Great news! A new biography of Peter Falk is out now, and should be considered essential reading for all Columbo fans.
Entitled Beyond Columbo: The Life and Times of Peter Falk, the book was written by Richard A. Lertzman and William J. Birnes and features very cool cover artwork by renowned illustrator Drew Friedman.
This is actually the first biography of Peter Falk to hit shelves (although Peter’s excellent autobiography Just One More Thing was released in 2007) and it’s a comprehensive read, weighing in at over 400 pages with splendid photography throughout.
Columbo is well covered throughout, but the book is much more than that, giving details of Peter’s early years, his family history, his life before acting and his early acting roles. Highlights include, but are not limited to:-
- Info on Peter trying to join the Marines and the CIA
- How he worked for Marshall Tito in Communist Yugoslavia
- Why he was tailed by Soviet intelligence
- Why he turned his back on the family’s business to follow his heart
- Peter’s womanising ways throughout two marriages
- His sad decline into ill health
It’s an eye-opener alright, especially the info about Peter’s private life, and how he hooked up with Shera Danese and his otherwise wicked ways with women. The guy was not a saint, and this section of the book may shock ardent fans.
However, what’s most delightful for me is that Lertzman and Birnes managed to secure interviews with many of Falk’s co-stars – both in Columbo and elsewhere – who give their insight on the man and the actor.
The list of interviewees includes Columbo alumni Dabney Coleman, Ed Begley Jr, Steven Bochco and Steven Spielberg, who said of Falk: “He was a blast to work with and I learned more about acting from him at that early stage in my career than I had from anyone else.” High praise indeed!
“It goes without saying that this is well worth getting hold of. I’m finding there’s LOADS to enjoy.”
Other participants were Paul Reiser, Kevin Pollack, Dan Lauria and Joe Mantegna of Criminal Minds fame, who also wrote the book’s foreword.
It goes without saying that this is well worth getting hold of. I’m still working through it myself and finding there’s LOADS to enjoy, and loads of interesting aspects of Peter’s life I wasn’t aware of. So if you love Peter and / or Columbo, buy with confidence!
The book is available now for Kindle and other e-readers at the sensational price of $9. A paperback version costs $24.95.
Where to buy?
If you do get a copy, let me know what you think of it in the comments section below. And happy reading!