After a wonderful career including memorable performances on the stage and screens, big and small, the great Peter Falk passed away at his Beverly Hills home Thursday night at the age of 83. The actor had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease at the time of his passing.
Though he performed in movies and on the stage as well, it is his TV work for which he will be best remembered. Falk starred on the hit crime series, Columbo, which ran sporadically from 1971 to 2003. Only 68 episodes were produced in all””running 2 to 8 episodes per year from ’71 to ’78 before taking over a decade off, and then returning from ’89 to ’03 for a few episodes here and there””and the show was noted for revealing who committed the crimes at the very start of the show, leaving viewers to only wait and see how the crafty Columbo figures out who it is for himself.
Falk was nominated for ten Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Emmys for Columbo, taking home four of those awards. He was also nominated for two Academy Awards for his performances in the films Murder, Inc. (1960) and Pocketful of Miracles (1961).
But for many of us who were either non–existent or too young to remember Columbo (myself included), there was another very brief but still wonderfully memorable performance that still stands strong today. Falk played the lovable grandfather who comes to visit his sick, video game-loving grandson to read him the book he read to the boy’s father when he was sick, and the book his father read to him: The Princess Bride.