Peter Falk (born September 16, 1927 in New York City to Jewish immigrants from Russia and Hungary) is an American actor. He is a descendent of Miksa Falk, who was the editor of the liberal Hungarian newspaper, the Pester Lloyd.
He was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award twice, for Murder Inc, and Pocketful of Miracles.
He is best known for the title role in the long-running TV series Columbo, a shabby and absent-minded police detective. Columbo invariably solved his cases by paying close attention to tiny inconsistencies in a suspect's story, hounding them until they confessed. He put on a good show of being dim-witted. Columbo's signature technique was to exit the scene of an interview, only to stop in the doorway to ask "just one more thing" of a suspect, which always brought to light the key inconsistency. The role won him 5 Emmys and a Golden Globe.
Falk is also loved for his roles in several films, including a brilliant performance in the high-brow comedy, The In-Laws. Falk played a crazed (ex?)-CIA agent who dupes his in-law, a New York City dentist, into joining a scheme to rob the U.S. Treasury. He also gave memorable performances in director John Cassavetes' A Woman Under the Influence, (opposite Gena Rowlands) and in Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire.
Falk wears an ocular prosthetic ("glass eye"), because his right eye was surgically removed at the age of three because of cancer.