Peter Falk Falk was best known for his portrayal of TV detective Columbo, a role he played for 35 years. Sadly, his physician reported that he could no longer remember the role that made him famous as his Alzheimer's disease progressed. Falk died in 2011 at the age of 83. A clinical trial has been given a $2.1m grant to test a cancer treatment on Alzheimer’s patients. Find out more.