Peter Falk in his famous role as Columbo, circa 1976.
Another icon of the small screen has died, and with him goes a memorable role and a famous, if slightly bedraggled, khaki raincoat. On Friday, the news broke that “Columbo” star Peter Falk had died the day before at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 83.
AP via Salon:
In a court document filed in December 2008, Falk’s daughter Catherine Falk said he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
“Columbo” began its history in 1971 as part of the NBC Sunday Mystery Movie series, appearing every third week. The show became by far the most popular of the three mysteries, the others being “McCloud” and “McMillan and Wife.”
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, reasoning that carrying a weekly detective series would be too great a burden.