Actor -- via KTLA. A great performer -- although he will be best remembered for playing TV detective Columbo,
he could do much, much more. He started in live TV in New York. He made it into movies playing rats and criminals in movies such as "Pretty Boy Floyd" and "Murder, Inc." He finally displayed his dramatic chops in several collaborations with John Cassavetes in "Husbands," "A Woman Under the Influence," and "Opening Night."
He could do comedy -- just watch the original "The In-Laws," "Murder by Death" and "The Princess Bride."
My favorite role of his was a relatively small one, but a key one, as "Der Filmstar" in Wim Wenders' "Wings of Desire."
"To smoke, and have coffee - and if you do it together, it's fantastic." What a guy.