Peter Falk, the star of detective drama Columbo, has Alzheimer's, according to his daughter.

The Emmy-winner "requires full-time custodial care for his health and safety", said Catherine Falk as she filed court papers requested a conservatorship order for her father.

Born in 1927, Falk received two Oscar nominations in the 1960s, with best supporting actor nods for Pocketful of Miracles and Murder, Inc.

However, he was best known for playing shabbily-dressed Lieutenant Columbo, whose seemingly absent-minded approach to solving crimes helped him lull suspects into a false sense of security.

The role won Falk four Emmys and a Golden Globe.

According to documents filed by his daughter Catherine Falk, her 81-year-old father "can easily be deceived into transferring away property" and a conservatorship would protect him from "fraud or undue influence".

She added that Falk "forgets events that have occurred and remembers events that did not occur" and sustained a head injury after he "lost control" while driving six months ago.

Her petition was filed in the Los Angeles superior court on Friday and a hearing is scheduled for January.

17/12/2008 09:34:49