FALK, PETER (1927– ), U.S. actor. Born in New York, Falk worked for the Budget Bureau of the state of Connecticut as an efficiency expert after receiving his M.B.A. in public administration in 1953. Bored with his job, he turned first to theater and television and then to film, eventually receiving Oscar nominations for his performances in Murder Inc. (1960) and Pocketful of Miracles (1961). In the 1970s Falk made a convincing impression in the films Husbands and A Woman under the Influence and starred in his own popular television detective series Columbo, new episodes of which were filmed after more than a 20-year break. As perhaps an illustration of the concept that life imitates art, his daughter Catherine Falk became a private detective.
In 1972 he appeared on Broadway in The Prisoner of Second Avenue. In 1987, he starred in Wim Wenders' Cannes Award-winning film Der Himmel ueber Berlin/Wings of Desire, and Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride. Other film roles include The Balcony (1963), Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964), The Great Race (1965), Luv (1967), Mikey and Nicky (1976), Murder by Death (1976), The Cheap Detective (1978), The In-Laws (1979), Big Trouble (1986), Happy New Year (1987), In the Spirit (1990), Roommates (1995), Lakeboat (2000), Enemies of Laughter (2001), Corky Romano (2001), Three Days of Rain (2002), Undisputed (2002), The Thing about My Folks (2004), and Checking Out (2004).
In addition to winning five Emmy awards, Falk has been nominated for seven other Emmys for his television performances. His memorable tv portrayals have also earned him a Golden Globe award and eight other GG nominations.
[Jonathan Licht /
Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]
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