Columbo (TV Series 1971–2003) Poster



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.
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.
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".
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 still honored its career influence when attended a support event for 'The Rose Theatre', attended by 'Peter Falk' and many other cast. Bochco wrote several other episodes.
Theme song for the series is "This Old Man".
Only five actors played two or more murderers on the series: Patrick McGoohan (four), Robert Culp (three), George Hamilton (two), William Shatner (two), and the late Jack Cassidy (three).
Peter Falk appeared in character as Columbo at The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Frank Sinatra in 1978; he asks for an autograph to be dedicated to Rose, his wife.
Peter Falk's real life wife Shera Danese appeared in six episodes, each time as a completely unique character.
Unlike his cigar-smoking character, Peter Falk was a lifelong cigarette smoker.
Despite "Columbo" being an actual Italian last name, in Italy the character and series name has been changed to "Colombo".
Patrick McGoohan stars four times. Interestingly enough each appearance is in the third show of the particular season.
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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 Show (1960).
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Peter Falk, as Lt. Columbo, plays essentially the same part, in the same way, that he played as Police Lt. Bixbee in the 1966 movie "Penelope".
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