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Peter Falk

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Also Known As: Peter Michael Falk Died: June 23, 2011
Born: September 16, 1927 Cause of Death: Alzheimer's disease
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, producer, artist, TV director, writer, efficiency expert, cook

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Permanently enshrined in the hearts of television viewers and mystery fans for his Emmy and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of the savvy Lt. Columbo, actor-director-producer Peter Falk was a much-admired star of television, film and stage for over half a century. Falk brought streetwise energy to his comic roles, which included his Oscar-nominated turn in "Pocketful of Miracles" (1961) and the enduring cult favorite "The In-Laws" (1979), but could also be searingly intense in dramas, as he proved in a string of films for his close friend, independent filmmaker John Cassavetes, including "Husbands" (1970) and "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974). After reviving "Columbo" for a string of successful television movies in the late 1980s, he remained a fixture in television movies and feature films, which frequently tapped his boundless charm to play wise grandparents and even the occasional angel. His later struggles with Alzheimer's disease and the family turmoil that surrounded his conservatorship could not diminish the image of Falk as the perennially trenchcoat-clad curmudgeon, always ready with an endearing quip, who became one of the most beloved television characters of all time. ...

Permanently enshrined in the hearts of television viewers and mystery fans for his Emmy and Golden Globe-winning portrayal of the savvy Lt. Columbo, actor-director-producer Peter Falk was a much-admired star of television, film and stage for over half a century. Falk brought streetwise energy to his comic roles, which included his Oscar-nominated turn in "Pocketful of Miracles" (1961) and the enduring cult favorite "The In-Laws" (1979), but could also be searingly intense in dramas, as he proved in a string of films for his close friend, independent filmmaker John Cassavetes, including "Husbands" (1970) and "A Woman Under the Influence" (1974). After reviving "Columbo" for a string of successful television movies in the late 1980s, he remained a fixture in television movies and feature films, which frequently tapped his boundless charm to play wise grandparents and even the occasional angel. His later struggles with Alzheimer's disease and the family turmoil that surrounded his conservatorship could not diminish the image of Falk as the perennially trenchcoat-clad curmudgeon, always ready with an endearing quip, who became one of the most beloved television characters of all time.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 American Cowslip (2009)
2.
3.
 Next (2007)
4.
 Checking Out (2006)
5.
6.
 Shark Tale (2004) Voice Of Don Feinberg
8.
 Finding John Christmas (2003) Max
9.
 Wilder Days (2003) James "Pop Up" Morse
10.
 Columbo Likes the Nightlife (2003) Lieutenant Columbo
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1945:
Joined the Merchant Marines as a cook
1952:
Worked as an efficiency expert for Budget Bureau of the State of Connecticut
:
While employed by the State of Connecticut joined Mark Twain's Maskers of Hartford
:
Moved to New York City
1956:
Professional Off-Broadway debut in Molière's "Don Juan" at the Fourth Street Theatre
1956:
Made Broadway debut playing an English soldier in George Bernard Shaw's "Saint Joan"
1957:
Cast in the Circle in the Square¿s highly successful revival of "The Iceman Cometh" with Jason Robards
1958:
Film acting debut in Nicholas Ray's "Wind Across the Everglades"
1960:
Received a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for his role in "Murder, Inc."
1961:
Co-starred with Glenn Ford in "Pocketful of Miracles"; earned second Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination
1961:
Earned an Emmy nomination for appearing in the "Cold Turkey" episode of James Whitmore's "The Law and Mr. Jones" (ABC)
1963:
Played a cab driver in the all-star comedy film "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World"
1964:
Appeared opposite members of the Rat Pack in the crime spoof, "Robin and the 7 Hoods"
1964:
Portrayed Stalin in the Broadway production of "The Passion of Josef D."
1965:
Co-starred in the Blake Edwards farce "The Great Race" with Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis
1965:
Played the title role in his debut TV series, "The Trials of O'Brien"
1968:
First appearance as Lt. Columbo in the TV-movie "Prescription: Murder"
1970:
First of four appearances in films directed by John Cassavetes, "Husbands"
1971:
Played the absent-minded police detective, Lt. Columbo in the long-running TV series "Columbo" (NBC)
1971:
Returned to Broadway for Neil Simon¿s play, "The Prisoner of Second Avenue"; directed by Mike Nichols
1972:
Co-starred with Stockard Channing in Neil Simon's play "The Cheap Detective"
1974:
Re-teamed with director John Cassavetes for "A Woman Under the Influence"
1979:
Co-starred with Alan Arkin in the comedy "The In-Laws"
1986:
Featured in the national touring company of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross" playing shady real-estate salesman, Shelley Levine
1987:
Played the beloved grandfather in Rob Reiner's fantasy film "The Princess Bride"
1987:
Played an ex-angel in Win Wenders' "Wings of Desire"
1989:
Reprised the role of Lt. Columbo for a long-running series of 2-hour ABC TV-movies; also co-executive produced and sometimes wrote
1997:
Appeared with Woody Allen in the television adaptation of Neil Simon's play "The Sunshine Boys" (CBS)
1998:
Returned to the stage to star in Arthur Miller's "Mr. Peter's Connections" at the Signature Theatre in New York
1999:
Appeared in Joe Mantegna's directorial debut, "Lakeboat," which also starred Joe Mantegna, Andy Garcia and John Turturo
2000:
Featured in the mobster drama "Made," opposite Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn
2001:
Co-starred in the two-part miniseries adaptation of the classic "The Lost World" with Bob Hoskins (aired on the BBC and A&E Networks)
2003:
Appeared in the final Columbo TV-movie, "Columbo Likes The Nightlife" on ABC
2004:
Provided the voice of Don Brizzi in the animated film "Sharktale"
2005:
Played Paul Reiser's father in "The Thing About My Folks"; also written and produced by Reiser
2007:
Featured in the thriller "Next" with Nicolas Cage
2008:
Final film appearance, playing a family priest in "American Cowslip"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Ossining High School: Ossining , New York - 1945
Hamilton College: Clinton , New York - 1946 - 1948
New School for Social Research: New York , New York - 1951
Syracuse University: Syracuse , New York - 1953
White Barn Theatre: Westport , Connecticut - 1956

Notes

Received the Chevalier of Arts and Letters from the French government on February 28, 1996

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Alyce Mayo. Married April 17, 1960; divorced in 1976.
wife:
Shera Lynn Danese. Actor. Married in 1977; separated in 1985; reconciled in 1987; made guest appearance on "Columbo" (1991).

Family close complete family listing

father:
Michael Falk. Store owner. Owned a clothing and dry goods store in Ossining, New York.
mother:
Madeline Falk. Store owner, accountant, buyer. Owned a clothing and dry goods store in Ossining, New York.
daughter:
Jackie Falk. Born in 1962 mother, Alyce Mayo.
daughter:
Kathyrn Falk. Born in 1971; mother, Alyce Mayo; sued parents in 1992 over claims they promised to pay for her education at Syracuse University and then wanted her to transfer to a Los Angeles college for family counseling; suit settled out of court allowing her to remain at Syracuse University; in 1996 was working for private investigator in L.A.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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