Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just One More Thing, by Peter Falk

Just One More Thing: Stories From My Life, by Peter Falk

Between Columbo, The Princess Bride, and Robin and the 7 Hoods, Peter Falk is one of my favorite actors. This book is an autobiography of a sort, but with less a narrative and more a collection of stories. In Falk’s own words, the book contains “stories that supply a chuckle, that are designed for people like me, who pick up a book when they get into bed, read for 12 minutes, and doze off, hopefully with a smile on their lips.” While I read a lot more than 12 minutes a day, I certainly had a smile on my lips every time I opened it!

The tales shared range from Falk’s tortured path to acting—via accounting—to his six arrests to his glass eye to working with John Cassavetes. Falk’s sense of humor is dry and sarcastic, and his self-deprecating approach comes off as genuine, not the false modesty that many Hollywood types project. One of my favorite anecdotes was about Columbo’s famous raincoat; the Smithsonian believes they have it, but Falk has it in his closet at home! At one point he writes, “It’s a known fact that most actors starve to death.” Considering he was nominated for an Oscar for his first major role, it has been a long time since he has worried about starving. Now with a successful memoir under his belt, it will be that much longer.

First Sentence:
It was 1955.

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