R.I.P. Peter Falk

Beloved character actor Peter Falk passed away late last week at the age of 83. Although best remembered for his long-running role as the absent-minded detective Columbo on television, Falk also appeared in numerous feature films over the years. While not many of them are available on Blu-ray yet, fortunately a couple of his best are.

Despite losing his right eye to cancer at a very young age, Falk managed to carve a career for himself as an actor, typically (but not always) playing endearing eccentrics or curmudgeons. In the 1970s, his friendship with actor/director John Cassevetes led to starring roles that stretched his dramatic muscles in ‘Husbands’ and ‘A Woman Under the Influence’.

Falk had a banner year in 1987, both in the mainstream and art film circuits. He of course played the kindly grandfather who read Fred Savage the title story in ‘The Princess Bride‘. He also appeared as himself (sort of), in Wim Wender’s existential drama ‘Wings of Desire‘.

Falk had a bit part as “Third Cab Driver” in the 1963 all-star comedy ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World‘, which will be released on Blu-ray as a Walmart exclusive on July 5th. More recently, he popped up in the Nicolas Cage action flick ‘Next‘.

Unfortunately, the actor was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a few years ago, and suffered from advanced dementia that left him unable to remember even his signature role in the ‘Columbo’ TV series. In 2009, he was placed into a conservatorship by court order when his wife and daughter battled for control of his personal affairs.

If you haven’t already, now would be a good time to revisit ‘Wings of Desire’ and ‘The Princess Bride’. Both are wonderful movies, and look terrific on Blu-ray.

[Source: ABC News]


  1. what a great actor. i had a copy of the princess bride when i was a teen after it hit HBO. i lived out in the country as a kid and didnt have HBO so i had a friend tape it for me that. tape was pretty worn soon after.

  2. I’m so glad my parents encouraged me to watch Columbo with them. There’s just nothing like a great character that we all know and love, especially one who goes against the Hollywood stereotype for what a “hero” should be.

    I also loved The Princess Bride to pieces, and I saw him later in “The In-Laws” and laughed until my sides hurt!

    He will be missed.

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