Emmy-winning actor Peter Falk has passed away at the age of 83. The man behind the iconic TV character Columbo died peacefully in his Beverly Hills home late last night. He had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease prior to his passing.
Nominated for two Academy Awards, the first in 1960 for his supporting role in Murder, Inc., and then again for a supporting role in 1961's Pocketful of Miracles, Peter Falk began his career on stage, hitting the local community theater and eventually venturing into off-Broadway productions. Hollywood first started to take notice of the actor in 1957, when he began appearing on many different television series all in a short span of time.
He would continue to jump back and forth between film and television in bit parts and supporting roles, until 1968, when he starred in the telefilm Columbo. Serving as a two-hour pilot, Columbo went onto become one of the most successful detective dramas on television. The character is still as beloved today as he was in the 70s, and the part won Peter Falk four Emmys throughout its 13 season run, which later spanned into a number of individual telefilms, for which he also won an Emmy in 1994.
Perhaps Peter Falk's most fondly remembered role on the big screen was opposite Alan Arkin in the smash hit comedy The In-Laws. In 2004, he provided his voice for the DreamWorks Animation adventure Shark Tale, and his last role was in the 2009 comedy American Cowslip, where he played a priest opposite Val Kilmer and Bruce Dern.
Peter Falk's most distinguishing feature was his glass eye, which gave the actor an iconic physical trademark, one that helped push Columbo as a disheveled and oddball crime solver. When he was a child, Falk lost his right eye to a malignant tumor.
Peter Falk is survived by his wife of thirty-four years, Shera Falk, and his two daughters from a previous marriage.