Bert Freed is an American actor and voice actor who is best known for having played the Detective in the series Columbo. He was born on November 3, 1919 in the Bronx and went to Penn State University. He first appeared on Broadway in 1942 at the age of twenty-three. He joined the Army during World War II but continued to act on stage. After the war, in 1945, he appeared in the Broadway play The Day Before Spring. Because of his rising popularity, he was picked up in a number of television shows. He took the role as a significant role in the popular television show Shane. In 1960 he took the role of Columbo before it had become a household name, and he would go on to play parts in a number of widely popular television shows, including Bonanza, The Rifleman, Gunsmoke, Charlie's Angels, Get Smart, Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, and The Green Hornet. He also took minor parts in a number of films before he died in 1994.