Dennis Farina, 'Law & Order' star, dies at 69
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (KABC) -- Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop who as a popular actor played a cop on "Law & Order," died Monday. He was 69.
The actor died in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung, Farina's representative Lori De Waal said.
Born Feb. 29, 1944, in Chicago, Farina spent 18 years with the Chicago Police Department. He started acting as a sideline and landed his first role, a small one, in the 1981 film, "Thief." In 1986, he took a leave of absence from his law enforcement career to star in a TV series.
Farina's work on "Crime Story" convinced him it was time to hang up his badge and give acting a go full-time. But during an interview 15 years later, the "cop" was still in him.
"You're never completely off the job. It's just instinctual," he said.
On camera, Farina could be both funny and ferocious. In 1988, he starred alongside Charles Grodin and Robert De Niro in "Midnight Run."
Farina's other film work included roles in the George Clooney-Jennifer Lopez film, "Out of Sight," and the comedy, "Big Trouble," and the romantic comedy, "That Old Feeling."
Farina was fine being described as a "character actor." He would show that side off in films like "Snatch" and "Get Shorty," where he got notice for playing a Miami mob boss.
In 2004, Farina joined the cast of "Law & Order" as Det. Joe Fontana, stepping in after the death of its star, Jerry Orbach. The former cop was back wearing a badge.
Farina is survived by three sons, six grandchildren and his longtime partner, Marianne Cahill.
celebrity, famous death, entertainment, george pennacchio
- Malaysia Airlines missing jet: Oil slicks found
- LAPD officer killed in Beverly Hills crash
- 3.2-magnitude earthquake hits Marina del Rey
- Salon owner charged in murder-for-hire plot
- Temecula man arrested in drug sales bust
- Pomona man hurt in shooting; suspect sought
- 2 pedestrians struck, killed on Norwalk street
- Westminster deadly car crash: Driver sought
- Gun hidden in sock kills woman at thrift store
- Bond set for mom who drove kids into ocean 20 min ago
- Russia reinforces military presence in Crimea 59 min ago
- abcnews: Woman has 'out of body' experience at will
- Oprah gives away Essence cover dress to fan
- Photos: Aaron Paul, wife at 'Need For Speed' premiere