I was sad to read today that one of my all time favorite actors passed away. Peter Falk, best known for his rumpled raincoat, stinky cigar, and that famous question, “just one more thing…”.
“Just one more thing…” meant he was hot on the trail and would soon solve the latest whodunit.
I can picture his bushy eyebrows, messy hair and the signature hand to the forehead as he pondered a situation. His fans and ardent followers always knew that the question meant the end was near for the unsuspecting and not so clever criminal.
While perusing a few bios about Peter today, I was surprised that while they all refered to the hit television series and several movies, I didn’t see any mention of two of my favorites.
For all of the Princess Bride fans, myself included, I loved him as the grandfather in the movie where ‘as you wish’ means ‘i love you’. His patience with the young Fred Savage as his grandson is touching.
His character guides his grandson from bored about the thought of a book to clutching his covers as he hears the tale of fencing, escapes, true love, and miracles. Not unlike his character Columbo, he duped his unsuspecting grandson, into a confession when he admitted to enjoying the book.
I’ve seen the movie at least a hundred times, and every time, I get a lump in my throat when he responds to the request to read the book again with the three words “as you wish”.
My favorite of all time though has to be his role as Vince Ricardo, a CIA agent in the hysterical comedy “The In-Laws”. The version from 1979, the funny one in my opinion.
I can’t even begin to bring justice to the description of the zany characters, bumbling mishaps, or its brilliant comedic pace. I think it’s best summed up with my favorite quote from the movie.
Serpentine, Shel! Serpentine!