Peter Falk, a.k.a. Columbo, Dies at 83

By Seth Abramovitch

Jun 24, 2011

A spokesperson for the family of Peter Falk has confirmed the actor passed away Thursday night in his sleep. Falk was 83, and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease in recent years.

Falk, a hugely gifted actor, will forever be associated with Columbo, the character he played on the long-running detective series of the same name. Columbo’s format put an ingenious spin on the old detective genre: Rather than spending every episode searching for the killer, the show revealed killers up front, and the mystery to solve was in figuring out how the perpetrators committed the crimes. (In that way, it broke ground for a show like House more than it did for shows like CSI.) Falk’s character—usually unshaven and clad in a rumbled trench coat, always unassuming and disarmingly polite—belied a brilliant deductive mind at work. His catchphrase— "Just one more thing"—was enough to strike mortal fear in any killer's heart. He always got his man.

Watch this example of Lt. Columbo at work, confronting a guilty suspect with his crimes—it still holds up as great TV.

R.I.P., Peter Falk.

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  • shili12 Feb 12, 2012

    To him i owe him how to think, how to go about , being perspective .

    I watched all episodes from season 1 to season 12, each episode i looked forward too.

    But the 70's ones were the best.

  • RonPrice Jun 27, 2011

    Dana Stevens wrote in the online magazine Slate(1) that nothing got by Peter Falk and his hyper-alert vigilance always seemed to emerge from an underlying stillness, a state of openness to his fellow actors and to the moment. Stevens talked about Falk’s films and special scenes in the films, scenes that highlighted his talents. I’ll let you read her fine obit about the Peter Falk she remembers: a man who doggedly felt his way to the truth, that is the truth about the fictional murder of the week, and the truth of the scene. Squinting at his interlocutor with his one good eye, and listening, Falk came into our worlds week after week. His physical trademark of one eye enhanced his detective's image as a dishevelled, oddball crime sleuth. -Ron Price with thanks to (1) Dana Stevens, Brow Beat: Slate's Culture Blog, 24 June 2011.

  • haldrey Jun 25, 2011

    Another one of a dying era is gone. Farewell you will always be remembered.

  • AntonyHobart Jun 25, 2011

    R.I.P

  • aheski73 Jun 25, 2011

    Lt. Columbo unforgettable!R.I.P. Peter Falk!

  • iwatchtv1 Jun 25, 2011

    It is sad to see that Peter Falk is dead. We will miss you Peter Falk.

  • shamrat Jun 25, 2011

    R.I.P Peter. You were a family favourite.

  • vicbjones Jun 25, 2011

    An era is passing. Falk's death means the original stars of both the NBC Mystery Movie and The Name of the Game (with the exception of Susan Saint James) are all dead. Only two small gripes about the article, though: the term is "rumpled," not "rumbled"; and the point of most Columbo episodes was how the Lieutenant was going to get the killer to admit his crime and his motive, since the audience usually saw how the killer did it at the beginning.

  • Bigpixie Jun 25, 2011

    Columbo still remains one of my favourite TV shows. Sad to hear such a gifted man has died.

  • Charles-Lee-Roy Jun 25, 2011

    He was great as Columbo. He will be missed. R.I.P Peter.

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