Gone but not forgotten. Since his death on 23rd June, 2011, Peter Falk continues to hold a large part of the hearts of millions of fans. He remains a pop culture icon, thanks in no small part to his work on Columbo.
I like to to take some time each June and September (Peter would have been 90 on 16 Sept 2017) to remember what he brought to the world. It’s hard to come up with new ways of paying my respects to Peter, but in this article I thought I’d share some of my favourite images and videos of the great man throughout his life.
I’ve put these forward because they’re ones that I think show off his charm and character, as well as a few of his greatest hits and variety of his work. And, naturally, Columbo looms large amongst them.
I keep adding new images to this gallery as more and more lovely images come to my attention. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.
Peter with his bike aged 3, circa 1931
Young Peter – perhaps 10?
Peter in the role of Abe Reles in 1960’s Murder Inc – the film that really put him on the map
Peter Falk and his first wife, Alyce, at the Academy Awards, April 1962. Peter was up for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Pocketful of Miracles.
Peter looking totally cool in 1965.
Starring alongside Jack Lemmon in The Great Race in 1965.
Peter with Natalie Wood, during the filming of Penelope in 1966.
Alongside Elaine May in 1967 promotional photo for the movie Luv
We all recognise this one: a not-too-shabby looking younger Columbo from 1968’s Prescription: Murder.
Playing ball with daughter Catherine
Peter with great friends Ben Gazzara and John Cassavetes during filming of Husbands, 1970
One of the iconic production stills from ‘Husbands’, 1970
Peter relaxes with a young Steven Spielberg during the filming of Murder by the Book in 1971.
Eight months after they teamed up in Ransom For a Dead Man, Peter Falk and Lee Grant starred in ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue’ on Broadway
Sharing a joke with Dagger of the Mind co-star Bernard Fox in 1972
Alone at the LA Coliseum in 1972’s Columbo The Most Crucial Game
Peter’s Emmy Award acceptance speech from 1972 is legendary!
Hanging with James Caan in the mid-70s. What a cool pair!
On the set of Columbo, circa 1973
Could this be Columbo’s single greatest scene? Peter having a whale of a time with Martin Landau during the ad-libbed cookery scene in Double Shock from 1973
Peter Falk image from the February 1974 issue of Photoplay magazine
Magnificent portrait of Peter from the Dan Wynn archive
Publicity photo of Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands in Woman Under the Influence in 1974.
Peter Falk talks Columbo with Johnny Carson in 1974
Peter with Jack Nicolson and Michelle Phillips, sometime in the 1970s
Peter looking gorgeous in his casual outfit in 1975. I think he was in Paris, promoting A Woman Under the Influence
Delightful publicity shot for Columbo, mid 70s
The coolest 70s golfer of them all?
Peter plants a smacker on Columbo co-star Jessica Walter after their joint Emmy success in May 1975.
Alongside Truman Capote and David Niven in 1976’s Murder by Death
Looking utterly loveable in Inspector Lucerne’s hat in Columbo Fade In To Murder in 1976
Talking ‘Columbo’ on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, May 1977
Peter with Shera Danese at a party in LA in June 1977 – a few months before their wedding.
Utterly delightful image of Peter Falk and Shera Danese, circa 1978.
Lookin’ slick in a tux in 1978’s Columbo Murder Under Glass
Peter plays up to the cameras on the red carpet at the Premiere of ‘Hair’ in 1979.
My absolute favourite photo of Peter – having a hoot in what appears to be a mobile home, late 1970s. Could he BE having any more fun?
Peter starring alongside Kermit the Frog in 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper.
Peter’s cameo in the Ghostbusters music video from 1984.
Fooling around on a night out in Noo Yoik, 1985
Just hanging out at home in LA, 1990s
At home with Shera and the dogs, 2000s
Legends! Peter Falk and Mr T at NBC’s 75th anniversary press lunch in April 2002.
Peter was posthumously awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in July 2013
Awesome tribute: statues of Columbo and Dog were unveiled in Budapest, Hungary, in May 2014. Every city should have one…
Of course there are a million more I could have put forward, but these represent some great highlights from the life of a fine and much-loved man, who is with us in spirit as much as ever.
If you’ve not yet done so, I recommend any fan of Peter’s pick up a copy of his autobiography, Just One More Thing. There’s plenty of Columbo recollections but his life story as a whole is an extremely interesting one and it’s written so charmingly it’s almost as if Peter himself is narrating it straight to you. Go get it!
What’s your favourite memory of Peter? Were you lucky enough to meet him? Let me know in the comments section below. And thanks, as always, for reading.
You can access a Columbo video archive here.