The brilliant Peter Falk, star of stage and screen for many decades, will finally receive another crown jewel for all his achievements. After a few Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe award, and five Emmys, the native New Yorker is getting his gold star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame next to his friend and fellow actor Joe Mantegna. “My dear friend Peter Falk never got one because he just never looked into it,” Mantegna says, “so we took it upon ourselves to get it done.” On Thursday, July 25, Falk’s star will be unveiled. “His is going to be next to mine because he was such a dear friend and I wanted to see that happen,” adds Mantegna. Throughout his stellar career Falk worked with Mantegna on several projects including a tour of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross. Falk also lent his star power to Mantegna’s directorial debut Lakeboat.
In his pre-teen years, Falk performed his first acting role on stage in The Pirates of Penzance while attending camp. He later joined the Merchant Marines. At age 29 he made the decision to go for acting full-time and began appearing in many off-Broadway productions. After relocating to Hollywood a few years later he earned two Academy Award nominations and took home an Emmy for his work on screen, all within a very short time span.
As a toddler he lost his right eye when a tumor had to be removed; it was replaced by the now famous glass eye. Somehow he magically seemed to be able to form a very unique career in the entertainment world because of it. Case in point, his most iconic role: Colombo. That eye identified so well with the character that Falk went on to earn another four Emmy Awards for that role. Not bad for a guy who wanted to join the CIA in real life (but was unable due to union discrepancies while in the Marines). In 1996, Falk was voted one of the 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time by TV Guide.
Another highlight in Falk’s career was the comedic caper The In-Laws with Alan Arkin. Director Rob Reiner said Falk’s work with Arkin in that film was “one of the most brilliant comedy pairings we’ve seen on screen.” Other notable movie credits include Stanley Kramer’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Robin and the 7 Hoods with the original Rat Pack, The Princess Bride, and The Cheap Detective.
Falk, who passed away at his Beverly Hills home in 2011, enjoyed drawing in his spare time and many of his charcoal artworks have been part of numerous exhibits and gallery showings around the world. He released his memoir Just One More Thing (Carroll & Graf) in 2006. His star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame will be located at 6654 Hollywood Blvd.