83 (passed away Jun. 23rd, 2011)
Sep. 16th, 1927
New York City, New York, USA
Peter Falk's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2007 - Next
2005 - The Thing About My Folks
2004 - Shark Tale
2002 - Undisputed
2002 - The Kid Stays in the Picture
2001 - Made
2001 - Corky Romano
1993 - Faraway, So Close!
1992 - The Player
1990 - Tune in Tomorrow...
1988 - Vibes
1987 - The Princess Bride
1981 - ...All the Marbles
1981 - The Great Muppet Caper
1979 - The In-Laws
1978 - The Brink's Job
1978 - The Cheap Detective
1976 - Murder by Death
1974 - A Woman Under the Influence
1965 - The Great Race
1964 - Robin and the 7 Hoods
1963 - It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World
1962 - Pressure Point
1961 - Pocketful of Miracles
1960 - Murder, Inc.
Guest TV Roles
Peter Falk - Birthday (1927 - 2011)
Biography from Baseline's Encyclopaedia of Film
Born: September 16, 1927, New York, NY
Died: June 23, 2011, Hollywood, CA
Education: Hamilton College, Clinton NY; New School For Social Research, New York NY (political science); Maxwell School of Syracuse University, NY (public administration) Gifted as both a comic and dramatic player, and best known, from 1971 to 1977, as scrubby, deceptively bumbling Lieutenant
Spouse Shera Danese (? - present)
He began his adult life as a cook with the merchant marine and, after acquiring a B.A. from the New School for Social Research and an M.B.A. from Syracuse University in public administration, became an efficiency expert for the Budget Bureau of the state of Connecticut. Bored with adding figures, he became interested in amateur dramatics and in 1955 turned professional with the encouragement of Eva Le Gallienne.He first gained attention in the off-Broadway production of `The Iceman Cometh,' which led to a busy career on Broadway and TV and in films. Adept at portraying Runyonesque hoodlums and big-city blue-collar characters, he won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of a truck driver in the TV play `Price of Tomatoes' and three others for his title role as an eccentric detective in the popular `Columbo' series (1971---77; late 80s revival
plus several television movies based on the series in the late 80s and early 90s).
Columbo on TV's NBC Sunday Mystery Movie. Falk appeared in three John Cassavetes films in the 1970s and gave a memorable performance, as himself, in Wim Wenders's art-house success WINGS OF DESIRE (1988).
He received Oscar nominations as best supporting actor for his work in the films Murder Inc. (1960) and Pocketful of Miracles (1961). In 1972 he won a Tony for his performance in Broadway's `The Prisoner of Second Avenue.' His characters derive added authenticity from his squinty gaze, the result of the loss of an eye at the age of three.
Nominated for Actor 1960 : MURDER, INC.
Nominated for Supporting Actor 1961 : POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES
Music video for Ray Parker Jr.: "Ghostbusters"
Additional Info/ Trivia
One of his greatest passions is drawing and sketching; has studio on grounds of Beverly Hills estate.
His right eye was surgically removed at the age of three, because of cancer.
Graduated from Ossining High School.
President of his class.
Worked as an efficiency expert for the Budget Bureau of the state of Connecticut before becoming an actor. Studied acting with Eva Le Galliene and Sanford Meisner.
Is a Certified Public Accountant.
Falk puts damper on rumor that his trademark 'Columbo' raincoat has been placed in the Smithsonian Institution: says it's in his upstairs closet.
First foray into acting: filled in the role of detective in high school play when original student-actor fell sick. Left college to serve as a cook in the Merchant Marines. Returned and received poli. sci degree from NY's New School, then graduate degree from Syracuse U. Applied to CIA, but was turned down. Then took state budget job in Hartford, CT. Five years after he started taking acting lessons, he earned first Oscar nomination.
Columbia Studios chief, the boorish Harry Cohn, rejected Falk declaring, "For the same money, I can get an actor with two eyes!"
Celebrity sponsor of the Great American Meatout, March 20, 2001.
Falk's mother is Russian and his father was Polish, with a mix of Hungarian and Czech further back in their ancestry. So, contrary to Falk's public image, he is not an Italian but a mixture of very hardy Eastern European stock.
Once when he was playing in a Little League game, the umpire called him out. Falk thought that he was safe. He pulled his glass eye out of its socket and handed it to the umpire, telling him, "Here, I think you might need this."
- In 1961, he became the first actor nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy in the same year, receiving best supporting nominations for the movie _Murder, Inc. (1960)_ (qv) and the TV show _"The Law and Mr. Jones" (1960)_ (qv). He followed up in 1962 by being doubly nominated again for supporting actor for the movie _Pocketful of Miracles (1961)_ (qv) and best actor (he won) for "The Price of Tomatoes," an episode of _"The Dick Powell Show" (1961)_ (qv).
- Diagnosed with dementia, probably brought on by Alzheimer's disease, in 2008.
- He has inspired at least two Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters. Dick Dastardly in _"Wacky Races" (1968)_ (qv) was based on Falk's Max Meen from _The Great Race (1965)_ (qv), and Mumbly, the detective dog on _"The New Tom & Jerry Show" (1975)_ (qv) was loosely based on Columbo.
- Peter Falk's great-grandfather was Miksa Falk, a well-known Hungarian writer and politician. He was the editor of the liberal Hungarian newspaper, the Pester Lloyd.
- Has his look-alike puppet in the French show _"Les guignols de l'info" (1988)_ (qv).
- Falk puts damper on rumor that his trademark Columbo raincoat has been placed in the Smithsonian Institution: says it's in his upstairs closet.
- His daughter, 'Catherine Falk' (qv), is a private detective in real life.
- Columbo's first name is never mentioned in the series. Though it was reported to be Philip Columbo by Fred Worth in his book 'Super Trivia' (1977) and later copied by the makers of Trivial Pursuit in 1984, Worth admitted to having fabricated the name as a means of proof of copyright in case someone were to have pirated his book (which someone did). The case went all the way to the Supreme Court, but was thrown out in the end.