Actor Peter Falk dies at 83

Peter Falk, who played the gruff-speaking, cigar-chomping TV detective Lt. Columbo, has died in Los Angeles at 83. He reportedly had dementia

Mr. Falk created his most famous character as the rumpled, raincoat-wearing Columbo in a 1968 TV movie. “Columbo” aired as an NBC detective show from 1971 to 1978, and Mr. Falk returned in a series of Columbo TV movies for many years afterward and won several Emmy Awards for acting.

Besides his inimitable role as the shrewdly absent-minded Columbo, Mr. Falk had a long career as a film, television and stage actor. He was twice nominated for an Academy Award as best supporting actor for “Murder Inc.” (1960) and “Pocketful of Miracles” (1961). He had a long run in Broadway in 1971 in Neil Simon’s “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” and had a starring role in the 1979 comedy film “The In-Laws.”

Matt Schudel has been an obituary writer at The Washington Post since 2004.

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