Best known as the rumpled television detective Columbo, character actor Peter Falk has also enjoyed a successful film career, often in association with the groundbreaking independent filmmaker John Cassavetes. Born September 16, 1927, in New York City, Falk lost an eye at the age of three, resulting in the odd, squinting gaze which later became his trademark. He initially pursued a career in public administration, serving as an efficiency expert with the Connecticut Budget Bureau, but in the early ’50s, boredom with his work sparked an interest in acting. By 1955, Falk had turned professional, and an appearance in a New York production of The Iceman Cometh earned him much attention. He soon graduated to Broadway and in 1958 made his feature debut in the Nicholas Ray/Budd Schulberg drama Wind Across the Everglades.
A diminutive, stocky, and unkempt presence, Falk’s early screen roles often portrayed him as a blue-collar type or as a thug; it was as the… read more