Peter Falk, 1927-2011

I’ve mentioned my love of Columbo and its wonderful star Peter Falk before, of course. From reading Peter’s book, it was quite clear that there was a lot of Peter in the character of Columbo, who is still one of my favourite fictional detectives. There was always something appealing about this dishevelled, apparently naive figure who was, rather like such other heroes like Sherlock Holmes and The Doctor[1], the smartest man in the room, or indeed the general vicinity.

It’s reported that he died peacefully in his sleep, and I’m less saddened by his actual death than by the knowledge that his last years were blighted by Alzheimer’s disease. And while I wasn’t expecting to ever see him don the tatty old raincoat again, it still feels like something good has gone from the world.

Watch some Columbo episodes. And read his book if you haven’t done so already. Hell, read it again if you have.

[1] I’m thinking of Tom Baker here, particularly in City of Death, where he inspired a villain to say something along the lines that he wasn’t as stupid as he appeared to be, to which the other villain replied that nobody could be as stupid as the Doctor appeared to be…