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Peter Michael Falk (born September 16, 1927, height 5' 6" (1,68 m)) is a retired American actor, best known for his role as Lieutenant Columbo in the television series Columbo. He appeared in numerous films and television guest roles, and has been nominated for an Academy Award twice (for 1960's Murder, Inc. and 1961's Pocketful of Miracles), and won the Emmy Award on five occasions (four for Columbo) and the Golden Globe award once. Director William Friedkin, when discussing Falk's role in his 1978 film The Brink's Job said that "Peter has a great range from comedy to drama. He could break your heart or he could make you laugh."
In 1968 he starred with Gene Berry in a ninety-minute TV pilot about a highly-skilled, laid-back detective. Columbo eventually became part of an anthology series entitled, "The NBC Mystery Movie", along with "McCloud" and "McMillan And Wife". The detective series stayed on NBC from 1971-1978, took a five year respite, and returned occasionally on ABC from 1983-2003. He was "everyone's favorite rumpled television detective", writes historian David Fantle. Describing his role, Variety columnist Howard Prouty writes, "The joy of all this is watching Columbo dissemble the fiendishly clever cover stories of the loathsome rats who consider themselves his better."