A family spokesperson says Falk, 83, died Thursday night (June 23) at his home in Beverly Hills. He had been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer's disease in recent years.
Falk is best known for his iconic role as Lt. Columbo, the disheveled, trench coat-wearing, constantly underestimated Lapd detective in the classic 1970s series. He won four Emmys for the role (and a fifth for an earlier role in an episode of "The Dick Powell Theatre"), most recently in 1990 after ABC revived the character.
His career stretched back to the late 1950s, and he was nominated for the best supporting actor Oscar in two consecutive years, first for 1960's "Murder Inc." and then for 1961's "Pocketful of Miracles." He also worked with director John Cassavetes on several films, including "Husbands" and "A Woman Under the Influence. »
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