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Columbo (TV Series 1971–2003) Poster

(1971–2003)

Trivia

Columbo's first name is never uttered throughout the series. In one episode, however, his badge was briefly shown, listing his full name as Frank Columbo. A Canadian trivia game once claimed his first name was "Phillip". Series co-creator William Link has said that as far as he is concerned, neither one is correct and Columbo has NO first name besides "Lieutenant".
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The car driven by Columbo is a 1959 Peugeot 403 convertible. Only 504 two door convertibles were made in 1959. The original was sold when NBC dropped the series, and a replacement had to be located when ABC resumed production.
The very first episode, (aside from the two pilots) "Murder by the Book", was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Steven Bochco. Spielberg was never again involved with the series, through Bochco wrote several other episodes.
Originally, Bing Crosby was offered the role of Columbo. However, citing the fact that he didn't want to commit to a series, he refused the role. He also said, jokingly, that doing the series would interfere with his golf game.
His real life wife Shera Danese appeared in six episodes.
Theme song for the series is "This Old Man".
Peter Falk appeared as Columbo in Dean Martin's roast to Frank Sinatra; He asks for an autograph to be dedicated to Rose - His wife.
Unlike his cigar-smoking character, Peter Falk was a lifelong cigarette smoker.
Patrick McGoohan stars four times. Interestingly enough each appearance is in the third show of the particular season.
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Despite "Columbo" being an actual Italian last name, in Italy the character and series name has been changed to "Colombo".
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Seven years before Peter Falk played Colombo, an actor named Bert Freed played the role for a 1960 television episode of "the Chevy mystery theatre",
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Spoilers 

The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

Only five actors played two or more murderers on the series: Patrick McGoohan (four), Jack Cassidy (three), Robert Culp (three), George Hamilton (two) and William Shatner (two).

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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