Peter Falk: Solo Columbo

Atalented actor – the perfect match of actor to character – IM sure everyone would rather read a guest blog about zcolombo than listen to me talk about rehab therapy. My physical therapist called my muscle activation beautiful.

My speech therapist said we were able to check off several goals.

(Travalanche)

I confess to having something like a mental block when it comes to most of the screen work of the late Peter Falk (1927-2011). It’s entirely my hang-up. I’ll try to articulate what it is, or what I think it is. If you’ll read through to the end you’ll find that this is an essay very much in praise of Peter Falk, so don’t get your knickers in a twist.

We’ll start with his assets. Falk, intrinsically, was himself a character. With his gravelly voice, his glass eye, and his diminutive, scrappy stature, Falk had a very narrow range. So he made it his business to be extremely truthful, using the instrument he was given. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t create different characters. He played a different character for every role he was given to play, though the variations are often subtle given the idiosyncratic nature of his physiognomy. But…

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