Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: I Know That Actor!

Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: I Know That Actor!

If you’re a FB friend of mine (and why wouldn’t you be?), you are aware that I like to play ‘I Know that Actor’ there. I even wrote this post about it for Black Gate. It started with my love of Columbo. I would snap a screenshot of a guest star, and talk about that character, and other roles I liked them in.

Other folks would often leave a comment about that actor. I’ve ‘played the game’ with many other shows I watch/re-watch, such as Monk, Psych, White Collar, Burn Notice, The Rookie; lots of shows have familiar faces pop in.

If you know me at all, you know that Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe is my favorite mystery series. And I LOVE A&E’s too-short TV series. Which I wrote about here. That show had a repertory cast. It was a Canadian production, and I often see folks on other shows (especially Murdoch Mysteries, and Hallmark Christmas flicks). So, I often do a variation of the actor game, over on the Wolfe Pack FB page. I gathered up the posts I could reasonably find and made today’s post!

As the pic to the left shows, Maury Chaykin and Timothy Hutton were the co-stars. I have posted Chaykin in Powers Boothe’s terrific Philip Marlowe series. I think that he’s best-known as the ‘No Southern gentleman’ testimony on instant grits in My Cousin Vinnie.

Hutton most notably (for me) starred in the terrific USA Network show, Leverage. Due to a rape allegation made 25 years after the alleged incident (the complaint was dismissed) he was left out of the reboot, Leverage: Redemption.  Season one of the reboot was good. Season two was a disappointment, as they turned Parker into comic relief. She was as big a doofus as Nigel Bruce’s Dr. Watson. Ruined the reboot for me.

But below are spottings of quite a few other faces from the show.

Hrant Alianak

Another A Nero Wolfe Mystery sighting on Murdoch Mysteries. Egyptian-born Hirant Alianak appeared in nine episodes, including as lawyer Nathaniel Parker. He had a prominent role as Carl from the barbershop, in Cop Killer.

He makes statues in this episode, which is from season 11.

Lindy Booth

An A&E Nero Wolfe Mystery sighting! Lindy Booth was Dazzy Perrit’s ‘real’ daughter in Before I Die. She was also Peggy Choate in Poison a la Carte.

The Canadian has appeared in a lot of horror and erotic stuff which I’ll never see.

Her first ‘big’ part was as Tia Carerra’s assistant in Relic Hunter (which I am only now checking out).

More recently, she was a regular on The Librarians. And some Hallmark fare, including last year’s Swept up by Christmas.

I’m definitely used to seeing her as a redhead.

Seymour Cassell

Seymour Cassel has passed away. In a career spanning over half a century, he appeared in two episodes of A&E’s excellent A Nero Wolfe Mystery.

He played Dazy Perrit in Before I Die, and James Arthur Ferris in Immune To Murder.

I quite liked him in Before I Die as the tough gangster with one soft spot.

Fulvio Cecere

I’m a fan of various Hallmark Mystery movies. I’m re-watching the second Emma Fielding Mystery, from 2018. Courtney Thorne-Smith plays an archaeologist who solves crimes. Just had a Fred Durkin sighting. Fulvio Cecere runs an antique shop. With questionable ethics…

Fred Durkin sighting! Hallmark Movies & Mysteries – Chronicles Mysteries: Recovered. New series with Allison Sweeney. Replacing her baking mystery series. This one is even more loaded with Hallmark faces than usual

I’m a HUGE fan of most of the Jesse Stone movies which Tom Selleck starred in (and got made, even), for Hallmark. Cecere popped up in that and he was good. I may try to rewatch one of his again.


Steve Cumyn

Been catching up on The Murdoch Mysteries and had another A Nero Wolfe Mystery sighting. Steve Cumyn is a golfer in a season nine episode. He was in 15 episodes of the Wolfe series- Including Peter Root in Help Wanted Male and Eric Hagh in Prisoners Base. He was also Andy’s assistant Gus in Door to Death.

Larry Drake

Another A Nero Wolfe Mystery sighting! I never did Firefly, even though I’m a Nathan Fillion fan. I’m watching it now.

