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Arts and Culture

So Long, Columbo: Peter Falk Dies at 83

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Posted on Jun 24, 2011
Wikimedia Commons

Peter Falk in his famous role as Columbo, circa 1976.

Another icon of the small screen has died, and with him goes a memorable role and a famous, if slightly bedraggled, khaki raincoat. On Friday, the news broke that “Columbo” star Peter Falk had died the day before at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 83.

AP via Salon:

In a court document filed in December 2008, Falk’s daughter Catherine Falk said he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

“Columbo” began its history in 1971 as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie series, appearing every third week. The show became by far the most popular of the three mysteries, the others being “McCloud” and “McMillan and Wife.”

Falk was reportedly paid $250,000 a movie and could have made much more if he had accepted an offer to convert “Columbo” into a weekly series. He declined, reasoning that carrying a weekly detective series would be too great a burden.

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By rollzone, June 27, 2011 at 1:13 pm Link to this comment

hello. and just one more thing. now that you are dead,
may i go live in your Beverly Hills mansion?

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By christian96, June 27, 2011 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

Columbo made it to 83 while smoking. Quite an
accomplishment.  I didn’t have any brothers but
I DID HAVE two younger sisters.  I emphasized “DID
HAVE” for a reason.  My yougest sister died at 51
of a rare lung disease.  My other sister died at
58 of a massive heart attack in her sleep.  Both
were heavy smokers.  Mom, dad, and both sisters
were killed by smoking.  Mom had emphysema and wore
oxygen 24 hours a day.  She was so addicted my
younger sister told me mom use to sneak up to her
trailer to smoke a cigarette.  Mom smoked Lucky
Strikes.  She struck out.  Those damnable cigarette
companies took my entire family.  If I had a good
Jewish New York lawyer I’d sue them for all I could
get and give the money to the children of both
sisters.

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By Tex Shelters, June 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I was on a jury, and I noted how “Columboesque” the defense attorney was. The lawyer had a wrinkled shirt, crooked tie and glasses, and generally looked disheveled and incompetent.

However, the defense won nearly every motion and won the case. True story.

Here’s to Falk and Columbo, a memorable man and the character he made live for millions all over the world.

Peace,
Tex Shelters

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, June 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm Link to this comment

One more thing….

I like the fact that Lt. Columbo never carried a gun. Actually, he would be a great role model for an aspiring investigative reporter.

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By clearwaters, June 25, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

An “everyman” genius in character and life. I will not forget him.

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EmileZ's avatar

By EmileZ, June 25, 2011 at 8:13 am Link to this comment

Columbo was and continues to be an important influence/presence in my daily life.

I hope to hell that no one EVER tries to remake it with another actor.

RIP Peter Falk.

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