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 (his birthday month) 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.
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
Alongside Elaine May in 1967 promotional photo for the movie Luv
Playing ball with daughter Catherine
One of the iconic production stills from ‘Husbands’, 1970
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
Rocking the Oscars as an award presenter in 1974
Peter Falk image from the February 1974 issue of Photoplay magazine
Magnificent portrait of Peter from the Dan Wynn archive
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 1974
Delightful publicity shot for Columbo, mid 70s
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
Lookin’ slick in a tux in 1978’s Murder Under Glass
Peter having a hoot in what appears to be a mobile home, late 1970s. Could he BE having any more fun?
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
At home with Shera and the dogs, 2000s
What a boss! At home with a cigar, 2000s
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.
Thank you for this post, i love columbo. Like you, i prefer the earlier episodes although there is a charm to the later episodes also. A true star with a naughty sexy look, loved peter falk in the never ending story as the grandad reading the story. Loved and not forgotten, columbo is timeless and so glad i can watch episodes over & over. His was the first dvd box set i ever bought.
I was honored to have been apart of the camera dept. that filmed Peter Falk’s last film, American Cowslip. His character was opposite Val Kilmer, Diane Ladd, Bruce Dern, Cloris Leachman. I would love to share a few photos from the set i grabbed.
I’m surprised that Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood, his three co-stars from “The Great Race” were never guest-murderers on Columbo. If anyone knows why each of them never were, I’d love to hear any stories regarding this.
I’m aware that Tony Curtis’ ex-wife Janet Leigh was a guest-murderer, though it was long after they were divorced. By the way, I always thought that was very well done, the way they used actual footage of her singing and dancing from 1953 in “Walking My Baby Back Home” that she had made with Donald O’Connor.
But I digress. What I’m really interested in is why Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood never guested. On IMDB, if you go to the webpage for “The Great Race” and click on the movie poster, there are 148 photos, many of them off-camera, and the four of them look to be very good friends, and Peter Falk always seemed to be very loyal to his friends. Hence, I can’t understand why we were deprived of what would have surely been outstanding Columbo episodes with the three of them, particularly Jack Lemmon, with whom he had such great chemistry as Professor Fate and Max.
Truly excellent photos. Thanks a bunch. Aside from Columbo, my favorite Peter Falk appearances were “Murder by death” and when he, Ben Gazarra, and John Cassavetes showed up drunk as a skunk and frightened the milquetoast Dick Cavett on his dreary talkshow in the ’70’s. It was the most exciting thing that ever happened on Dick’s show, if not his entire timid life.
Sadly, they just don’t make ’em like Mr. Falk anymore. So glad his work (and play) will be preserved as a ‘celluloid hero’ for eternity. (forgive the Ray Davies/Kinks reference)
Hi, I loved looking at these photos. I love Columbo and watch every week. There are usually 3 episodes played on 5usa channel on a Sunday in the UK and an episode on ITV3 on a Saturday. I will have to check out more of Peter’s films. I remember he had a small part in Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World.
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…
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.
Check him out in The Brink’s Job. I watched him film this on the Streets of Boston. he was a terrific guy.
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.
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!
I thought he was wonderful in “The In-Laws” but prefer Columbo too.
I saw that. Very nice work. Aurora is a goodie.
I love the cooking scene with Martin Landau even though the continuity person did trip up!!
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
Great post – one of my favorites was his performance in “The In-Laws” – he was incredibly funny.
Great photos! Thank you for posting these.
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.
Thank you A LOT 🙂
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.
I think it’s likely that there was plenty of favouritism in her getting so many plum roles! Luckily most in the 90s episodes, which I view far less often.
The greatest moment that peter falk ever did for me was when i watched the episode “The Mirror” from the twighlight zone which he played a dictator. This was also the first time i saw him act.
Was that the one where he was a Che Guevara / Fidel Castro type?
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!
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.
Hi Amanda, thanks for that, and for sharing that recollection. A lovely one.
Quality post, as always. Loved Peter as Columbo, but I also loved him in Murder By Death, Happy New Year, A Woman Under The Influence, and Mikey and Nicky.
Hi Lee, thanks for that positive feedback. And, yes, Peter was excellent in all of those. A very versatile fellow.
i love watching columbo to I wish they can bring it on every night beside just on sunday