To celebrate the return of Lieutenant Columbo in a new Complete Series boxset, here are the ten things you never knew about Columbo!
► The Columbo character first appeared in a 1960 episode of the television anthology series The Chevy Mystery Show, played by Bert Freed.
► Peter Falk personally selected Columbo’s car – a 1959 Peugeot 403 Cabriolet convertible – after spotting it in a parking lot at Universal Studios. Columbo wrecks the car at least four times on the show.
► In some episodes, Columbo does not even appear until as late as 30 minutes into the story.
► Peter Falk has a glass eye, after his right eye was removed at the age of three because of a malignant tumor.
► Peter Falk made his first stage appearance at the age of 12, in The Pirates Of Penzance in upstate New York.
► Columbo often refers to his wife Mrs Columbo, although she has never been seen on screen. However, Columbo is sometimes seen talking on the telephone with her and other characters describe meeting her.
► After the original Columbo series was cancelled in 1978, Mrs. Columbo was the lead character in a TV detective series of the same name.
► Peter Falk’s real-life wife, Shera Danese, appeared in six episodes of Columbo in various different roles.
► Famous guest stars on the show include Billy Connolly, Faye Dunaway, Honor Blackman, Johnny Cash, Dick Van Dyke, Leonard Nimoy, Donald Pleasence, Martin Sheen, Leslie Nielson and William Shatner.
► Steven Spielberg once directed an episode of the show during its first run.
Columbo: The Complete Series is released on DVD on Monday 19th October 2009 by Universal Playback.