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“Columbo brought us together!” A transatlantic love story

Peter Falk as Columbo
Lieutenant Columbo: unlikely matchmaker

Those of you who read this blog regularly may know that I’m not a sentimental chap. Indeed, I’m more likely to described as curmudgeonly or grouchy than mawkish or misty-eyed.

However, the following story has managed to warm the cockles of my icy heart, featuring as it does a couple from either side of the Atlantic Ocean who found love thanks to the unlikely combination of Lieutenant Columbo and social media. I know, right?

Yes folks, thanks to a chance encounter on Twitter (all too often a hotbed for hatred, bigotry and dunderheaded keyboard warriors), New Mexico-based Suzanne Gabaldon made the acquaintance of Graham Harris, a Brit based in Essex. She was a divorcee, he a widower, and neither could have predicted love would come a-looking when Suzanne spotted an innocent tweet of Graham’s that said: “There’s nothing on Netflix, I think I’ll stick with Columbo.”

That fateful date was November 4th, 2019. Suzanne replied to the tweet to let Graham know that she, too, was a big fan of the Lieutenant – and things skyrocketed from there. The two struck up an instant rapport via DMs and swiftly upgraded to video conference chats as the relationship blossomed – despite a seven-hour time difference.

Graham and Suzanne: a match made in Columbo heaven!

“We did a lot of talking about Columbo,” Suzanne recalls. “We laughed about the tumble down the hill in The Greenhouse Jungle. Graham told me his favorite episode was Any Old Port in a Storm and I told him how much I like How to Dial a Murder. We both knew that very day we wanted to be together.

“We watch Columbo together several times a week, texting each other about the episode. We both like Murder Under Glass, so we watch that quite often. We love hearing Columbo yell in Italian!”

Not unlike the scruffy Lieutenant plummeting down that hill in Greenhouse Jungle, Suzanne and Graham’s affections gathered pace fast. In December of 2019, Graham proposed having had an engagement ring delivered to Suzanne in the US. She accepted in a flash and put plans into place to travel to England to meet him in person for the first time.

“People do get surprised when we say we got together because of Columbo. We call Peter Falk our matchmaker.”

That trip took place in March of 2020 with the couple spending a blissful two weeks together, during which time they arranged to get married in May. There was a cloud on the horizon, though: a cloud in the shape of the COVID-19 global crisis.

“Unfortunately while I was in England, the pandemic was declared and countries’ borders were closing, making my return trip to the UK in May impossible,” Suzanne explains. “I barely made it home before they closed down travel between US and UK.

“However, even though the wedding had to be cancelled, we still consider ourselves married. We know we will be, because all we want is to be together. We are strong and know anything worthwhile is never easy. Both of us had been very lonely and we are so happy we found each other. We are kindred souls. Our connection is incredible.”

Columbo No Time to Die
Scenes like this are to be expected at the Gabaldon-Harris wedding

While the COVID crisis continues to cause delays and uncertainties as to precisely when they will tie the knot, the pair have filed a fiance visa application and the plan is for Graham to uproot permanently to the USA at the earliest opportunity. And you can bet that our mate Columbo will be a reassuring presence in the years to come.

“Graham has an eight-piece Columbo wall hanging, which we plan to hang up at our wedding,” says Suzanne. “We also want to say ‘Just one more thing… I do!‘ when we make our vows!

“People do get surprised when we say we got together because of Columbo, although fellow fans think it’s great. We call Peter Falk our matchmaker. Maybe when we’re finally settled we will even get a basset hound!”

So, there we have it, dear friends. Proof that publicly sharing one’s love of Columbo can open more doors that you’d ever think possible. On behalf of fans everywhere, I wish Suzanne and Graham the very best for the future – and a ‘fingers crossed’ that it won’t be too much longer before they’re finally wed.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go and dab my eyes with a kerchief at the thought that the humble Lieutenant has made love possible between two strangers who lived 5000 miles apart. I think Peter Falk would be absolutely delighted…


If you’ve got a heart-warming real-life story about how Columbo has positively impacted your life, do drop me a line at columbophile@hotmail.co.uk


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Peter Falk as Columbo
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17 thoughts on ““Columbo brought us together!” A transatlantic love story

  1. My congratulations to Suzanne and Graham. I wish you a long and lucky life together.
    Looking together to the show, I guess you will even like episodes as “undercover” or “strange bedfellows” (no pun intented).
    Will you write common remplies on CP’s website?

     
  2. A heart-warming story; the very best to them for the future.
    Great to see Catherine Falk has left a comment here also 🙂

     
  3. Columbo was always a favorite show of mine.. His quirky personality was what attracted me to this show.
    Always waiting for him to say, ‘”There’s just more thing….”

     
    • How very cool! Are you a regular contributor here?

      Am new to this site, so am expressing so much appreciation for Mr. Falk’s work. Knowing how much he was admired by his peers as well. I saw one of his acceptance speeches and it was wonderful!

      Thank you.

       
  4. It’s great that Columbo brought Suzanne and Graham together. Unfortunately, all real-life Columbo stories do not share the same happy ending.

    At the other end of the spectrum: In a Paris suburb in 1995, two killers — by their own admission — used “An Exercise in Fatality” (shown on French TV just weeks before) as a blueprint for their crime.

    I stumbled upon this story while researching my Olivier Cazeaux article (posted by CP two weeks ago). You can read more here: https://www.tonycomiti.com/catalogue/productions/killer-a-la-colombo/?lang=en and https://www.thefreelibrary.com/Columbo%27s+copy+killing.-a0102332463

    I always knew it didn’t pay to keep gym equipment in the house.

     
    • I didn’t know about that story. Interestingly, that’s the episode on MeTV tonight. I’ll make sure my wife doesn’t watch it. 😃

       
    • Interesting story!, not quite as linked, but of course Barbara Colby (Lilly lasanka) from murder by the book was herself murdered as she went back to her car after teaching an acting class, a case of life imitating art.

       
  5. Congratulations Graham and Suzanne…wonderful to see Columbo Soulmates connect. Liked: “We also want to say ‘Just one more thing… I do!’ when we make our vows!

     
  6. How very cool! All the best of fortune for the two of you! I’m assuming you’re inviting all of us, right? 😀

     
  7. That was such a sweet story <3 most anytime you walk into my house, you will see Columbo on my tv…because there is absolutely nothing on TV these days….and just one more thing, Lt. Columbo will always be in my heart.

     
  8. That was a lovely story and I don’t think anyone needs to apologize for (so-called) sentimentality. We need more happiness in this world. And if Columbo brought them together more power to a special interest. Thank you for sharing. Am so glad to be apart of this forum!

     
  9. Very best wishes and a long, happy life together to you both.

    Hope you both get the wedding done soon and that Suzanne won’t have to be a ‘Lady In Waiting’ for too long… see what I did there, eh? EH???

    *** sound of crickets ***

    Never mind, don’t get up, I’ll let myself out.

    Oh, just one more thing…

    Congrats to you both… hope your big day is everything you want it to be.

     
  10. Lovely story, proof that there is some good in social media. Best wishes to them both! hopefully they will be able to get married soon.

     

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