Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927. His most famous role was Lt. Columbo on the TV program Columbo. You can watch Peter Falk in The Princess Bride, Next and The Great Race. He was selected for an Academy Award for Murder, Inc. and A Pocketful of Miracles. He won an Emmy Award on five different occasions and a Golden Globe for Columbo. It was often said that Falk had a magical quality in film. You might want to laugh at him or just cry.
In the series Columbo, Falk portrayed a rumbled and bumbling detective who always got his man. He is listed as number 21 on TV Guide's 50 greatest TV stars of all time.
Falk's eye was removed when he was three due to retinoblastoma. He wore an artificial eye but did manage to play team sports. Falk remembers being called "out" on third base by an umpire. Falk proceeded to remove his glass eye and handed it to the umpire with the instruction to look through this. The entire stadium erupted into laughter.
At the age of 12 Falk appeared in The Pirates of Penzance at his local summer camp. Later he attended Ossining High School in New York where he excelled at athletics and was senior class president. Falk received a bachelor's degree in literature and political science in 1951 and went on to gain a Master of Pubic Administration degree at Syracuse University in 1953.
In 1956 after taking acting classes with Eva Le Gallienne, Falk acted in his first New York Stage role of Moliere's Dom Juan. He appeared in the Circle in the Square and the revival of The Iceman Cometh. His Broadway debut was in Diary of a Scoundrel.
Stage success was good, but he longed to act in film. He failed a screen test at Colombia Pictures due to his glass eye. He did act in small roles in Wind Across the Everglades and The Blood Brood (1959) as well as Pretty Boy Floyd (1960). He was cast in the supporting role of killer Abe Reles in Murder, Inc. which was the turning point in his career.
Falk and Alyce Mayo were married on April 17, 1960. They adopted two daughters. In 1976 Peter and Alyce divorced and Falk married Shera Danese in 1977. Falk is also an accomplished artist and you can see examples of his sketches on his official web site.
Falk was plagued with dementia and he passed away at 83 on June 23, 2011.