I had seen Peter in old episodes of The Twilight Zone and The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. The Great Race was one of my favorite movies EVER, so go see him, Jack Lemon and Tony Curtis in it (with your kids). He was also occasionally on The Red Skelton Hour (and Laugh in I think?).
Then he appeared in Columbo. The show was on about the same time as Rockford Files, and both shows were insanely popular. I loved the character, and Peter. He was one of the best straight faced comics to ever stand in front of a camera (a-la Buster Keaton).
But knowing his Columbo character so well, I can't help expecting him to sit up in his coffin at the viewing, and ask "Oh, one more thing.."