Emmett Clayton

Laurence Harvey

EPISODE 16


Columbo Villains -  Emmett Clayton

Last Words to Columbo: "Well turn the damned thing off!"



In The Most Dangerous Match, Emmety Clayton, played by Laurence Harvey, plays a Chess Master. Emmett Clayton experiences a disturbing nightmare before an important chess match with Tomlin Dudek, a portly and amiable Russian opponent. In his dream, they are both chess pieces on a colossal chessboard shrouded in mist, and this premonition seems to indicate Clayton's apprehension about the upcoming match. Later, the two adversaries unexpectedly cross paths at a French restaurant and begin using salt and pepper shakers and other items on the table as makeshift chess pieces. They continue the game at Clayton's apartment, concealed from Dudek's doctor and coach, who would disapprove of him indulging in rich food late at night due to his diabetes. Clayton is defeated in the impromptu game and suffers a nervous breakdown, which Dudek tries to pacify. The following day, Clayton decides to commit murder to ensure his victory, devising a plan to make it appear that Dudek died in a hotel trash compactor.
Laurence Harvey was a Lithuanian-born British actor born on October 1, 1928, in Joniškis, Lithuania. He is known for his roles in film and television. Harvey began his acting career in the 1940s, appearing in various stage productions in London's West End. He made his film debut in the 1951 film "The Man in the White Suit" and went on to star in a number of notable films, including "Room at the Top" (1959), for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, "The Alamo" (1960), "The Manchurian Candidate" (1962), and "Darling" (1965), for which he received another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. In addition to his work in film, Harvey also appeared in several television series throughout his career, including "The Twilight Zone," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," and "The Name of the Game." Harvey was known for his suave and sophisticated demeanor on screen, as well as his distinct voice and charm. He was often cast in roles that required a complex and conflicted character, and he was praised for his ability to convey depth and nuance in his performances. Tragically, Harvey passed away at the age of 45 in 1973 due to stomach cancer. Despite his relatively short career, he left a lasting impact on the world of film and is remembered as a talented and versatile actor.