One of the great things about Peter Falk is that he lived two lives. For some he’s the TV star of Columbo, the grandfather in The Princess Bride. He’s the guy who’s been in your home for years, with his cigar and mumbly “one more thing” ways. The other Falk is the star of a number of John Cassavettes films – like Husbands and A Woman Under the Influence - and the performer Wim Wenders suggested was an angel in his etherial Wings of Desire.
Falk, like many of his generation, got his start in television. Bouncing from live shows to things like The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour he got exposure, and did some supporting work in films like It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and The Great Race. But his friendships with the acting community got him work in more challenging films, while Columbo proved a steady gig as it was a character he would play for over thirty years.
Falk was one of the few actors who could appear in a film like Corky Romano and never lose his credentials, but he’s one of the rare performers whose authenticity allowed him to appear in high and low art without ever being viewed poorly for either. He was also inspired, and usually brought something interesting to every role.For those looking to see Falk at his best, A Woman Under the Influence is probably his greatest on screen performance.
What’s your Favorite Peter Falk performance?