Falk Leaves Behind A Legacy Of Roles

Peter Falk, one of the greatest character actors of all time, died peacefully on June 23rd, according to Reuters. His family released a statement that the actor died in the Beverly Hills home he shared with his wife of 34 years, Shera Danese. His legacy is one of rich characters viewers cared about, and his ability to bring them to life in a way that was never seen before and probably will never be seen again.

For many television viewers of the '70s, there was only one actor that we could truly believe made the character he portrayed, Peter Falk. He took a role that would otherwise be considered a harsh character and turned him into a loveable schlub of a man, someone you would trust with your life. That was Columbo, the scruffy and confused detective that millions of viewers watched to see how he would crack his next case for over 69 episodes.

Peter Falk

Native New Yorker Falk found his wings on the Broadway stage, but it was in television that he really made his mark. As the sassy Columbo, Falk relied heavily on his character's vulnerability to get his point across on-screen. One of the character's catch phrases was, "Just one more thing..." as he cracked his case each week. Several of his most memorable lines included, "My wife says I'm the second smartest. She claims there are 80 guys tied for first," and, "I respect your talent, I just don't like anything else about you."

Trivia fact: The debut episode of Columbo was directed by a 25-year-old Steven Spielberg in one of his earliest directing roles.

Falk also made his mark on the big screen in films like 1963's It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and 1964's Rat Pack adventure, Robin and the 7 Hoods.

Perhaps Peter's best known characters came from the heart, such as the husband who has to decide whether or not to institutionalize his depressed and mentally ill wife in A Woman Under the Influence. He also appeared in the hilarious comedy The In-Laws with Alan Arkin, as the bumbling Vince Ricardo, who, when asked by Arkin's character, "Did we hit the little boy on sixth avenue?" replied with, "No, we missed him by a good foot and a half." He also played a character dealing with a late-in-life divorce, co-starring with Paul Reiser in The Thing About My Folks.

In his later years, Peter Falk appeared on television only a handful of times, in the films The Lost World, A Town Without Christmas, Finding John Christmas and When Angels Come to Town. A diagnosis of Alzheimer's in 2008 hastened any further television appearances. An acting treasure, he will be sorely missed.

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Comments on "Peter Falk's death: Goodbye Columbo"

Earth Angel October 03, 2011 | 8:34 AM

I wanted to let all know that HMV music dvd store are selling Columbo complete set ...i now have and thoroughly enjoy watching Peter fullfilled many roles he took and took it to a new level he was very attractive very charming and had bags of charisma he captured the hearts of many fans worldwide and they will hold peter in thier hearts and memorys always esp the female ones as alot of female fans fell in love with peter due to his warmth personality and he charm and charisma and so attractive so tv let us down again and took it of air after a while so get to hmv dvd store and there it is Love and Light Earth Angel Peter Falk no 1 xx

Earth Angel September 05, 2011 | 12:56 PM

Peter Falk was the most attractive actor i ever set eyes on he lights up the tv set what ever tv show or episode or film he ever starred in he had the most beautiful smile ever and bags of charm and charisma I fell in love with Peter Falk when i was 18 now nearly 40 you will never see this again but as a Earth Angel i believe Peter up in Heaven with God and the Angels Peter will be well loved and looked after by all the Angel esp Arch Angel Micheal my very own Angel ....Peter is the best actor so charming so much charisma won the hearts of many esp the female fans and esp mine he captured my heart and will forever remain in my heart till eternity i now got columbo set of dvds which Peter manly known for and other dvds it gives me great comfort to see Peter in action in these films and a comfort to see him aswell he will never be forgotton as he left his mark on this world as he was one of the best to portray the top tv detective ever that walk the boards of our tv screens... i seen him in Cavett show he made me laugh my head off also Frank Sinatra too ...Roast Frank or something like that heading a comb that glows in the dark"!!! Well guys hmv stores are selloing the dvds so er get yourselfs down there as fans went mad when our Darling Peter Died... but he spirit will on in the hearts fans esp in mine Peter Falk Earth Angel xxxxx to Peter hugs too all my love aswell one more thing a huge kiss to Peter

STEVE June 30, 2011 | 7:20 PM

always love watching columbo rip mate oh and just one more thing god bless

Paul Hurlburt Jr June 26, 2011 | 7:58 PM

My deep wishes go out to his family and friends. He will be missed terribly. He was from Nulty New jersey my mom was born there too. no joke.

pam June 25, 2011 | 9:35 AM

Always came over as a gentle man, the sort of person you would like as a friend. Sad end hope it was peaceful. He gave a lot of pleasure and happiness, to a lot of people.

ARGENTINA June 24, 2011 | 9:02 PM

GOOD BYE COLOMBO..PLEASE DO NOT GIVE GOD HARD TIME..I HOPE YOU GET A NEW RAIN COAT...GOD BLESS YOU !!!!!!

susan June 24, 2011 | 4:57 PM

R.I.P.Lieutenant Columbo. We will have to watch a Columbo episode tonight in memory of Peter.

Antenor Camargo June 24, 2011 | 3:20 PM

The world loses one of the greatest actors ever. I feel deeply touched by this loss. I watch at least three episodes of Columbo every week and have taught my son to love him too. I am sure Peter Falk will live forever in his endless fans...

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