And in episode 6, there’s Larry Drake. He was both Nero Wolfe’s double, and the villain, in Help Wanted, Male. He did a great job in that episode. He’s a decent guy in this one.

I should watch Darkman again. It’s been a long time. He had a brief scene in Bean. I love the Bean character. Rowan Atkinson  Th sequel actually awsn’t was a very good Inspector Maigret. But Bean was a TERRIBLE movie! The sequel, made years later, actually had a little more substance, and I’ve watched that one a second time.

Conrad Dunn

OMG – It’s possible I have been aware of this before, but if so, it was only in the moment. I just realized something! Conrad Dunn plays Saul Panzer in A&E’s terrific A Nero Wolfe Mystery. When I write Saul in my Wolfe stories, it’s Dunn I see and hear.

How did I never register that he was also Psycho (Don’t call me Frances) in Stripes? Oh man!!!!

Giancarlo Esposito

Giancarlo Esposito recently had the villain role in The Mandalorian, as Moff Gideon.

He was in one of my favorite A&E Nero Wolfe episodes, Immune to Murder.

I’ve sung the praises of Timothy Hutton’s excellent show, Leverage. I even wrote an entire essay about it. Saul Rubinek and Kari Matchett appeared in that. And Esposito was the slimy brother of an African dictator in Season Three’s fourth episode, The Scheherazade Job.

Giancarlo Esposito was certainly less than lovable in Immune to Murder. He’s even less likable as Moff Gideon in The Mandalorian. That’s not a friendly smile.

And be a villain, Giancarlo.

Bill MacDonald

Another sighting! I didn’t recognize him, but the voice sounded somewhat familiar. Bill MacDonald, Lt. George Rowcliffe (and other roles), appeared in season 12, episode 7, of The Murdoch Mysteries.

I can’t quite back this up with IMDB, but I’m pretty sure it’s Rowcliffe.

Kari Matchett

Some of you may remember a flurry of posts I did this past summer, with screen shots of actors from the A&E Nero Wolfe series, in other shows. Mostly Murdoch Mysteries, and some Hallmark flicks.

I am an unabashed Hallmark Christmas movies fan. I downloaded the Hallmark tracking app last week, and by my reckoning, I’ve seen about 110 of the Christmas movies over the years.

The Complication, The Interruption, the Snowball Fight, the Misunderstanding – I look for all the predictable plot points.

No surprise, you can see our Wolfe friends around the Hallmark Multiverse. Kari Matchett has been in a couple Christmas movies. I didn’t snag a screenshot of this one, but she’s a secondary main character.

She runs an Italian restaurant (not named Vukcik’s), and is Steven Weber’s (Wings) ex-girlfriend.

She also starred in The National Christmas Tree. I don’t have a pic from that, but Trent McMullen is in a short scene with her in the beginning. He played Orrie Cather on the Wolfe series.

Debra Monk

If we’re not friends on FB, I frequently post ‘I Know that Actor’ entries, where I take a screenshot of someone I like, and talk about them a little, and other shows they’ve been on which I watched. Similar to what I do with the NW A&E shots here.

Folks often leave comments about other shows they saw them in. It’s always a positive thing, and that’s kinda cool on FB, which, as you know, can be a cesspit of negativity.

I was watching White Collar (which I mentioned is a great show for fans of Leverage), and immediately recognized a voice and face. It’s Debra Monk!!

She was in three two-parters, and two more episodes, of A&E’s A Nero Wolfe Mystery. She was the persistent client in Too Many Clients (she bullied Wolfe quite well). She was also a widow in The Silent Speaker. And she had fun playing Madame Zorka in Over my Dead Body.

I think my favorite part for her was as the client in The Doorbell Rang. And she discovered the body in Disguise for Murder.

Here, she is Peter’s mother-in-law on White Collar. The father-in-law is played terrifically by Tom Skerritt (who was Timothy Hutton’s father in Leverage).

She was Andy Sipowicz’ ex-wife on a couple seasons of NYPD Blue.

Carlo Rita

A Nero Wolfe sighting. We were watching White Collar, and ‘I Know that Actor’ yielded an A&E Nero Wolfe Member.

