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Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs

Latest Testimonial For Ascot Media Group

“I wrote a book called Counting Down Bob Dylan: His 100 Finest Songs. I was very proud of it and thought, with a successful blog, a platform as the writer for a national magazine, and some persistence, I’d be able to market it well on my own. Yet even though the people who got their hands on the book really enjoyed it, I just couldn’t seem to get any traction on a national or local level in terms of directing people toward the book.
 
In preparation for release of the second book in the series, Counting Down Bruce Springsteen: His 100 Finest Songs, I contacted Ascot Media Group. First of all, having checked out a few other book publicists, they were by far the most affordable. But they also delivered incredible results. Within weeks I did seven interviews, fielded inquiries for about 40 review copies from all over the country, and am scheduled, once the book comes out, to do more interviews, including several opportunities with Sirius/XM and possible coverage in The New York Times.
 
That’s all thanks to Ascot Media Group, who put together an outstanding press release, got that press release in just the right hands, and guided me every step of the way through the process. I even used the press release they sent me, targeted some local media myself, and got several more bites that way.
 
I cannot recommend Trish Stevens and her outstanding staff enough. I even received a free e-mail blast for referring another author to Ascot. And, without hesitation, I will definitely be employing them for future releases. If you need top-notch publicity for your project and don’t want to clobber your bank account to do it, there is really only once choice: Ascot.”
 
Jim Beviglia
Blog: countdownkid.wordpress.com
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How One Man’s Lifelong Dream And Perseverance Got Him On Letterman

New York, NY, – “Knowing what you’re dying to do tells you what you are living for.” – Steve Mazan

Background for dying to do Letterman: turning someday into today (HCI Books– $14.95). A very special book which grew out of his award-winning documentary film by the same name, here is everything you need to know about Steve, the book, and the film:

Steve Mazan was a funny kid with a big dream. From the time he was 12 years old, he wanted to become a comedian for one reason, and one reason only: to perform stand-up comedy on David Letterman’s show. Like all eager comics, he hustled for work in small clubs across the country, taking any gig he could earn. The pay was crummy, the progress miniscule, and some of the jobs ridiculous (like performing comedy at a minor league baseball game without a working microphone!) But Steve continued hoping that “someday” his dream might come true.

Then he received news that would change his life forever. Steve was diagnosed with incurable liver cancer, and learned he might only have five years to live. That was in 2005. Fighting through the fear and refusing to let depression swallow him whole, Steve chose to make the most out of his remaining time…he would dedicate what was left of his life to living his dream: performing on The Late Show for his idol, David Letterman.

This life-affirming, funny documentary chronicles Steve’s moving five year journey. Verite footage mixed with intimate diary cam and home movies shot by Steve gives dying to do Letterman a raw, incredibly real edge as it looks at cancer and comedy in a brand new light.

Beginning with Steve’s decision to “live his dream or die trying,” friends and family members pull together to launch a grass-roots campaign called “Dying to do Letterman.” They hope to grab Dave’s attention. Steve entertains audiences everywhere and enlists their help in reaching out to Letterman. Thousands of Steve’s comedy fans email The Late Show with the request, “book Mazan!” It looks like everything is going great…until Steve gets an email himself.

Letterman’s executive producer informs Steve that the show ‘gets these requests’ all the time, and while they’re sorry he’s sick, it would be ‘impossible’ to make this dream happen. He’s at a devastating crossroads. But, ever the fighter, he decides he’ll just have to ‘live longer’ and get on the show the old fashioned way: being funny in as many clubs as possible. Keeping audiences laughing in clubs everywhere, Steve works hard to become the best comedian he can, all the while using humor to help him deal with his disease. He even creates his own top ten list: The Top Ten Benefits of Catching Cancer.

Over the next four years, Steve battles his health, self-doubt, and bankruptcy as he chases his “impossible” dream.

Through it all, Steve’s new age wife, Denise, struggles to support the quest as best she can, all the while subjecting him to a slew of alternative healing treatments in the hopes he’ll live just a little longer. More than simply ensuring he survives to appear on Letterman, she aims to keep Steve healthy enough to father children—a life experience he’s just not ready to undertake.

