Peter Falk, who is best known for playing Lieutenant Columbo on the NBC drama series Columbo in the 1960s and 1970s, has died at the age of 83. Falk is a four time Emmy Award winner for his portrayal of Columbo, as well as a former two-time Academy Award winner. According to his family, he passed away at his home in Beverly Hills, California on Thursday (June 23). Since 2007, Falk — who was called “everyone’s favorite rumpled television detective” by historian David Fantle for his portrayal of the infamous lieutenant on Columbo — has battled both dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Falk was born in New York City in September of 1927 and grew up in Ossining, New York. At the age of just three-years-old, he had to have an eye removed due to cancer, and was told by critics that he would never star in any movie or television series because he had a glass eye. He proved everybody wrong when he starred in the film Wind Across the Everglades back in 1958, and set the scene for what would be a successful career.
Falk is survived by his wife Shera Danese Falk, whom he married in December 1977 reportedly after she guest starred in the series that made him a household name, and his two adopted daughters, Jackie and Catherine. In his 2006 memoir, Just One More Thing, Falk said that death was “just the gateway”.