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PETER FALK (Irv) was born in New York City on September 16, 1927 and raised in Ossining, New York. When he was 12 years old, he made his first stage appearance in a production of "The Pirates of Penzance” at Camp High Point in upstate New York.

After graduating from Ossining High School, where he was a star athlete and president of his class, Falk served as a cook in the Merchant Marine, then studied at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. He completed his work for a B.A. in Political Science at the New School for Social Research in 1951. He earned a Masters in Public Administration at Syracuse University in 1953. After applying unsuccessfully for a job with the Central Intelligence Agency, he became a management analyst with the Connecticut State Budget Bureau, in Hartford. In his spare time, he acted with the Mark Twain Maskers in Hartford and studied at the White Barn Theatre in Westport, where he began to consider the possibility of becoming a professional actor. In 1956, at the age of 29, he left his job with the Budget Bureau and moved to Greenwich Village to pursue an acting career.

Falk made his professional debut off-Broadway in Moliere's "Don Juan” at the Fourth Street Theatre on January 3, 1956, and the following season he appeared in the Circle in the Square's successful revival of "The Iceman Cometh” with Jason Robards. For the next three years Falk was never out of work, bouncing from one off-Broadway theater to another.

Although Falk was enjoying success onstage, a theatrical agent advised him not to expect much work in motion pictures because of his glass eye. Surgeons had removed his right eye, along with a malignant tumor, when he was three years old.

In 1960, Falk left New York and moved to Hollywood, where he landed his first movie, "Murder Incorporated,” and was nominated for an Oscar® as Best Supporting Actor. The same year, he was nominated for an Emmy for playing a drug addict in "The Law and Mr. Jones.” Frank Capra's "A Pocketful of Miracles” with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford was Falk's second feature in 1961 and it brought him a second Oscar® nomination. He garnered a second Emmy nomination that same year in The Dick Powell Playhouse's presentation of "The Price of Tomatoes,” this time taking home the prize.

After rejecting several other TV series offers, in 1965 Falk agreed to star in "The Trials of O'Brien,” which brought him critical kudos. But it was his turn as the inimitable Lt. Frank Columbo that made him a household name and earned him four Emmys. What began as two TV movies, "Prescription: Murder” and "Ransom for a Dead Man,” evolved into the 90- minute "Columbo,” part of three alternating NBC mystery shows. "Columbo” quickly climbed to the top five in the Nielsen Ratings. Though the series ended in 1977, it was revived in 1988 as a two-hour TV movie and continues to this day.

Also in 1971, Falk returned to Broadway for Neil Simon's, "The Prisoner of Second Avenue” directed by Mike Nichols, for which he received a Tony Award. The love affair with Neil Simon continued with three starring roles in the films "Murder by Death” with Peter Sellers, "The Cheap Detective” with Stockard Channing and "The Sunshine Boys” with Woody Allen. He also toured in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play "Glengarry Glen Ross” with Joe Mantegna. Falk's film career includes three memorable films with his close friend John Cassavetes: "A Woman Under the Influence” with Gena Rowlands, "Husbands” with Cassavetes and Ben Gazzara and "Mikey and Nicky,” in which he and Cassavetes starred for writer/director Elaine May. Falk's comedic flair is a standout in his personal favorite "The In-Laws” with Alan Arkin, directed by Arthur Hiller. In Rob Reiner's fantasy "The Princess Bride,” Falk plays the beloved grandfather. In Wim

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