Along the way, Steve obtains hysterically honest advice from comics who have appeared on Letterman like Kevin Nealon, Ray Romano, Brian Regan, and many others. In a surprising, action-packed sequence, Steve takes his new comedy material to Iraq where, while performing for the troops, the base is bombed and he has a close call with death. Steve exclaims, “Being so close to that explosion showed me…it’s not just cancer that can kill you!” Steve even manages to forge a shaky relationship with the comedy booker at Letterman’s show, but as the years roll by he begins to wonder if he’s wasted his precious time on a silly childhood fantasy.

Just when all seems lost, Steve gets a big call: The Late Show may be interested in booking him. But when a horrible misunderstanding strikes, has Steve blown his one and only shot at his dream? As the film comes to a close, Steve finds himself alone in a hotel room in New York City, waiting for a phone call from the show: will his dream finally come true?

Hilarious and heart-breaking, Steve risks everything to prove dreams matter.

dying to do Letterman is a roller-coaster ride of laugher, tears, and reversals of fortune that boldly says, “If you stop chasing your dreams, you’re already dead.” And, now, it’s a book!

Steve Mazan. Man? Myth? Legend? Some people say he’s none of these. Steve is, however, one of the hottest comedians and speakers in the country and a veteran of the US Navy. Critics have described his act as ‘brilliant,’ ‘goofy,’ and ‘exceptionally clever.’ That reputation has landed him on the most coveted stages and numerous television shows, including The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Steve’s journey to try and get on the Letterman show has been made into an award-winning documentary that’s been called ‘inspiring’ and ‘side-splittingly funny.’ A former writer for Ellen Degeneres, Steve has also appeared on Last Comic Standing, Byron Allen, and The Bob & Tom Show. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Denise, and his dogs, Wrigley and Kuma, and currently travels the country to film festivals where his documentary is racking up critic awards and audience acclaim. For more information on the movie Dying to Do Letterman, and about Steve and his latest book, visit www.stevemazan.com and www.dyingtodoletterman.com.

Available online or at bookstores or to order directly from the publisher, contact:
www.hcibooks.com or (800) 441-5569.
dying to do Letterman: turning someday into today
Steve Mazan
ISBN: 978-0-7573-1627-2
$14.95 – October/November 2011

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VETERAN’S STORY INVITES READERS TO CHAMPION OUR COUNTRY, GOD’S GRACE, AND OUR GOALS

New Haven, MI,  – Army, Navy, Marines: it’s tough enough to make it in one branch of the military — but Ron Zuccaro succeeded in all three, wrestled professionally, overcame a devastating injury to come back and win a wrestling championship, and is one of the most engaging patriots you’ll ever meet. This veteran has enough strange and interesting tales to fill more than one lifetime, and an amazing awareness of God’s grace, all packed in his new book Heaven, Iron and I: The Ron Martinelli Story (Tribute House Publishing).

Ron Martinelli was his name as a professional wrestler in the 1970s; his story recounts the early days of professional wrestling with surprising humor and insight. At the peak of his career, his legs were crushed in a freak accident and he was told he’d never walk again. His faith, his family and his love for his country spurred Zuccaro to literally stand up and fight: he did walk again, and won the 1980 heavyweight world title in wrestling. These accomplishments in civilian life were bracketed by extraordinary service in not one, but three, branches of the U.S. Military. He saw action in Vietnam that would prove to have a lasting, and surprisingly positive, influence on the rest of his life. Honorable service during a difficult time for our country brought Zuccaro a unique and moving sense of what it is to be a veteran of the United States Armed Forces.

Learning to walk again after his accident, Zuccaro was troubled by vivid flashbacks to the chaos and danger of his time in Vietnam. It was these recollections, plus his remarkable determination to recover, that helped him uncover God’s grace at work in his own life; his dramatic re-telling of this time in his life makes Heaven, Iron and I: The Ron Martinelli Story a must-read for Christians, veterans and patriots. Zuccaro says his book is “a tribute to my buddies who made the ultimate sacrifice, and shows what war is really like. If you yourself have problems, you can overcome them, you can achieve your goals through the grace of God.” In honor of his fallen friends, Zuccaro now works tirelessly to promote and encourage veterans and veterans’ organizations, in particular  the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars), American Legion, Marine Corps League and Disabled American Veterans.

