Peter Falk 1927-2011

There’s some sad news to report today as Peter Falk, TV’s Columbo, has passed away at age 83. The actual cause of death has not been released, although it’s known that Falk had suffered from Alzheimer’s disease for the past few years. He was a talented actor who enjoyed success in both TV and film, earning multiple awards and nominations from each medium. Although Falk started in theater, he quickly transitioned into films, achieving back-to-back Best Supporting Actor nominations for Murder, Inc. and Pocketful of Miracles. From there he enjoyed steady work in films like The Great Race, Castle Keep, and Murder by Death. Falk was also known for his friendship with actor/director John Cassavetes and the two collaborated on more verité-style films like Husbands and A Woman Under the Influence. And then there was Columbo, the role Falk would be most associated with.

He started playing the seemingly inept detective in the 1968 TV movie Prescription: Murder and from there he didn’t look back. In one form or another, he would play that character until 2003’s Columbo Likes the Nightlife. There are plenty of memorable Peter Falk performances from his lengthy career – probably too many to mention in one post. One of my first viewings of his work was in the ensemble comedy It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World where he played a bit part as a cab driver. Even in that small role among so many big stars, he held his own. Thinking back, he was just one of those actors who was endlessly watchable and turned in good performances time and time again. What are some of your favorite roles / moments from Falk’s career?

  • Mike F

    I enjoyed his small role in Wim Wender’s, “Wings of Desire” where he essentially played himself.

  • I grew up on Columbo. God bless his soul.

  • Glendon

    I’m a huge fan of him in A Women Under The Influence.

  • T. Heilman

    First Sammy Davis Jr., then Falk… Is Forest Whitaker next?

    Seriously, his appearance with Ben Gazzara and John Cassavetes on the Dick Cavett show is awesome. You Tube it.

  • Falsk

    I loved him in The Inlaws. I’ve had Columbo sitting in my Instant Queue for a while now… maybe it’s time to open up that bad boy.

  • Columbo was and is the best, little trivia for people like Greg, one of Micheal Jordan’s favorite shows!! The greats know the greats.

  • FoxMulder

    I feel like all the actors I love are dying away and what we are left with are Tanning Chatums.

    RIP! What a tremendously underrated actor he was!

  • Fatbologna

    He was an awesome and underrated talent. I especially loved him in all the Cassavetes collaborative stuff. He was a GIANT in those flicks.