The news of the passing of television and American Cultural legend Peter Falk at 83 is sad to say the least. According to TMZ.com, Mr. Falk suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease, the same disease that claimed the life of another legend, Glen Campbell, and that I talked about here:
A rep for the family tells TMZ, “Peter Falk, 83-year-old Academy Award nominee and star of television series, ‘Columbo’, died peacefully at his Beverly Hills home in the evening of June 23, 2011.”
The rep continued, “Peter Falk is survived by his wife, Shera, of 34 years and two daughters from a previous marriage.”
In addition to “Columbo,” Falk starred in “Princess Bride,” “Brigadoon” and “The Great Race.”
Peter’s wife, Shera and daughter Catherine were locked in a legal battle in 2009 over the creation of a conservatorship for Peter and who would control it. In the end, the judge appointed Shera conservator.
Columbo, which ran from 1968 to 2003, was one of the longest-running shows on television, lasting longer than Gunsmoke. Over that time, the lovably forgetful detective’s path-breaking format was unmatched.
In a common murder mystery, the criminal is not revealed until the end of the story. With Columbo, the killer was known minutes into the show, and we followed Falk / Columbo in unraveling the trail of clues to the murderer.
Peter Falk is survived by his wife Shera Danese Falk, and daughters Catherine and Jackie.
Catherine and Shera Danese Falk were embroiled in a legal dispute such that Shera placed this press release on the Peter Falk.com website in 2009:
June 4, 2009
When Peter Falk, my loving husband of 31 years, became ill shortly after a surgical procedure, one of my main concerns was to respect his privacy. However, Peter’s adopted and estranged daughter, Catherine, violated Peter’s right to privacy by filing a public petition in the Los Angeles Superior Court to be Peter’s conservator.
After an evidentiary hearing, the Court appointed me to act as Peter’s conservator. Thereafter, my representatives and I were invited to appear on television shows and to speak to numerous news reporters regarding both the legal disputes and about Peter’s current medical condition.
I, along with my representatives, are now declining all media invitations because I believe that it is more important than ever to respect my husband’s privacy at this very difficult time.
Shera Danese Falk
Beverly Hills, California
Missy Elliot Has Graves Disease
Meanwhile, rap star Missy Elliot has Graves Disease, but she tells Reuters’ it’s “not so grave,” as the news website puts it. “I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease about three years ago, but it really hasn’t slowed me down at all,” said the four-time Grammy winner.
Graves is known for the hits “Get Ur Freak On” and “Work It,” but has not released an album since The Cookbook in 2005.