Best of 2011

A Farewell to the Stars We Lost This Year

From Elizabeth Taylor to Amy Winehouse, we pay tribute to the people whose lives touched us all

PETER FALK

Falk cemented his place in pop culture as the beloved yet absented-minded detective Columbo, a role he played for four decades and one that earned him four Emmys and legions of fans. "I think people identify with Columbo because he is an average man," said the actor, who passed away on June 24 at 83. Though he appeared in many films, including The Princess Bride and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Falk "struggled with loving Columbo, but also breaking away from it," according to his daughter, Catherine.