Peter Falk, who died June 23 at age 83, appeared in an art-house film by German director Wim Wenders back in the mid-'80s, and on Monday, the director posted a tribute to Falk in People.com. The film is "Wings of Desire," about a postwar Berlin filled with angels on earth who observed the living. Falk played a filmmaker who had been an angel but renounced his -- ummm -- angel's wings to become human and mortal.
Rarely a shoot was so much fun as those days with Peter Falk. Everybody recognized him, of course. As soon as you stood in the street with him, people showed up from everywhere. Pizza bakers came running out of their pizzerias, their hands still full of flour! Buses stopped! Old ladies crossed red lights for the first time in their lives!
I never saw anybody deal with his fame so generously and kindly. Peter Falk shook everybody's hands, smiled at everybody, gave everybody an autograph, had everybody spell their funny German names, had his picture taken with everybody! With no exception! And everybody walked away happily: "I met Columbo!"