RIP – Peter Falk

Peter Falk, best known as tv’s legendary Detective Columbo, died last night at the age of 83.

My first memory of Peter Falk is in his role as Maximilian Meen from The Great Race.  Truth be told, I’d probably seen Mr. Falk earlier in one of his guest appearances on tv shows like Have Gun Will Travel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The Twilight Zone.  I know that I saw him in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World before I ever saw The Great Race, but it was his role as Maximillian Meen that made the first big impact and brought him to my attention.  I would have been all of seven years old.

My next big memory of Peter Falk is in his role of Columbo.  He first appeared as Columbo in the tv movie Prescription Murder [1968].  Then from 1971 to 2003, Mr. Falk reprised the role in 68 more tv movies.  Peter Falk was perfect in the role and fans loved him.  I can remember watching the movies with mom or my grandfather.  They enjoyed the series as much as me… maybe more.

In 1979, my girlfriend [later to be my wife] and I went to movies every week.  One of the films we decided to see was The In-Laws.  I thought it would be okay.  I was wrong.  The In-Laws turned out to be a comedy classic.  We left the theater talking about how great it was and laughing about it long after the film was over.

Peter Falk appears in another of my favorite films, The Princess Bride which we [my wife and I] watched with our sons when they were young.  It’s pretty cool that I was able to enjoy Mr. Falk’s movies with the significant people throughout my life.  I guess that’s the sign of a true star, he/she is able to continue to find good roles throughout their lives.  Mr. Falk was such a star.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.