Peter Falk, best known for his character as the eccentric, and perhaps a little bumbling with style, old raincoat wearing Columbo, has passed away. Falk died at the age of 83 in Beverly Hills, California.
Peter Falk was a favorite of mine because, like myself, his detective character was not one to overly concern himself with having the best things, making sure everything was spotless, nor did he care about being among those that have somehow personally elevated themselves above the rest of the people of the world. He was practical, never in a rush, and enjoyed life as a simple man.
I always wondered if the real Peter Falk was similar. A little research revealed the character and the man had quite a bit in common.
Columbo was a police detective that seemed to always have all of the puzzle pieces, but could never put them all together until the final moment, and the audience enjoyed every minute of the disjointed journey on each episode. He often would be headed out the door, stop in the doorway, and turn around to ask one more question that seemed to be an afterthought. . . and the suspect would be taken aback.
Often, that is where the key of the mystery began to unravel.
His style was without flare, which enabled him to creep up unexpectedly to pull the rabbit out of the hat when nobody else could.
Ahhh, and there’s just one more thing…
Despite Columbo’s ability to seem confused in the midst of a deep thought, his skill was unmatched. The answer was always there, but he didn’t let the cat out of the bag until the right moment. Good always prevailed, and Columbo was the “good guy.”
Peter Falk inspired a generation to think deeply without bursting a blood vessel, and to not spend too much time worried about what other people think. Columbo, and Peter Falk, was happy with life as it was. Image only goes so far. The simple things in life; a cigar, a loyal dog, a glass of juice, a car that gets one from point A to point B without a lot of flash, and finding the truth through the clues of life; seemed to be what was important to both Falk’s character, and himself.
His was a philosophy that made him relate-able to the average viewer, and a pleasure to watch on the little screen.
Columbo didn’t even need the flash of too many names. “Columbo” was enough. Humor, intelligence, simplicity, hardly perfect, and no flash. Peter Falk was that man. Fun to watch as an actor, and I am sure a pleasure to have as a friend and family member.
Falk will be missed.
He will be remembered as a good and simple man, unconventional, walking down the dark streets in search of the truth, wearing an old raincoat, prevailing in the end after getting the answers because he dared to ask “one more thing.”