Actor Peter Falk, best known as frumpy detective Columbo on the long-running TV series of the same name, died yesterday in Beverly Hills, reports CBS News. He was 83. Falk won four Emmys for his portrayal of the LA detective he played from 1971 to 1978 and off-and-on from 1989 to 2003. Originally a certified public accountant who worked as an efficiency expert, Falk moved to New York in 1955 to become an actor, rooming with Dustin Hoffman and Gene Hackman.
There, he was told he wouldn't find work in movies or TV because of his glass eye—his right eye was removed at age 3 after he was diagnosed with cancer. That obviously didn't turn out to be the case, and his eye came to be a trademark, notes the Hollywood Reporter. Prior to donning Columbo's raincoat, Falk was nominated as best supporting actor at the Oscars twice—for 1960's Murder, Inc., and 1961's A Pocketful Of Miracles. He also took home a Tony in 1972 for his Broadway performance in Neil Simon's The Prisoner Of Second Avenue. In his later years, he suffered from Alzheimer's disease, according to a court document filed by his daughter. He's survived by his wife of 34 years and two children from a previous marriage.