Zuccaro’s story is more than inspiring. It’s filled with powerful anecdotes about his time in Vietnam and seasoned with humorous tales of his antics in the early days of professional wrestling, making it a book that critics find impossible to put down. All together, Heaven, Iron and I: The Ron Martinelli Story is a truly great story about a patriot of the first order, a patriot who shows the way for others to achieve, as he did, against all odds.

Please visit Zuccaro’s website at: http://www.tributehousepublishing.com/

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TIP SHEET:

Nicole Maren: “This book is a “must read” for all Americans who want to learn what true patriotism is.”

Ron Sugar: “I am so inspired by his drive and zest for life…thank you for your military service, and for sharing your life by writing this book.”

Michael J. Miller: “For the first time, I read a book and laughed, cried, smiled, wept, and was motivated all at the same time.”

Wally Allport: “We were in the same unit in Vietnam and I was totally captivated by the story of his life….It’s a powerful example of the human spirit!”

 

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Professional Poker Player “The Duke” Survives Attempted Murder, Kidnapping And Being Robbed For Six Figures In Las Vegas Hotel

Las Vegas, NV, – Ron Wall, the man known as The Duke of Fremont Street has been a well-recognized figure around the poker rooms of Las Vegas for many years so he is used to defending his hand at the tables. What he wasn’t prepared for was the savage attempt on his life during a robbery in a hotel room on June 26th, 2010 in Primm, Nevada, outside of Las Vegas. 
 
The Duke thought he was meeting a man he had dealt with before at Whiskey Pete’s to purchase gold and silver. Duke was carrying $137,000 in cash and a couple of Smith & Wesson .38 caliber handguns. Instead, as he entered the hotel room he was ambushed, hit on the head, and for the next twenty minutes the man and a female accomplice pummeled and attacked him with any and every item they could find in the room – a lamp, an iron, a two wheel dolly, and even a toilet tank cover!  The Duke was stabbed with a knife and also suffered a scalping wound.
 
“The twenty minutes seemed more like an eternity to me” said Duke. “I fought with all that I had in me. I knew that I had to stay conscious or I would have been killed and dumped in the desert.”
 
After the two hog-tied The Duke with duct tape and phone cords, they went into the bathroom – either to clean up or count the money – and Duke knew he had to grab the moment to get away or it was all over for him. Dazed and covered in blood, he got out of his restraints and made it out of the room and down the hall to the registration desk for help. “I thought my number was up,” he recalled.
 
Needless to say, Duke suffered multiple injuries in this vicious attack. He suffered a concussion and numerous head wounds, fractured cheek bones, broken ribs, and had defensive stab wounds and fractures to both hands. Duke had to undergo surgery and had to attend physical therapy sessions for many months.
 
The suspects fled to California with his money, but Duke identified the man as Edmond Price, who has a prior criminal history, and the woman as 23-year old Victoria Elizabeth Edelman, described as Price’s girlfriend, out of a photo lineup. They were arrested in California soon after the attack and were later extradited from California to Nevada where they were indicted by a grand jury for eight felony counts. They face anywhere from 15 years to life in prison if convicted on all counts. The bail for each defendant was set at $2,000,000 because of potential flight risk and because authorities suspected they would use Duke’s money, which has yet to be recovered, to hire their defense attorneys.
 
The Duke has a reputation for being cautious and not taking risks at the poker table; however, his adventurous exploits around the globe are well known among his fellow poker players. When his absence was noticed in the poker world it was thought at first by the rumor mill that he must have been ambushed on one of his many adventures to the Amazon, or some other wild and remote place he has visited, but this time it was something much closer to home that just completely caught him off-guard. The Duke refuses to be considered a victim but believes he is a survivor instead. When asked about the attempted murder and robbery Duke said he “was just dealt a bad hand!”
 
Since The Duke is considered somewhat of a legend in Las Vegas, easily recognized for his 1930 era gangster-look – complete with custom made, pinstriped Italian suits, polka dot ties, fedora, diamond pinky rings, and even spats – it is expected that the trial will be a highly visible one. His many followers on numerous poker blogs will want justice for this gracious gentleman who has been part of the allure of Las Vegas for many years.
 
The Duke, who’s conservative poker playing style is far less flashy than his persona, has been featured on the cover of Poker Pro magazine and written up in numerous articles. He believes that surviving the recent brutal attack means that he once again made ‘a win in the game of life’ and, in his words…”The Adventure Continues!”
 
