‘Nero Wolfe’

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on December 1, 2002

I'm a fan of A&E's Nero Wolfe series. I've noticed the same actors playing different characters each week. Kari Matchett seems to be in every episode. Can you tell me why the same actors are used each week for different roles? Also, didn't the era change?
—David H., Texas

The show recently was canceled after two seasons, but reruns still are aired. When the detective series was in the works, Timothy Hutton, who played Nero Wolfe's assistant, Archie Goodwin, suggested using a repertory cast for the show. Just as a repertory theater group uses the same group of actors to put on different plays, Nero Wolfe used a permanent group of actors week after week. The main characters, such as Nero and Archie, always were played by the same actor, but the parts that changed with each new story were filled by the cast on hand. Kari Matchett was one of those repertory players, most of whom had a strong background in theater. As for the era change—you are correct. Each episode of the series was based on one of the numerous Nero Wolfe books written by Rex Stout. The first episode that aired was based on a story that took place in the 1960s. The shows that followed were based on books set in the 1950s.