A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday for Eugene Vier, a copy editor, author and tennis-loving denizen of the Hollywood celebrity scene, who was rumored to be an inspiration for Peter Falk’s TV detective “Columbo.” Vier died Monday night at age 80 of cancer of the esophagus. He had been admitted 11 days earlier to a Hollywood hospice. Vier worked as a copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Guardian of London, New York Daily News and New York Times (Paris Edition). He also did occasional film, theater and book criticism for the Los Angeles Daily News. “He was the smartest person I knew,” said his niece, Minerva Vier. “He was a social butterfly. It amazed me in the beginning how many friends he had.” A one-time tennis coach, he also wrote the book “Tennis: Myth and Method,” with former tennis champion Ellsworth Vines. Falk has alternately denied and affirmed that Vier was a model for Columbo, but Columbo’s dress, mannerisms and speech patterns were vintage Vier. Vier was born June 10, 1925, to a wealthy Detroit family that later lost its money in the Great Depression. Vier was also a fixture on the coffeehouse scene in 1960s Hollywood and became part of the circle around Doug Weston, founder of The Troubadour, from which much of the music scene in Los Angeles evolved. He was an inveterate conversationalist and intellectual – a trait inherited from his father and grandfather, who had taught philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris. According to friends, he once whispered in gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown’s ear at Dan Tana’s, a favorite hangout of both men, “Listen, you got it wrapped up. Just keep your mouth shut and you can’t lose.” Brown supposedly acknowledged this wisdom with a nod. “He was part of the family here,” Craig Susser, the maitre d’ at Dan Tana’s, said Wednesday. “He knew everybody and everybody liked him. The reason he had such a depth of knowledge is because he was always asking questions and always interested in other people.” Services are scheduled at 11 a.m. Friday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, 6000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. He is survived by his 89-year-old sister, Melanie of Dearborn, Mich., who shared his love of tennis. “He was my baby brother,” she said. “He was my favorite.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!