The 55-year-old burlesque manager-producer suffered a mental collapse after attending his mother's funeral four days earlier and, devastated by depression, walked off The Sporting Duchess, a burlesque show he was managing in Union City, New Jersey. Falke traveled to New York City and checked into a third floor room at the Forrest Hotel at 224 West Forty-ninth Street. On the afternoon of March 20, 1928, as a friend was knocking on his door to inquire about his health, the veteran burlesque manager leaped to his death. Falke barely missed actresses Miriam Hopkins and Frances Goodrich as they approached the stage door of the Ritz Theatre where they were appearing in the John McGowan comedy Excess Baggage. The hysterical women required medical attention. Falke died later that day at Bellevue Hospital from a compound fracture of the skull and other injuries.