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Peter Falk, Star of ‘Columbo,’ Dead at 83

Peter Falk
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Actor Peter Falk, who for decades played the titular character on the detective telepic series ‘Columbo,’ died Thursday night at his home in Beverly Hills, CA. He was 83.

Falk had been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s, which was first made public in December 2008, according to the AP. The actor “died peacefully,” his family said in a statement.

Though best known for his work on ‘Columbo,’ for which he received four of his five career Emmy Awards, Falk’s career spanned across the screen and stage. He received two-consecutive Oscar nominations in the ’60s, for ‘Murder, Inc.’ and ‘Pocketful of Miracles,’ respectively. He also had a number of high-profile roles in movies ranging from John Cassavetes’ ‘A Woman Under the Influence’ (1974), to Wim Wenders’ ‘Wings of Desire’ (1987) to ‘The Princess Bride’ (1987).

In 1972, Falk won a Tony for his role in Neil Simon’s ‘The Prisoner of Second Avenue.’

Born Sept. 16, 1927 in New York City, Falk did not begin his career in acting until he was almost 30. Among his pre-acting jobs included a stint in the merchant marine for 18 months as a cook.

Falk is survived by his wife, Shera Danese, and his two daughters.


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