Today I lost a friend and a brilliant actor. He was a funny, charming, extremely talented and endearing man. To meet him was to like him. He had a sparkle that many actors off camera do not have.
It was our (Dick Levinson’s and my) lucky day when we first met Peter at the William Morris Agency, our mutual agents. After that, the three of us would hang out and have breakfasts at a drugstore coffee shop on Broadway exchanging show-biz information that might help all of us. Peter was starting out as an actor and we had just processed out of the peacetime army. We had come to New York from Philadelphia as young aspiring writers.
A few years later, we found ourselves in Hollywood, having sold our stage play “Prescription: Murder” to Universal. In it we introduced the character, Lt. Columbo. We were frustrated searching around trying to find the perfect actor for the lead. And then we received a fateful phone call from Peter. “Boys, I’ll kill to play that cop!” No meetings necessary, no screen tests needed. We handed him the part and instantly he owned it. The rest is television history.
This is a dark day for Peter's family, friends and fans all over the world. At least we still have him, if only on film.
Farewell, Peter ...
For more on Peter and Columbo please go to THE ULTIMATE COLUMBO SITE.
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Photo of William Link and Peter Falk by Douglas Kirkland
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