Peter Falk remains the greatest TV Detective of them all as "Columbo." Watch any episode at random and you'll be frightened at how in-character and committed Falk is to the part. Watching him maneuver like a shark around a suspect, transforming from bumbling to brilliant is a joy to watch. No wonder he won four Emmys for his work as "Columbo."
It's not just "Columbo." Watch his films with Cassavettes, his recent film with Paul Reiser "The Thing About My Folks," and even "The Princess Bride" to see a truly gifted and phenomenally talented actor. This is a guy who was nominated for an Oscar for his first film role! The man can do comedy too - watch his decidedly off-kilter take on the Bogart-style private eye in Neil Simon's "Murder by Death" and "The Cheap Detective." Like Leslie Nielsen, Falk is a master of the deadpan, a character so serious he isn't aware of how funny he is.
I have recently read Mr. Falk's recently released autobiography. It is a collection of jokes, stories, memories and anecdotes, but it is a fantastic read. You get to see how he approaches his roles, how he interacts with other actors and what he has learned in a career that has spanned five decades. I hope Mr. Falk keeps acting and entertaining us until Lt. Columbo drives that beat-up Peuguot through the pearly gates.