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A tribute to the late Peter Falk? As you wish...



Peter Falk in The Princess BrideActor Peter Falk, best known for his Emmy Award-winning portrayal of the cigar-chomping detective Columbo, died Thursday night in Los Angeles, according to media reports. He was 83. According to CBS, Falk suffered from Alzheimer's disease. In 2009, he was placed in a conservatorship. He is survived by his wife, Shera, of 34 years, and two daughters from a previous marriage.

Eighties fans no doubt remember his best for playing the lovable grandpa (and narrator) of 1987's The Princess Bride. But he appeared in several other movies during our decade, including Vibes, Happy New Years, Wings of Desire, Big Trouble, All The Marbles and The Great Muppet Caper.


5. HIS FULL NAME: Columbo never had a first name. It was always just "Columbo." (Though fans who have freeze-framed movie episodes claim that his badge reads "Frank Columbo.")

4. STICK WITH THE MOVIES: Falk was reportedly paid $250,000 a movie and could have made much more if he had accepted an offer to convert Columbo into a weekly series. He declined, saying it would be too great a burden.

3. THE TRADEMARK: His raincoat, which Falk bought for himself. It had to be replaced after 25 years because it became too tattered.

2. HIS EYE: At age 3 he had one eye removed because of cancer. "When something like that happens early," he said in a 1963 Associated Press interview, "you learn to live with it. It became the joke of the neighborhood. If the umpire ruled me out on a bad call, I'd take the fake eye out and hand it to him."

1. HIS LEGACY: When Falk was starting as an actor in New York, an agent told him, "Of course, you won't be able to work in movies or TV because of your eye." Falk would later win two Oscar nominations and collect five Emmys.

- This report contains material from the Associated Press.

[Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 4:40pm]


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