Peter Falk passed away on Thursday, June 23. A lot of us remember him as Columbo. He personified this television detective.
Recently, my family has been making our way through all of the Columbo television movies. And, of course, those movies simply would not be the same without Peter Falk’s wonderful portrayal of Columbo. Actually, his portrayal of the disheveled, hyperactive, distracted detective was too good! Any time I see him in anything… either from before or after his Columbo days, I immediately think of … Columbo.
As soon as Columbo arrives on the scene of a crime, in his banged-up Peugeot convertible, with his trademark stub-of-a-cigar in his mouth, his overcoat looking like it had been worn for an entire month (even while he slept!), he walks around, scratching his head while muttering to himself. He then “befriends” a character – usually the biggest guest star – and that is when the fun begins…
The Columbo television movies are different in that they always begin by showing us who the culprit is, and how he/she commits the crime by using some type of elaborate ruse. This is actually the opening scene! So, there is no denying the who, what, when, or where. The fun is watching Peter Falk fumble around, acting like he really hasn’t a clue about what he is doing. And, the culprit, thinking that this simpleton is going to make it possible to get away with… murder, usually begins to feel annoyed that this idiot is always asking “Just one more thing”, which, incidentally is the title of Peter Falk’s autobiography.
I am always saddened to hear about the passing of an actor/actress who has given so many hours of entertainment to so many people.
PS>>> For those few of you who have not yet seen the Columbo television movies, you might recognize Peter Falk as the grandfather in The Princess Bride movie.