Peter Falk Has Alzheimer’s

Actor Peter Falk has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, TMZ reports.

The 81-year-old Falk is best known for the role of Lt. Frank Columbo, a cigar-chomping, trench coat-wearing, seemingly befuddled investigator who would trip up suspects with “one last question.” The Columbo TV seres ran from 1971 to 1978, but Falk reprised the role many times in TV movies in the subsequent decades. (The actor won an Emmy in 1976 for his work on the series, and another in 1990 for the TV movie Columbo: Agenda for Murder.)

Falk’s adopted daughter, Catherine Falk—herself a real-life private detective—made the news known recently when she filed legal papers with the Los Angeles Superior Court stating that her father is no longer mentally competent enough to run his life, due to Alzheimer’s and dementia.

In the papers, Catherine states that Falk “requires full-time custodial care for his health and safety.”

The daughter is concerned that her father “can easily be deceived into transferring away property” and asks to establish a conservatorship to protect him from “fraud or undue influence.”

A hearing on the matter is scheduled to occur next month.