If you grew up in the 1970s you couldn’t fail to have seen Columbo, the shabby mac wearing, shambling lieutenant of police with a pin sharp mind. My parents watched it avidly when it came to the UK, and now, forty years later, it’s on everyday on multiple channels and I know a lot of the stories like the back of my hand.
In the early 1980’s we went to LA to get a record deal and we slept on the floor of Corina Donegan’s (daughter of the late, great, Lonnie Donegan) apartment. One day we arrived back and there was an old friend of the family visiting. Even indoors he wore an ancient crumpled mac and was very pleasant and entertaining in his laid back way. After he left Corina told us that he was a good friend of Falk, and that he had been the inspiration for him when he’d first got the role of Columbo.
Peter Falk died aged 83. He won four Emmy’s for Columbo and had been nominated for two oscars. He also starred in one of my favourite movies, a cult classic, The Princess Bride.