TIP SHEET:
‘Duke’ calls attack just a bad hand – Article in Las Vegas Review Journal

 

 

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Mike Leach’s New Book Looks To Challenge College Football’s Conventional Wisdom

Co-editors Mike Leach and Ferhat Guven speak to fans looking for more out of college football in their new book “Sports for Dorks: College Football”

Key West, FL, — “What do you get when you combine an astrophysicist, a world champion backgammon player, some respected economists and a few other brilliant minds?”

New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan is referring, in this case, to former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach’s latest literary undertaking, “Sports for Dorks: College Football” (ISBN 978-0615484976), in which Leach once again takes aim at college football’s conventional wisdom.

Leach, along with co-editor Ferhat Guven, came up with the idea of “Sports for Dorks” during  a “typical” telephone call in which they discussed Henry VIII, US fiscal policy, Sub Saharan Africa real estate, and of course college football. 

The two come from different walks of life; Leach is the still wildly popular former head football coach of the Texas Tech Red Raiders and author of New York Times bestselling autobiography Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and in Life, while Guven, based in London, is an executive in a global real estate investment firm and avid college football fan.

Leach views the world of college football as a crucible of innovation, yet despite the enormous media coverage enjoyed by the sport, he notes that little if any of that side of the game is exposed to the public. Guven, out of his own interest, follows a number of talented academics, writers and bloggers who cover many of the sport’s more unique aspects, but do so in what he describes as relative obscurity.

The two wondered if there was an audience that wanted to better understand the game in a manner that went beyond what was being offered by conventional media.

Leach and Guven set out to collect essays and articles from a wide range of thinkers who were examining the game in an unusual way. “We were focused on identifying well-formulated ideas which challenge a sport dominated by conventional wisdom,” said Guven. “The book’s contributors include coaches, journalists, bloggers, academics, economists and yes, even an astrophysicist.”

Leach and Guven examine college football, both on and off the field, through disciplines such as economics, psychology, statistics and sociology. Their book also provides readers with unique insights into Leach’s coaching influences and philosophies, offers a formula that would make the BCS ranking process more rational, and examines what they describe as the meteoric rise of American football in Great Britain.

“We are trying to bring innovative content to readers,” Guven says. “We want to provide a unique perspective to readers who are looking for more than just box scores, cliches and lukewarm paeans to their favorite teams’ greatness. We hope our readers will be informed and entertained. There is plenty of opportunity for both throughout the book which come from a variety of perspectives.”

“Sports for Dorks: College Football” is available for sale online at Amazon.com and other channels.

About the Editors
Mike Leach is the former all-time winning football coach at Texas Tech and author of the bestselling autobiography, Swing Your Sword:  Leading the Charge in Football and Life. Leach is a graduate of BYU and Pepperdine University School of Law. Ferhat Guven is a real estate investment professional who graduated from Texas Tech University before earning his graduate business degree from the London Business School.  For more information, see www.sportsfordorks.com.

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TIP SHEET:

Rex Ryan, Head Football Coach, NY Jets: “What do you get when you combine an astrophysicist, a world champion backgammon player, some respected economists and a few other brilliant minds?  This fascinating book and the reason I’m hoping to watch Mike Leach on Saturdays instead of coach against him on Sundays.” 

Gil Brandt, former VP Dallas Cowboys: “Sports for Dorks is an exciting collection of ideas and trends shaping the world of college football.  Mike Leach proves, once again, that he is a step ahead of the rest.”

Austin Murphy, Sr. Writer, Sports Illustrated: “One man’s dork is another man’s intellectually curious, envelope pushing pioneer.  Mike Leach is the most original thinker I’ve met in three decades as a sportswriter.  With this provocative, nourishing, all-you-can-eat buffet of intriguing ideas, Leach reminds us why football needs him more than he needs football.”

 

 

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Stand Out From The Competition In Today’s Lagging Job Market With These Proven Strategies

McKinney, TX, – Howard Stephen Berg is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for reading more than 25,000 words a minute and writing more than 100 words a minute. But it’s not just his reading and writing skills that make him a well-known figure; it’s his brain-based learning strategies that make it possible to comprehend and retain the information. Since his strategies can be learned by anyone, the possibilities are mind-boggling!

