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This chapter traces some of the highlights of actor Peter Falk’s career before he became Lt. Columbo. Nominated for both Emmy and Academy Awards two years running, in 1961 and 1962, he ultimately won an Emmy for the teleplay “The Price of Tomatoes” in 1962. Throughout the 1960s, Falk often played characters straddling both sides of the law. As he navigates the law, he also navigates class positions. In Columbo, the detective’s beat-up French Peugeot neatly represents these complex traversals. His affection for his car also demonstrates his overall warm and playful star persona that he developed over the years.

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