Peter Falk, the actor discriminated against for having a glass eye who created detective Columbo and ended up insane

Detective Columbo, the wonderful creation of actor Peter Falk

He wanted to be a marine and a member of the CIA, but was rejected because he was missing his right eye. In the cinema they also segregated it. Until the series “Columbo”, whose first episode was directed by Steven Spielberg, he achieved worldwide success, he was admired even by Emperor Hiroito and put the Romanian communist regime in check. Family fights and their sad ending

Like the great judokas, Peter Michael Falk He made his weakness a strength. In the early 1970s, when he arrived at the casting for “Columbo” At the age of 44, he knew how to mold a character in his favor who was not yet the perfect anti-hero that he would be. Falk, five foot six, glass right eye and slurred speechHe had experience in theatre, television and cinema: he clearly understood that he was not for a James Bond or a tough Humphrey Bogart-style noir detective and that he had to (re)create an investigator without glamor or sex appeal. Or better, with a different sex appeal: that of the hero without attributes. Remember: Columbo -Falk’s construction- had the rare perfection of those out of the norm. He was, still is, a brilliant loser.

By infobae

Scruffy, clumsy, scattered, always sharp, Columbo became the consecratory hinge in Falk’s career. But The actor’s life had started badly and was going to end worse (well, what life doesn’t end worse, right?). The son of immigrants from Eastern Europe, of a Russian mother and a Polish father, he was born in New York on September 16, 1927. At the age of three, a malignant cancer was discovered in his right eye: they had to remove it and put in a glass ocular prosthesis. A childhood of pure bullying at school followed; then, a youth with sentimental and work rejections, although not in all cases.

Read what The New York Times published after his death, on June 23, 2011 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles: “Falk’s ocular prosthesis gave his characters a peculiar, almost sly look. He also had a slurred speech problem that caused him to pronounce the L with a strange sound that came from the bottom of his throat and he was especially emphatic every time he pronounced the name Columbo in the series. As if the “defects” of the actor were transformed into virtues of his character. And so it was. Lieutenant Columbo, without a first name -although on his badge, shown fleetingly, it appeared as Frank-, with a dog named Perro and an omnipresent wife although we did not see it, remains clear, intact, invulnerable to the passage of time, twelve years after Falk’s death.

The first role he played, at the age of 12, was in the play “The Pirates of Penzance.” His dream was to be a Marine and, later, it would be to fight in World War II. In the US Army they rejected him – and perhaps saved his life – for the ocular prosthesis. He then activated plan B: being a cook in the merchant marine, a job he got bored of at the time and which did not allow him to study. In 1951, far from the oceanic reality of him, earned a degree in Political Science from Syracuse University. Later, he worked as an administrator. Later, he tried to enter the CIA: he received a new rejection for physical reasons. “I didn’t know what to do with my life”, he would admit much later. His impulses seemed to drag him towards action; he would find her, as an artist, in the fictional world.

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Peter Falk, the actor discriminated against for having a glass eye who created detective Columbo and ended up insane