Peter Falk, the actor who played the inimitable Lt. Columbo, passed away at the age of 83, according to KTLA.
During Columbo’s 13 seasons, Falk’s homicide detective was rumpled and bumbling, very soliticitous and ingratiating with the suspects who he always treated as his betters. He was the northeastern version of the slow-talking southern gentleman, routinely and dangerously underestimated. Besides his ever-present cigar, wrinkled trenchcoat, and his deference to the unseen missus, I liked that these mysteries were true puzzles of logistics, psychology, and physical evidence. Almost fair play, if you were as observant as the sharp detective. Of course, back in the 1970s when the series began, viewers couldn’t pause and rewind the opening over again to catch critical details, and when Columbo needed a refresher, he’d orchestrate a re-enactment, and then, invariably, the confession.
It’s sad that there won’t be “just one more thing” from this man who’s become indivisible from the investigator he portrayed, but thanks for all the great mysteries, the charm, and the doggie bags!