PETER FALK Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » peter falk


Peter Michael Falk was born in New York City on September 16, 1927 and raised in Ossining, New York.  When he was twelve years old he made his first stage appearance in a production of The Pirates of Penzance at Camp High Point in upstate New York. 


After graduating from Ossining High School, where he was a star athlete and president of his class, Falk served as a cook in the Merchant Marine, then studied at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and completed his work for a B.A. degree in political science at the New School for Social Research in 1951.  He earned a Masters degree in public administration at Syracuse University in 1953.  After applying unsuccessfully for a job with the Central Intelligence Agency, he became a management analyst with the Connecticut State Budget Bureau, in Hartford.  In his spare time he acted with the Mark Twain Maskers in Hartford and studied at the White Barn Theatre in Westport, and for the first time began to consider the possibility of becoming a professional actor.  In 1956 at the age of 29 he left his job with the Budget Bureau, moved to Greenwich Village in New York, and declared himself an actor.


In New York he made his professional debut Off Broadway in Moliere’s Don Juan at the Fourth Street Theatre on January 3, 1956, and the following season he was in the Circle in the Square’s highly successful revival of The Iceman Cometh with Jason Robards.  For the next three years Falk was never out of work, bouncing from one Off-Broadway theatre to another. 


Although Falk was enjoying success onstage, a theatrical agent advised him not to expect much work in motion pictures because of his glass eye.  Surgeons had removed his right eye, along with a malignant tumor, when he was three years old.