Peter Falk died yesterday at the age of 83. Though everyone could probably quickly identify him as the old man with the glass eye who played TV’s all-knowing Detective Columbo (ironically, his daughter really was a private detective), the man had a pretty interesting history. Like, after serving in the Merchant Marines, he earned a bachelors degree at the New School for Social Research, and later a Master’s in Public Administration from Syracuse. He even worked as an efficiency expert before moving on to a fairly successful career in film and television. So, it was heartbreaking to read that in 2008, his wife reported that she had become Falk’s proxy because the Alzheimer’s had gotten so bad that he no longer recognized anyone.
What never seemed to be as widely publicized was that Falk formally trained as an artist, studying at the Art Students League in New York (that’s his illustration above). Some of his work is on display on his website (though it doesn’t look to be a functioning one anymore), but my hope is that, as a sort of memoriam, the work will go on display somewhere. It’s a great collection (assuming anyone held on to it) and seems like it’d be a draw in the New York Circuit.