Carlo Rota is a very, very bad guy in the second episode of White Collar. He was also a bad guy as Barry Fleming in Death of a Doxy. He was a shady diplomat in Immune to Murder. And he was good old Felix of Rusterman’s in Poison a la Carte.

Rota has been in one episode of a lot of shows, including Castle, The Good Guys, Bones, Agents of Shield, and much more.

He had a stint on 24, and was the Moor of Venice in a TV version of Othello.


Another A&E Nero Wolfe sighting! After watching The Expendables with my son this past weekend (fun throwbacks to the eighties/nineties action blockbusters of my younger days), I decided to check out Amazon’s Jean Claude Van Damme/Van Johnson.

It’s a fun, self-deprecating show based on the premise that JCVD’s whole career was a cover for being a super spy.

Carlo Rota is a Bulgarian gangster/boss (like you couldn’t guess from the jacket and chain). Rota has 138 IMDB credits and remains very busy. He was the deal-maker Spiros Papps in Immune To Murder.

He played Rusterman’s Felix in Poison ala Carte. And he was the husband/brother-in-law Barry Fleming in Death of A Doxy.

I think he was good on Nero Wolfe.

A Nero Wolfe Mystery sighting – That’s Carlos Rota guesting as an art curator on Relic Hunter (Tia Carrera).

Bill Smitrovich

The November Man is a 2014 film starring Pierce Brosnan as Peter Devereaux. It’s rather freely adapted from There are No Spies, the seventh book in the spy series by Bill Granger. Though they were pretty fast and loose in adapting it.

The November Man books are criminally under-appreciated. I think it is a superb series. Granger wrote it between 1979 and 1993.

The movie was a British-American production, with a modest budget of $15 million. It just more than doubled that at the world-wide box office, but it certainly wasn’t a hit. I’d never gotten around to seeing it. I was surprised to discover that Devereaux’s handler, Hanley, is played by Bill Smitrovich.

He’s got a significant part. It’s a good thriller flick.

I know I’ve posted a pic of him from Independence Day, but couldn’t find it. He was a Captain in the military.

Francie Swift

It was another A&E Nero Wolfe sighting! I’m watching White Collar, with my son. I’m a fan of that era of USA Network shows, but I had missed that one. If you like Leverage (which I LOVE), you should check it out. It’s got something of a Leverage vibe. With a little bit of Burn Notice. Good show.

Well, in this episode, a nefarious no-good (played by one of my favorite actors – Tim Matheson) was going to be robbing a bank. And the bank company’s manager was Francie Swift.

I recognized her voice right away, but I had to look at her face for a bit. Then I knew it was someone from Nero Wolfe.

She was a memorable Margot Dickey in Christmas Party. She and Archie had an emotional interaction in their final scene together. Her biggest part on the show was as Neya Tormic in the two-part Over My Dead Body.

She was also Helen Weltz in The Next Witness. I thought she did a great job as Sarah Dacos in The Doorbell Rang.

She’s pretty, but I also think she has a really pretty voice. She was on an episode of Due South (a show I enjoy very much. The police captain is Beau Starr, who was in four Nero Wolfe episodes – including playing Con Noonan), and one of Elementary.

But I haven’t seen much of her, otherwise.

Aron Tager

Second A&E Nero Wolfe sighting in Relic Hunters. Aron Tagar got his first screen credit at age 56, and was still working at age 83. He passed away in 2019.

He was Commissioner Skinner, and Commissioner Fromm. And he was an unhappy visitor to the Brownstone in Disguise for Murder.

Here, he’s a retired police chief who knew Al Capone, in episode two of Relic Hunters.


Cynthia Wattros

Another A&E Nero Wolfe sighting. I’ve mentioned Cynthia Wattros before. She was terrific as Phoebe Gunther in The Silent speaker.

Here she is on season two of Lost. She’s a refugee from the other side of island. It’s been tough on her, clearly.

Richard Waugh

Playing ‘I Know that Actor’ while re-watching season one of Covert Affairs this past weekend. And it was A Nero Wolfe Mystery sighting.

