In 2008, Peter became completely incapacitated because of his advanced dementia.
Losing a parent itself is heartbreaking but what if one is refused to attend his funeral? Peter Falk's daughter Catherine Falk claimed that her father's second wife banned her from being present at her father's funeral. "I've been filled with so many different emotions, so much anger, so much sadness, so much pain. I am in a state of shock," she had told Inside Edition. He was known for his role as Detective Colombo. He passed away in 2011.
She said that she didn't even know about his death until a few hours later. "How would you feel if you had to hear from the media, or hear from an attorney that your dad passed away?" asked Catherine.
Catherine's attorney, Troy Martin, had sent a letter to Danese's attorney to know when and where the funeral was, and the response was "Peter's final resting place is only about Peter, not Catherine, his estranged adopted daughter." He was buried at Westwood Memorial Park, alongside stars such as Caroll O'Connor and Jack Lemmon. Catherine and her sister were adopted by Peter and his first wife, Alyce Mayo. They got divorced in 1976 and he remarried in 1977 to actress Shera Danese.
"I think that most people feel that I am this money-grubbing daughter, that I'm just going after my dad to get money," said Catherine. She had blamed Danese for all the problems between her and her father. "My father was married to a woman that made it really difficult for my father to feel free," she said. Catherine had also shared that they became estranged after she sued him to pay for her tuition fees and expenses while studying at Syracuse University. However, they later reconciled. "There were definitely bumps in the road, but we had reconciled and I had a very loving relationship with him. I adored him, he adored me," she said.
In 2008, Peter became completely incapacitated because of his advanced dementia. She had then said, "Father's Day came and went and we couldn't reach him." Catherine filed a case requesting to become his "conservator". She had asked for "full-time custodial care for his health and safety" and said that he is no longer able to protect himself against "fraud or undue influence". His daughter also asserted that her father could not "recognize his physical needs or communicate those needs to others who can meet them", as reported by The Guardian.
The court case went on for 7 months. "You're sitting in a courtroom and it's so surreal," she said. "It cost me $100,000. Nobody has that kind of money. Most people in America don't have the financial resources to battle something like this," according to Fox News. That's when she created the Catherine Falk Organization, which advocates for the rights of adult children to see their sick parents.
Catherine claimed she hadn't wanted conservatorship but was forced into it because it was the only way she could see her father, as reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal. She told the judge she just wanted visitation. She was granted visitation rights in which she was allowed to meet her father for 30-minutes every month without Danese. However, the court gave Danese the right to his personal care and affairs, according to CBC.
Speaking about her father, she had said, "He wasn't in character. He was the character. He was genuinely this bumbling, goofy, absent-minded guy who was so funny and loved his family," Catherine Falk, remembered with a laugh. "We'd give him these Christmas presents and he'd put them in his trunk and forget about them. Then the next Christmas would come around and he'd open the trunk of his Mercedes and there they'd be, all the presents from last year."
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