Berg once completed a 1,100 page book on Cleveland’s Morning Exchange and achieved a perfect score on recall – what makes it truly astounding is that he was retested three years later on the same book and again had perfect recall. As a guest on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee, he memorized a 200-page book, reading at the rate of 13-14 pages/minute, and scored 100% accuracy on an extensive test given by the author.

Berg has created more than 14 other accelerated learning programs that include speed math and memory. His Time-Warner book Super Reading Secrets is in its 28th reprint and his Nightingale-Conant program, Mega Speed Reading, grossed over $65,000,000 and earned him recognition as a leading expert on brain-based learning. He has been honored by both Who’s Who Among Emerging Leaders and 2,000 Notable American Men; two leading books that track outstanding professional performance.

Known as the world’s fastest reader, Berg’s talents are attributed to the cutting-edge, accelerated learning techniques he developed that turn information overload into information assets. His methods have not only enabled the unemployed to get back to work sooner by teaching them additional skills that make them more marketable, but by continuing to apply these skills they will stay on top of the information their success depends upon! He makes life easier by cutting learning time in half – giving everyone the opportunity to succeed but with more time left for the things they enjoy.

Howard Berg is an entertaining celebrity who has appeared on over one thousand radio and television programs including Neil Cavuto and Jon Stewart, and is the spokesperson for the Sony E-Reader along with Justin Timberlake, Peyton Manning and Amy Sedaris. He ‘walked the talk’ by completing a four year Psychology program in one year using his brain-based learning techniques, leading the way for many others to follow as evidenced by the testimonials on his website at : www.speedreadprogram.com.

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TIP SHEET:

Please see: http://www.speedlearningpower.com/?page_id=1435

W. Berry Fowler, Founder Sylvan Learning Centers: “Maximum Power Reading is not only one of the most effective ways an individual can increase their reading rate, it’s easy to learn. I congratulate you on your success and the success of your students.”

Maurice C. Thompson, Jr. Past President & Chairman of Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics: “I feel you have moved one step beyond speed reading to speed learning, bringing the discipline into the 21st Century.”

Claire Herthum Major, President ASTD Baton Rouge Chapter: “Evaluations showed 100% exceeded or met expectations…”

 

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The Dead Celebrity Cookbook – A Resurrection Of Recipes From More Than 145 Stars Of Stage And Screen

New York, NY, – For anyone who loves Hollywood memorabilia, is an entertainment junkie, and loves to eat and cook – they will treasure Frank DeCaro’s The Dead Celebrity Cookbook: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen (HCI Books). Frank compiled favorite recipes from some of Hollywood’s biggest names; including Lucille Ball, Elizabeth Taylor, Sonny Bono, Liberace, Michael Jackson, John Denver, Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, Humphrey Bogart, and Peter Falk, just to name a few.

“I love these dead celebrities! They’re the stars I grew up watching, and they deserve to be remembered even if they were more talented on screen than they were in the kitchen. Frank clearly worships them as much as I do, and after reading The Dead Celebrity Cookbook you will, too.” -Rosie O’Donnell

“Celebrities die–eventually–but their recipes live on, thanks to Frank DeCaro’s thorough and thoroughly delicious book. DeCaro’s dry wit is tasty, and judging from these yummy concoctions, most of these celebs died really happy!” –Michael Musto, Village Voice

Inspired by a “Dead Celebrity Party” during his college years, DeCaro thought the one thing missing from the event was the food of the dead. Since then, he’s been collecting recipes of the stars and lucky for us, he’s put them together in, THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen (HCI Books – October 2011- $19.95).

DeCaro, who is best known for his nearly 7-year stint as the movie critic on The Daily Show with John Stewart, and now heard weekdays on his own call-in radio show, gives us a giggle while feeding us treats from Tinsel Town like: Liberace’s Sticky Buns, Mae West’s Fruit Compote, John Ritter’s Favorite Fudge and Bea Arthur’s Vegetarian Breakfast.

THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK is here to remind you that before there were celebrity chefs, there were celebrities who fancied themselves as chefs. They were whipping up culinary delights, and sometimes sharing them with us on shows like Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas or even Johnny Carson. DeCaro gives us some entertaining and informative commentary before each section of recipes in chapters that include: “Talk Show Chow,” “An All-Night Oscar Buff,” and “I Lunch Lucy,” a whole section dedicated to the red-haired TV goddess.

