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The essential Peter Falk

A few of the icon’s greatest roles

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Columbo (1971-78)
With his rumpled raincoat and knack for asking one last question on his way out the door, Falk’s disheveled TV sleuth became an American icon…and the role of a lifetime.

A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
Gena Rowlands steals the spotlight as a wife teetering on the edge of sanity, but as her long-suffering husband, Falk delivers one of his finest and most subtle performances.

The In-Laws (1979)
Falk and Alan Arkin team up for one of the dizziest, fizziest screwball comedies of the ’70s, playing mismatched fathers of a bride and groom on the eve of their wedding.

Wings of Desire (1987)
What is Falk doing in an arty black- and-white Wim Wenders film? Playing a gruff former angel named Peter Falk, of course. A performance as sweet as it is unlikely.

The Princess Bride (1987)
If you’re a child of the ’80s, chances are it’s Falk’s role as a kindly, storybook-reading grandfather that you remember, not Columbo. Either way, that memory is a fond one.