Peter Falk Dies at 83

Posted June 25th, 2011 at 12:15 am (UTC-5)
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Actor Peter Falk has died at the age of 83.

Falk is best known for his portrayal of the rumpled, seemingly slow-witted television detective Columbo, a role that earned him four Emmy awards.

One of Lieutenant Columbo's trademarks was an ever-present, wrinkled raincoat that was plucked from Falk's personal closet.

In 2006 Falk wrote a book about his professional and personal lives entitled Just One More Thing – named after his Columbo catchphrase.

Surgeons removed Falk's cancerous right eye when he was three. He was fitted with a glass eye and went on to become a high school athlete.

Falk earned a master's degree in public administration and worked for the state of Connecticut as an efficiency expert before deciding to become an actor.

In the early 1960s, he won his first Emmy for his role as a truck driver who befriends a lonely, pregnant girl in The Price of Tomatoes, a segment of The Dick Powell Show.

Falk was nominated twice for an Academy Award – in 1960 for Murder, Inc. and a year later for Pocketful of Miracles.

A versatile actor, Falk appeared in the original stage productions of works by Paddy Chayefsky, Neil Simon and Arthur Miller. He also worked with film directors Frank Capra, John Cassavetes, Blake Edwards and Mike Nichols and studied with legendary acting coach Eva Le Gallienne.

The cause of Falk's death was not given, but in recent years he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

Peter Falk is survived by his wife and two daughters.