Columbo Episodes Trivia

Did you know that Bing Crosby was offered the role of Columbo?
Peter Falk was not the 1st Lt. Columbo in the very popular tv series from the seventies. Columbo episodes were started in the sixties featuring another actor. What was Columbo's first name? And his wife, was it Kate or Mildred? Here are some interesting but lesser know facts about Peter Falk's Columbo tv episodes.
TRIVIA NOTE: Richard Levinson & William Link, who created the Columbo character, modeled him after Petrovitch, the detective who appeared in the 1866 Russian novel "Crime and Punishment" written by Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky.
The Columbo character was first played on Broadway by Thomas Mitchell in 1962. Later singer Bing Crosby was offered the TV role, but declined.
On the COLUMBO TV series, the first name of Columbo's wife and the names of his children were never revealed. The short-lived NBC series MRS. COLUMBO depicted life at the Columbo household while Lt. Columbo was off at work. On this show, Columbo's wife was named Kate (played by Kate Mulgrew). She worked as a reporter for The Valley Advocate, a weekly newspaper and had a seven-year-old daughter named Jenny. And just as Lt. Columbo's wife was never seen [but often spoken about] in the original COLUMBO series, Lt. Columbo was never seen on MRS. COLUMBO.
In addition, the first name of Lt. Columbo was never revealed on either series. His name has erroneously been stated as "Philip" in a number of sources. This name was actually invented by Fred L. Worth, the writer of "The Complete Unabridged Super Trivia Encyclopedia." He used the name "Philip" (found on page 107 of his book) as a check word to prove whether anyone cited his work in their publications.
In a lawsuit, against the makers of the Trivial Pursuit game, Worth's lawyers proved the game's creators had used Worth's book as a primary source for their game material because one of their game cards asked "What is Lt. Columbo's first name." Their game card answer was "Philip." By the way, Fred Worth also listed Columbo's wife name as Mildred. Other sources claiming they have discerned the first name of Columbo from ID badges flashed on the program have attributed his first name to be "Frank" and "Joseph."
In 1993, the Columbo character began appearing in a series of critically acclaimed novels by William Harrington.

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