Peter Falk, is most popular for his role as Lt. Columbo in the television series Columbo. This cancer survivor—his right eye was surgically removed and was replaced by a glass one to remove a tumor—started, however, as a management analyst in Hartford, Connecticut, before deciding to become an actor at age 29.
Falk made his professional debut in an off-Broadway play, Don Juan, in 1956. That same year, he also appeared in the Broadway play Saint Joan. He also appeared in different television dramas, winning an Emmy Award for his performance in the Dick Powell drama “The Price of Tomatoes.” He also appeared in several movies, including the 1963 comedy It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World, and the 1964 Rat Pack movie Robin and the 7 Hoods. His performances in the 1961 film Murder, Inc. and the 1962 film Pocketful of Miracles gave him Academy Award nominations, both for best supporting actor.
In 1968, Peter Falk portrayed the role of Lt. Columbo— a bumbling and absent-minded police detective in Los Angeles—in the television movie Prescription: Murder. This led him to the title role in the NBC sitcom Columbo, which launched in 1971. He played this role until 2003, when the sitcom ended. The character became an American television icon, and Falk would win the first of his four Emmy Awards for Columbo in 1972. He also won a Golden Globe for the program in 1973.
He continued appearing in movies, especially those directed by his friend John Cassavetes, which include Husbands and A Woman Under the Influence. He also appeared in films like Arthur Miller’s 1979 film The In-Laws, and The Princess Bride, released in 1987. He returned to stage acting in 1998, in an off-Broadway production of Mr. Peters’ Connections, and last appeared on screen in Nicolas Cage’s 2007 film, Next.
Peter has a glass eye.
In 2005 he had a street renamed after him in his hometown of Ossining, New York. To unveil the Peter Falk Place street sign, he pulled off a trademark raincoat covering the sign.