosenman. Editor Harry Keller. Art Director John Beckman.

Cast Thayer David (Nero Wolfe), Tom Mason (Archie Goodwin), Anne Baxter (Rachel Bruner), Brooke Adams (Sarah Dacos), Biff McGuire (Inspector Cramer), Sarah Cunningham (Mrs. Athaus), John Randolph (Lou Cohen), John O’Leary (Theodore Horstmann), David Hurst (Fritz), Lewis Charles (Saul Panzer), Frank Campanella (Durkin), Jim Gerstead (Dr. Vollmer), John Hoyt (Hewitt), Ivor Francis (Evers), Allen Case (Rugby), Katherine Charles (Marian Hinckley), Robert Phalen (Yarmack), Sam Weisman (Quayle), David Lewis (Mr. Althaus), Rod Browning (2nd FBI man), Joe George (O’Dell), Richard Grayling (1st FBI man).

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