"Certainly there are aspects of my personality that are very much like Columbo ? details are important to me, I'm not a very good dresser, I'm obsessive, I'm relentless," says Falk, the subject of Monday's A&E Biography (8 pm/ET, 9 pm/PT). Close friends agree the 72-year-old actor shares many traits with the popular TV detective that he began playing on a regular basis back in 1971.
"In all the years I've lived in an East Side apartment house, the only person my doorman ever stopped from coming up unannounced was Peter Falk, like he was a neighborhood bum," says sportswriter pal Dick Schaap. Adds Columbo co-producer Jack Horger: "Peter plays his personal life on screen. He is Columbo."
The A&E Biography also portrays Falk as a solitary type whose greatest passions include golf and drawing. He says his idea of heaven is "to get up in the morning, have a good breakfast and spend the rest of the day drawing." For second wife Shera Danese Falk, whom he married in 1977, his eccentric ways have taken some getting used to.
"We had a lot of rocky times," she says. "It wasn't my fault, it was his fault, and I think I filed for divorce twice and he filed once. We stuck it out and we ironed things out. We're both lucky we sanded off the rough spots. Maybe the rough spots are still there but they're just not important anymore. We're lucky to have each other." ? Rich Brown