Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr Viber
Trending On Empire
The Big 2015 Movie Preview
The 50 Best Films Of 2014
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe to Empire!
Save up to 63%
Halo 5 Guardians
The Master Chief returns
Movie News

Red Band Triple 9 Trailer Hits The Streets
Bad cops, bad cops, whatcha gonna do...
Jack Huston And Jennifer Aniston Join The Yellow Birds
But Benedict Cumberbatch will be Sir Not Appearing In This Film
Jessica Jones Goes To Work In A New Netflix Promo
Hell's Kitchen, here we come
Peter Sarsgaard Moves To The New Twin Peaks
And a new promo video is online...
Joe Robert Cole In Talks To Write Marvel's Black Panther
Amber Lake man gets the first crack at T'Challa
New Full Trailer For The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
''We all have one enemy... And that's President Snow...''
Exclusive New Trailer For The Fear Of 13
First look at the acclaimed new death row documentary
The Good Dinosaur Digs Up A New Trailer
New Trumbo Trailer Released
Bryan Cranston braves the blacklist
Tom Hiddleston Explains Loki's Absence From Avengers Age Of Ultron
'It was imbalancing people's expectations'
Benicio Del Toro Talks Star Wars: Episode VIII
'Rian Johnson is infusing the film with new steroids'
F. Gary Gray Looks Set To Direct Fast & Furious 8
Straight Outta Compton director in the frame
Judy Greer And Luke Wilson Find Measure Of A Man
Joining Donald Sutherland and Blake Cooper
Jon Voight On For Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
Gemma Chan and Carmen Ejogo also cast in the Potter spin-off
Capture The Flag Captures A Trailer
Un viaje familiar a la luna
More Movie News

Husbands (2012)
Empire Star Rating
Shark Tale
Empire Star Rating
Empire Star Rating
Aunt Julia And The Scriptwriter
Empire Star Rating
Murder By Death
Empire Star Rating
More new cinemas releases
DVD & Blu-ray releases

Peter Falk RIP
Columbo/Princess Bride star dies aged 83

24 June 2011  |  Written by James White  

submit to reddit

Peter Falk RIP

Peter Falk, star of both TV and movies, has died in Los Angeles. He was 83.

He may forever be known for asking suspects “just one more thing…” before cracking a murder case as shabby trench coat wearing ‘tec Columbo on TV, but Falk’s career went far beyond that iconic, beloved character.

A New York City native, Falk faced an early challenge when his right eye was removed because of a tumour, resulting in him wearing a glass eye through most of his life. Despite that, he was a committed sports player in his youth, though he would gravitate towards the stage at 12, when he appeared in The Pirates of Penzance at a summer camp. After being rejected by the armed services because of his eye near the end of World War Two, Falk signed up with the US Merchant Marines, serving as a cook and a mess boy.

Following a stint at Syracuse University and a couple of other jobs, Falk began performing in community theatre, eventually moving to Off-Broadway productions and then the Great White Way itself.

Though he’d been advised not to expect much film work thanks to that pesky eye, Falk managed to crack the cinema with small roles in Wind Across the Everglades, The Bloody Brood and Pretty Boy Floyd.

But it was 1960’s Murder, Inc that proved to be the big turning point in his career, making waves in a supporting role as killer Abe Reles, which scored him his first Oscar nomination. He went on to nab a second nod the following year, for Best Supporting Actor in Pocketful of Miracles.

He began working in television even earlier, beginning with an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents in 1957 and working steadily through the late ‘50s, 60s and 70s on a variety of series including Have Gun - Will Travel, The Twilight Zone, The Untouchables, Naked City, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Dr Kildare, Wagon Train and cropping up as himself years later in one episode of The Larry Sanders Show.

His crowning achievement on the small screen, however, has to be the schlubby Columbo, the eternally underestimated, easygoing detective who hides a razor sharp mind and powers of detection that would turn Sherlock Holmes green with envy behind a seemingly bumbling demeanour and a trademark cigar. The series ran for 13 seasons.

On the big screen, he regularly collaborated with John Cassavetes, including on Husbands, Opening Night and A Woman Under the Influence.

Other memorable roles included Wings of Desire, It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The In-Laws, Made (which allowed him to show off one of his personal passions, sketching) and, of course, his turn as the Grandfather in The Princess Bride who narrates the story.

Though Falk had been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, the exact cause of his death is not yet known. His ex-wife and two daughters survive him, and our thoughts are with his family.

Have Your Say
To comment on this, and all articles, register for free or login now.

Robert Rodriguez Launches Aromascope
For Spy Kids: All the Time in the World
Todd Field Accepts The Creed Of Violence
Update: He's got the funds to make it

Your Comments

RIP man. ALways enjoy watching Columbo, so sad the way he ended his life, it's tough on the person and the family. "Oh, one more thing". More

Posted by theeverlasting at 16:26 on 26 June 2011 | Report This Post

A true one of a kind. One question though...why did the suspect never run whenever he saw Columbo with a brown paper bag? It was the guaranteed sign of doom More

Posted by Mr.Screen at 19:57 on 25 June 2011 | Report This Post

RIP Lieutenant Columbo
A true ICON More

Posted by Workshed at 14:51 on 25 June 2011 | Report This Post

RE: A Dude

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 09:08 on 25 June 2011 | Report This Post

A Dude
This guy was such a dude, columbo is the all time greatest detective. More

Posted by mclane1 at 07:18 on 25 June 2011 | Report This Post

another icon gone. RIP More

Posted by BillClay at 21:58 on 24 June 2011 | Report This Post

Denis Villeneuve Talks Sicario
On his cartel thriller and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel

Tomorrowland: The Viewing Guide
Brad Bird talks through his sci-fi adventure, scene by scene

Empire Meets Ridley Scott
The great director on The Martian, Blade Runner 2 and the Prometheus sequels

My Movie Life: Justin Kurzel
The Macbeth director on how Rocky changed his life and the worst ever date movie

Life On Mars: Trips To The Red Planet
A dozen of cinema's Martian misadventures

All Hail Macbeth! The Scottish Play On Film
By the pricking of our thumbs, ten adaptations this way come(s)

10 Star Wars: The Force Awakens Toys You’ll Want To Own
Falcon quad copter? BB-8 Sphero? We’re already asking for pay raises…

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Empire print magazine

Delivered to your door – with exclusive subscriber only covers each month! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Empire digital magazine

Exclusive and enhanced content – get instant access via your iPad or Android device! Save money today and

Subscribe now!

Subscribe now and save up to 63%
Print, Digital & Package options available Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire Digital Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  Digital Edition  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)