Murder, She Wrote

MURDER, SHE WROTE/CBS/1984-96 (Wheelchair)

Jean O’Neil, (Madlyn Rhue), disabled librarian who lived in the town of Cabot Cove. She greeted resident mystery novelist Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury), by saying, “What will it be Jessica, more books on poisons?”


Jean the Librarian appeared on the episodes “Murder in Tempo: (1996); “Home Care” (1995); “Wheel of Death” (1994)’ and “The Legacy of Borbey House” (1993).

Note: In 1993, Madlyn Rhue needed a job to keep her medical benefits so she could obtain the drug Betaceron, an insulin like drug that stops the progression of Multiple Sclerosis. Angela Lansbury, subsequently hired her to play the role of a librarian on the program.

On the topic of disability, Madlyn Rhue said, “Whenever you have a continuing disease, it’s very hard to get insured on a series…I understand that. But I do get crazy when I can’t even try out for episodic work. My talent hasn’t diminished….All I can say is, I have my own driver, I have my own assistant. And I’m always on time.”

Born October 3, 1935 in Washington, District of Columbia, actress Madlyn Rhue died on December 16, 2003 (age 68) at the Motion Picture and Television Country Home retirement center in Woodland Hills, California. She passed away from complication of pneumonia and multiple sclerosis.

See also: Houston Knights


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