Top 10 Secrets About Jessica Fletcher

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Jessica Fletcher  is a fictional character in the Murder, She Wrote series of mystery novels and television movies. Created by author Donald Bain, Fletcher is an amateur sleuth who lives in the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine.

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Fletcher’s background is never fully explored in the course of the series, although it is hinted that she comes from a wealthy family. It is known that she was born on October 21, 1935 (she celebrates her 50th birthday in “Murder Takes the Cake”, which aired during the show’s fourth season), and that her maiden name was Fulham (as seen on her passport in “Requiem for a Fallen Star”). She has at least one sister, Harriet (played by Bess Armstrong in “Something Wicked”), who is married to a man named Ned (played by Ken Howard in “Night of the Tarantula”).

Fletcher is a widow; her husband Frank (played by Jerry Orbach in “Murder, She Wrote: South by Southwest”) was killed in a car accident some years before the series begins. The couple had no children. In “Novel Connection”, it is revealed that Fletcher’s maiden name was Fulham, and she was born on October 21, 1935.

1. Jessica Fletcher is not a real person

This should come as no surprise, but Jessica Fletcher is a fictional character created by author Donald Bain. The character was originally conceived as the star of a series of mystery novels before being adapted for television.

2. The TV show was almost called something else

The title of the television series was actually going to be Murder She Wrote, but Bain changed it at the last minute to avoid confusion with Agatha Christie’s book And Then There Were None (1939).

3. Angela Lansbury originally didn’t want to do the show

Lansbury was hesitant to commit to a television series, as she feared it would typecast her and damage her film career. She only agreed to do the show after being assured that she could continue to pursue other projects.

4. The show was supposed to be about a man

Initially, the character of Jessica Fletcher was written as a man. It wasn’t until Lansbury was cast in the role that the character was changed to a woman.

5. Lansbury based her performance on her grandmother

Lansbury has said that she based her performance as Jessica Fletcher on her own grandmother, who she described as “a sweet, wise old lady.”

6. The show was originally supposed to be set in New York

The setting of the show was changed from New York City to the fictional town of Cabot Cove, Maine after it was decided that the series would be better suited for a more rural setting.

7. Cabot Cove is named after an actual place

Cabot Cove is a real place in Maine, although the town used for exterior shots of Cabot Cove on the show is actually Mendocino, California.

8. There was an episode where Jessica Fletcher died

In the season eight episode “Deadly Misses”, Jessica Fletcher is murdered. Her death is later revealed to have been faked as part of a plan to catch a killer.

9. Lansbury almost quit the show after season four

Lansbury was reportedly unhappy with the direction the show was going in and came close to quitting after the fourth season. She ultimately decided to stay on for one more season before leaving the show for good.

10. The show has been adapted for the stage

A stage adaptation of Murder, She Wrote debuted in London’s West End in 2013. The play starred Marilu Henner as Jessica Fletcher and was directed by Christopher Bond.

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