Richard Waugh appeared in 13 episodes of A Nero Wolfe Mystery. I thought he stood out as Capt. Colvin in Immune to Murder. He was also Rudolph Faber in Over My Dead Body, and I liked him in The Silent Speaker.

He has popped up a bunch of Canadian productions, including a couple different roles on The Murdoch Mysteries, and Hallmark movies. He is the star of the upcoming Christmas Distractions.

Here, he was an art goods smuggler, busted at the airport. He made a poor choice in his marriage. He wasn’t a big nerd, or a loud jerk.


And Covert Affairs is another excellent show from USA Network’s glory years. My ex-wife and I watched it weekly, and I’m introducing it to my son. It’s just as good this time around. The #3 lead on Covert Affairs is Kari Matchett. Maybe even 2.5.


We’re a Hallmark Christmas movie family and watch a LOT of them each year. I always like to see folks from other shows and movies I’ve watched. Last night it was Love You Like Christmas. Richard Waugh had a reasonably prominent part as the second-billed male.

I remember several years ago we were watching Kari Matchett in The National Tree and there was (to me) a surprise appearance from Trent McMullen (Orrie Cather) near the beginning.


I enjoy doing these FB posts. I’m re-watching Columbo, and Monk, yet again, and there are plenty of appearances by actors I like. And just as Canadian actors show up in lots of different shows filmed in Canada, there’s a lot of cross-over with USA Network shows.

Stay at Home

Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 1 and 2
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home- Days 3 and 4
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home- Days 5, 6, and 7
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home- Days 8, 9, and 10
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home- Days 11, 12, and 13
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home Days 14 and 15
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home Days 16 and 17
Nero Wolfe’s Browsnstone: Stay at Home – Days 18 and 19
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 20 and 21
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 22 and 23
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 24 and 25
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 26
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 27
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 28 and 29
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 30
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 31
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 32 and 33
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 34 and 35
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 36
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 37
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 38
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 39
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 40 & 41
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 42 & 43
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 45 & 46
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Days 50 and 52
Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone: Stay at Home – Day 55

Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone

Meet Nero Wolfe
The R-Rated Nero Wolfe
Radio & Screen Wolfe
A&E’s ‘A Nero Wolfe Mystery’
The Lost 1959 Pilot
The Mets in “Please Pass the Guilt”
A Matter of Identity (original story)
Death of a Doxy; and Koufax or Mays?
Hercule Poirot Visits Nero Wolfe

3 Good Reasons

3 Good Reasons – ‘Not Quite Dead Enough’
3 Good Reasons – ‘Murder is Corny’
3 Good Reasons – ‘Immune to Murder’
3 Good Reason – ‘Booby Trap’

The Greenstreet Chronicles (Pastiches based on the Radio Show)

Stamped for Murder

The Careworn Cuff – Part One
The Careworn Cuff – Part Two
The Careworn Cuff – Part Three

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Bob_TieSmile150.jpgBob Byrne’s ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ made its Black Gate debut in 2018 and has returned every summer since.

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate from March, 2014 through March, 2017. And he irregularly posts on Rex Stout’s gargantuan detective in ‘Nero Wolfe’s Brownstone.’ He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series, as well as the award-winning ‘Hither Came Conan’ series.

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IV, V, VI and XXI.

He has written introductions for Steeger Books, and appeared in several magazines, including Black Mask, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, The Strand Magazine, and Sherlock Magazine.

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Steve A Oerkfitz

Hallmark Christmas movies? Probably the worst fare on TV.
Giancarlo Esposito is best known for the role of the chicken man in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

John MacMaster

I do like Lindy Booth a lot…!! She was was the most memorable part of that Relic Hunter series, I thought. Admittedly, I don’t remember a whole lot about that show, since watching it back in the day when it first aired; but, I do remember thinking that she was the best part of it, at least for me! And as you mentioned, she has been in a number of other things in the years since… (including of course, her role in an episode of “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds” not too long ago!).

As far as the Nero Wolfe universe is concerned, I’ve only just recently started to check it out for myself. I decided to begin with the CBC Radio episodes, which I’ve been listening to on headphones here before going to sleep… I might move on to some of the A&E episodes sometime soon, though (and especially, the ones in which she appears!).

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