Peter Falk: 1928 – 2011

by J-Stacknik
Black and white headshot of Peter Falk who was best known for his role as Columbo.

Columbo was asked one time what his first name was, he replied “Lieutenant”. Throughout the series no one ever discovered his first name. The entire series is available on DVD.

“There’s just one more thing” was the famous line delivered by Peter Falk, in the role for which he will forever be remembered, the cigar smoking, wrinkled trench coat wearing Lieutenant Columbo. The series ran on NBC from 1971 to 1978. Falk of course had other rolls in movies like 1960′s Murder, Inc. and 1961′s Pocketful of Miracles, both of these movies saw Falk nominated for Academy Awards. But it was his role as Lieutenant Columbo that people will remember the most.

Peter Falk was born in New York City, to Jewish parents. He had his right eye surgically removed when he was three because of retinoblastoma, he wore a glass eye for most of his life. He attended Ossining High School in Westchester County, New York, where he was a star athlete and president of his senior class. He first acted when he was 12 years old in a production of The Pirates of Penzance.

He didn’t really get the acting bug until he was almost 30. Before that time he served in the merchant marines, worked on the railroad in Yugoslavia and managed to get a master’s degree in public administration. He appeared in over 35 movies as well as numerous television shows. Falk continued to act until 2007 and one of his last movies was Next, with Nicolas Cage. Falk started showing signs of dementia after a series of dental operations. His dementia got progressively worse to the point where he could no longer even remember the character of Columbo.

Peter Falk died June 24, 2011 at the age of 83. He was survived by his wife Shera and daughters Catherine and Jackie.

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