Opinion / Tribute

Gone but not forgotten: remembering the life of Peter Falk

Remembering Peter Falk

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 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 Falk aged 3

Peter with his bike aged 3, circa 1931

Young Peter

Young Peter – perhaps 10?

Falk Oscar

Peter in the role of Abe Reles in 1960’s Murder Inc – the film that really put him on the map

Peter and Alyce

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 Falk 1965

Peter looking totally cool in 1965.

Peter Falk Jack Lemmon

Starring alongside Jack Lemmon in The Great Race in 1965.

Peter Falk Natalie Wood

Peter with Natalie Wood, during the filming of Penelope in 1966

Peter Falk Luv

Alongside Elaine May in 1967 promotional photo for the movie Luv

Peter Falk 1968

We all recognise this one: a not-too-shabby looking younger Columbo from 1968’s Prescription: Murder.

Peter and Catherine

Playing ball with daughter Catherine

Falk, Gazzara, Cassavetes

Peter with great friends Ben Gazzara and John Cassavetes during filming of Husbands, 1970


One of the iconic production stills from ‘Husbands’, 1970

Peter Falk Steven Spielberg

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

Crucial stadium

Alone at the LA Coliseum in 1972’s Columbo The Most Crucial Game

Peter’s Emmy Award acceptance speech from 1972 is legendary!

Falk Caan

Hanging with James Caan in the mid-70s. What a cool pair!


On the set of Columbo, circa 1973

Peter Falk Martin Landau

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


Rocking the Oscars as an award presenter in 1974


Peter Falk image from the February 1974 issue of Photoplay magazine

Dan Wynn archive

Magnificent portrait of Peter from the Dan Wynn archive

Peter Falk Gena Rowlands

Publicity photo of Peter Falk and Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under the Influence in 1974

Peter Falk talks Columbo with Johnny Carson in 1974

Jack Nicolson

Peter with Jack Nicolson and Michelle Phillips, sometime in the 1970s

Cool Falk

Peter looking gorgeous in his casual outfit in 1976. I think he was in Paris, promoting A Woman Under the Influence


Delightful publicity shot for Columbo, mid 70s

Peter Falk golf

The coolest 70s golfer of them all?

Peter Falk Jessica Walter

Peter plants a smacker on Columbo co-star Jessica Walter after their joint Emmy success in May 1975.

Murder by Death

Alongside Truman Capote and David Niven in 1976’s Murder by Death


Looking utterly loveable in Inspector Lucerne’s hat in Fade In To Murder in 1976


Wearing the Columbo mac on the streets of Paris during a 1976 promotional tour for A Woman Under the Influence


Talking ‘Columbo’ on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, May 1977

Peter Falk and Shera Danese

Peter with Shera Danese at a party in LA in June 1977 – a few months before their wedding.

Peter and Shera

Utterly delightful image of Peter Falk and Shera Danese, circa 1978.


Lookin’ slick in a tux in 1978’s Murder Under Glass

Peter Falk Hair premiere

Peter plays up to the cameras on the red carpet at the Premiere of ‘Hair’ in 1979.


Peter having a hoot in what appears to be a mobile home, late 1970s. Could he BE having any more fun?

Peter Falk Kermit the Frog

Peter starring alongside Kermit the Frog in 1981’s The Great Muppet Caper.

Peter's cameo in the Ghostbusters music video from 1984.

Peter’s cameo in the Ghostbusters music video from 1984.

Columbo 1985

Fooling around on a night out in Noo Yoik, 1985


Just hanging out at home in LA, 1990s


Columbo the silver fox from 2000’s Murder With Too Many Notes

Peter and dogs

At home with Shera and the dogs, 2000s

Peter Falk Mr T

Legends! Peter Falk and Mr T at NBC’s 75th anniversary press lunch in April 2002.


What a boss! At home with a cigar, 2000s

Walk of Fame

Peter was posthumously awarded a Hollywood Walk of Fame star in July 2013

columbo statue budapest

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.

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.

24 thoughts on “Gone but not forgotten: remembering the life of Peter Falk

  1. I was at Riviera Country Club following the Pros at the LA Open when I saw Peter Falk and followed him around the rest of the day..He was a fine golfer and very personable with the crowd…After the 18th hole he walked up to the Clubhouse and gave a short interview with a reporter…When asked where he would like to go, he looked at me and smiled and said Marrakech, which made my day…Great person, I think of him and grin, and tonight is COLOMBO…

  2. Thanks so much for putting the effort into this page and posts. This is one Canadian who in loving Columbo but I have to admit, I’ve never seen PF in anything but Columbo. Now I have a new summer to do list. We don’t get Columbo on Netflix in Canada but I bought up every DVD years ago and watch them over and over.

  3. Peter Falk was on The Tonight Show at least one other time, previewing the episode, The Bye-Bye Sky High IQ Murder Case, although he mischaracterized the puzzle involving finding the counterfeit gold.

  4. Pingback: Gone but not forgotten: remembering the life of Peter Falk – Bríd Boland Writer

  5. Wonderful post and lovely photos–many thanks. My favorite Pete Falk work is in “Columbo”, but very much enjoyed him in “The Great Race” in my childhood “Push the button Max!” My mother, Rosina, an actress, worked with him in the 2002 film “Three Days of Rain” and told him she would never forget him in the 1962 show “The Price of Tomatoes”, she told him she couldn’t take her eyes off him and nearly burned a hole in the shirt she was ironing while watching. He winked at her and said no one’s mentioned that show in many years and gave her a big hug when filming wrapped.

    • Great story! I was at a movie gathering earlier this year when I saw “The In-Laws” for the first time. Definitely prefer Columbo!

  6. As Tony Pino on The Brink’s Job,a movie that I wish it was shown more often last time I watched it must have been before Y2K

  7. I had the great fortune of seeing Peter on Broadway in Neil Simon’s “Prisoner of Second Avenue” in January 1972. It was during Columbo’s first season, and the play reunited Peter with his “Ransom for a Dead Man” co-star Lee Grant. It remains the funniest Broadway performance I’ve ever seen.

  8. Thank you for the great pictures. It says a lot about an actor when his made for TV movies are still being watched 45 years later on Netflix by a new generation. I will be honest I am not a fan of the second Mrs Falk’s acting and I cringe when she appears in the later Columbo episodes. That being said, they look like they were happy together. You have to wonder what his acting friends thought of her.

  9. What a great collection of photos! You picked some really nice shots here. And I can’t get over the fact that, for the first time in a while, I dialed up a classic Columbo on Netflix tonight (also have every season on DVD), not even realizing it was the anniversary. Good post!

  10. This was just lovely. I got a little misty as I scrolled through all of those pictures. I really love the TV Guide cover you posted. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that!

    As much as I love Columbo, my favorite PF memory is probably seeing Griffin and Phoenix with my dad when I was a kid. I only caught the end, but later in life that film would become very important to me, and it always reminds me of my father.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.