Saturday, June 25, 2011

Columbo star Peter Falk leaves bulk of multi million dollar estate to his devoted wife Shera


Beloved: Peter Falk, pictured with Shera back in 2005, has left the bulk of his $5 million estate to her

Columbo star Peter Falk has left the bulk of his multi million dollar estate to his beloved wife of 33 years, Shera.

The star, who passed away at his home in Beverly Hills on Thursday night, set up a trust fund years before he was formally diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, according to Radar.

The estate is said to be worth around $5 million dollars.

Estranged: Peter and his adopted daughter Catherine together at a New York event back in 2002

'Peter left the bulk of his estate to Shera,' a source told the showbiz website. 'The house that the two of them lived in together, art work, investment accounts, and more have been left to Shera.

It is being reported that Peter also left an estimated six figure inheritance to his two adopted daughters from his first marriage, Catherine and Jackie.

Radar Online goes on to report that the actor had been estranged from Catherine for some time, and suspected that she would challenge the will - so a clause is present to ensure she loses all of her inheritance, if she in any way contests his instructions.

'Peter's daughter Catherine had a very strained relationship with her stepmother, Shera for years, and tried to get conservatorship of Peter several years ago,' the source adds.

Peter Falk starred as Columbo from 1973 up until 2003 - with the show heralded as one of the greatest detective dramas of all time

'The judge flatly denied that request because Shera proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she was providing excellent care of her husband at home.'

The website reports that Catherine was allowed to see her father once a month at a neutral location, and adds that the actor had a good relationship with his other adopted daughter Jackie.

Following treatment at a Southern California hospital for several weeks, Shera brought Peter home for his final few days.

'He died very peacefully with his wife by his side,' the source tells Radar.'

The actor had been ill for some time, battling against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Battle over: Prior to his death, Falk had been battling with dementia and Alzheimer's

Despite a long and varied career, Falk gained fame for his portrayal of the glass-eyed, dishevelled but crafty Los Angeles Lieutenant.

Columbo always wore a grubby rain mac and smoked cigars, and usually made a false exit before uttering his catchphrase: ‘Just one more thing.’

His portrayal of the cop spawned numerous impressions.

The original series ran for seven years from 1971, but was constantly re-commissioned throughout the 1980s and 1990s due to its popularity.

Big screen: Falk starred in the 2001 film Corky Romano portraying a Mafia boss

Villains no matter how evil were always addressed as 'ma'am,' or 'sir' as the deceptively bumbling detective distracted their smooth patter midway by plucking a boiled egg from his pocket, or delivering that famous line after exiting a room.

Levinson and Link said that Falk wore the same suit, tie, and shoes for the entire run of the series.

Falk himself picked out the Peugeot car that Columbo rattled around L.A. in; its tan color matched his character’s coat.

It was even said that film director Federico Fellini would leave dinner parties to go watch the latest episode of Columbo, such was the impact of Falk's performance.
He was also an accomplished artist.

A New Yorker, Falk did not turn to acting until the age of 30. He was initially told not to turn to acting because of his glass eye.

Man of many talents: Falk, wearing a German police officer uniform on the TV show 'Wetten, dass...?' (Bet, That...) in Germany is survived by his wife Shera and daughter Catherine

Falk lost an eye at the age of three because of a malignant tumour.

The disability also saw him rejected from the armed services but undeterred Falk joined the United States Merchant Marine, and served as a cook and mess boy.

He recalled in his autobiography, Just One More Thing: 'There they don't care if you're blind or not, the only one on a ship who has to see is the captain. And in the case of the Titanic, he couldn't see very well, either.'

He served as a Marine in the years after World war Two before unsuccessfully applied to work for the CIA.

It was only after being rejected by the agency that he turned to acting.

Star: Falk alongside legendary British actor Peter Sellers, left, in the film 'Murder by Death'

Falk was married twice.

In 1960 he wed his fellow Syracuse University student Alyce Mayo.

They adopted two daughters but divorced in 1976.

A year later Falk married Shera Danese, who regularly appeared on Columbo, the actress, who survives him was 21 years his junior and in typical fashion he joked about the age difference.

When asked in the 70s what they had in common, he replied: 'I think it's safe to say that we both like the colour blue.'

Popularity: Falk presenting a Golden Camera Award in Berlin back in 2004
The acting world also paid tributes to Falk today.

John Favreau, who co-starred with Falk in Favreau’s directorial debut, 2001′s Made said: 'He was a pioneer of independent film and redefined what you could do on television.

'He brought tremendous truth and honesty to his performances. I was blessed to have worked with him.'

Alec Baldwin tweeted: 'Peter Falk in Cassavetes' HUSBANDS. Flights of Angels ...'

Happy together: Peter and Shera, who were together for 33 years, as they attended a Beverly Hills gala back in 2002

source :dailymail

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