Peter Falk, most famous for his role as TV’s scruffy detective, Columbo, has died at the age of 83. The actor died peacefully at home in Beverly Hills last night; he had been suffering from dementia for a number of years.
Peter Falk won four Emmys for his cigar-chomping role in Columbo, which ended in 1977, and was nominated for Oscars in 1960 and 1961. But for most fans, his best-supporting actor nominations in Murder Inc and Pocketful of Miracles were eclipsed by his six years playing a deceptively bumbling sleuth with a shabby mac and the killer catch-phrase: “One more thing…”
Columbo was first aired by NBC in 1971, appearing every third week until it was cancelled in 1977. Falk reportedly turned down an offer to convert it into a weekly series, citing the heavy workload. The actor bought Columbo’s trademark raincoat himself, only for it to be replaced after it became too tattered through its near constant use in the series. He told one interviewer his shabby detective looked “like a flood victim”.
You feel sorry for him. He appears to be seeing nothing, but he’s seeing everything. Underneath his dishevellment, a good mind is at work.”
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano’) about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman’s Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia’ column for Dancing Times magazine.