Peter Falk, the American actor best known for playing homicide detective Lieutenant Columbo in the long-running television series, has died aged 83. Peter Falk, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, died at his Beverly Hills home on Thursday (23rd June 2011), according to the Associated Press.
'Columbo' premiered in 1971 as part of NBC's Sunday Mystery Movie series, appearing every third week. The show quickly grew in popularity and became a primetime staple for over 30 years. Falk famously declined an offer to convert the show into a lucrative weekly series, declaring that a weekly detective show would be too great a burden. 'Columbo', who never had a first name, became one of the most iconic detectives on television and presented a contrast to other crime-characters. Falk once said of his creation, "You feel sorry for him. He appears to be seeing nothing, but he's seeing everything. Underneath his dishevelment, a good mind is at work". Falk was born in New York City in 1927 and grew up in Ossining where his parents ran a clothing store. He had an eye removed at the age of 3 because of cancer, later explaining, "You learn to live with it. It became the joke of the neighbourhood. If the umpire ruled me out on a bad call, I'd take the fake eye out and hand it to him".
Peter Falk made his movie debut in 1958 in 'Wind Across the Everglades', and established himself as a talented character actor with performances in 'Murder Inc' and 'It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World'. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Shera, and two daughters from a previous marriage.