Today marks the 36th anniversary of the first airing of Columbo episode “Try and Catch Me”. Ruth Gordon’s role as Abigail Mitchell is notable to Columbo trivia buffs for being the oldest Columbo murderer. Ruth Gordon was 81 at the time she filmed the episode.
Her portrayal of the aging author is delicious, as the viewer wants to empathize with her pain and loss of her niece, but her arrogance and smart ass comments to the Lieutenant, coupled with the fact that her suspicions about her nephew may be more feeling than fact (the matter is never resolved satisfactorily), sometimes make it difficult. You don’t know whether to feel sorry for her or be glad Columbo caught her in the end. I think this episode consistently ranks high with Columbo fans for that reason.