Says DeCaro, “I miss those days when celebrities still had mystery about them, and a glimpse inside their radar ranges seemed, for any fan, like a window into the world of glamour and excitement, which is why I put together this book.” This book delivers recipes that the stars are dying for you to make.

For more information, please go to: www.deadcelebritycookbook.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Best known for his years as the flamboyant movie critic on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Frank DeCaro is heard each weekday morning on his live national call-in program The Frank DeCaro Show on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. A writer and performer, DeCaro pens the “Icons” column for CBS Watch magazine. The author of the pioneering memoir A Boy Named Phyllis, DeCaro previously wrote the “Style Over Substance” column for The New York Times. Visit the author at frankdecaro.com and on Facebook, and follow him at twitter.com/frankdecaroshow.

Available online or at bookstores or to order directly from the publisher, contact:  (800) 441-5569 or www.hcibooks.com.
THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK: A Resurrection of Recipes from More Than 145 Stars of Stage and Screen
Frank Decaro
ISBN: 978-9-7573-1596-1– $19.95 — October 2011

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TIP SHEET:

Brini Maxwell, author of Brini Maxwell’s Guide to Gracious Living and creator of felixpopuli.com: “I adore this book so much I find myself on the horns of a dilemma–make the recipes or kill myself so I can be in the sequel.”

Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough,, bestselling authors of more than twenty cookbooks including Lobsters Scream When You Boil Them and 100 Other Myths About Food and Cooking: “Hankering for star-powered recipes? With this laugh-out-loud encyclopedia of Hollywood culinaria, Frank DeCaro brings out the real ‘celebrity chefs’ in spades. Or with a spade.”
 
Lisa Lampanelli, comedienne: “Frank DeCaro has the most delectable treats I’ve ever tasted — and the recipes aren’t bad, either! My dying wish is to have one of my recipes in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook II. Anyone for the Queen of Mean’s ‘So-Good-You’ll-Slap-Yo-Mama Chicken ’n Waffles’?”

Bob Smith, author of Remembrance of Things I Forgot: “Frank DeCaro’s two obsessions–food and the famous–have been hilariously united in The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. Reading Frank is like breaking your diet with your funniest best friend.”

SAMPLE RECIPE FROM THE DEAD CELEBRITY COOKBOOK
Peter Falk 1927-2011
He was one of the great ones–appearing in films as disparate as The Princess Bride and Wings of Desire in the same year, 1987. But no matter what Peter Falk did (and he did a lot), he will always be remembered as the police detective in the rumpled raincoat on the mystery series Columbo. The character, one he played for more than thirty years beginning in 1971, is one of TV’s most indelible portraits. Among Falk’s most beloved films were the cult hit The In-Laws, the one-two Neil Simon punch of Murder by Death and The Cheap Detective, and six pictures with his buddy, the director/actor John Cassavetes, including the 1974 classic A Woman Under the Influence. The Emmy- and Oscar-nominated actor published his memoir Just One More Thing in 2006, and it wasn’t a moment too soon. Falk was diagnosed with dementia two years later. Just one more thing: His pork chops are as toothsome as he was.

Peter Falk’s Pork Chops
6 pork chops
1 medium onion, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup white vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup water
½ cup liquid from jarred vinegar peppers
1 cup (or more) vinegar peppers
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown pork chops in olive oil in a heavy frying pan and remove to a casserole. Cook onions until translucent in same oil and add to casserole. Deglaze pan by adding white vinegar and stirring up all brown bits. Add to casserole along with all remaining ingredients except vinegar peppers. Bake for 1½ hours. Add vinegar peppers and cook 15 minutes more. Remove pork chops and peppers to a warm serving plate. Add 2 teaspoons corn starch to pan drippings to make gravy. Pour over pork chops and peppers and serve.

Cutting Room Floor (sidebar):
You wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Idris Elba, the hulking British actor best known as Stringer Bell on HBO’s The Wire, has said that his edgy detective character on Luther owes a debt to Falk. Luther, a childhood fan of Columbo and creator Neil Cross, explains that both the classic American mystery show and the smoking hot BBC crime series are “howcatchems” not whodunits, and no one did that better than Lt. Frank Columbo.

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