Farina at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival
February 29, 1944 |
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Years active||1981 – present|
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Farina (1970-1980) (divorced) 3 sons|
Dennis Farina (born February 29, 1944) is an American actor of film and television and former Chicago police officer. He is a character actor, often typecast as a mobster or police officer. His most known film roles are those of mobster Jimmy Serrano in the comedy Midnight Run and Ray "Bones" Barboni in Get Shorty. He starred on television as Detective Joe Fontana on Law & Order. His latest TV role was in HBO's Luck, which premiered on January 29, 2012.
Early life 
Farina was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Sicilian-American parents Iolanda, a homemaker, and Joseph Farina, a Sicilian immigrant doctor. He was raised in a large family and has three brothers and three sisters.
Before becoming an actor, Farina served 18 years in the Chicago Police Department's burglary division, from 1967 to 1985.
Career in show business 
Farina began his work in show business working for director Michael Mann as a police consultant, which subsequently led to an interest in acting when Mann cast him in a small role in the 1981 film Thief. Farina proceeded to moonlight as an actor in the Chicago theater scene before Mann chose him for his Crime Story series. Farina played the mobster Albert Lombard in Michael Mann's other television show, Miami Vice.
Two of his most well-known movie characters are Jimmy Serrano, the mob boss from Midnight Run, and Ray "Bones" Barboni, a rival criminal of Chili Palmer's in Get Shorty. He also played FBI Agent Jack Crawford in the first Hannibal Lecter crime film, Michael Mann's Manhunter.
Other movies in Farina's filmography include Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan (as Army Lieutenant Colonel Walter Anderson), Striking Distance, Another Stakeout, Little Big League, Snatch, The Mod Squad and Out of Sight. He co-starred with Bette Midler in the romantic comedy That Old Feeling.
Farina has demonstrated quite a flair for comedy. He won an American Comedy Award for his performance in Get Shorty and starred in a television sitcom, In-Laws, from 2002-03. He had a comic role opposite Ed Harris and Helen Hunt in the HBO production of Empire Falls in 2005 and opposite Alan Rickman in 2008's Bottle Shock.
The producers of the long-running television series Law & Order hired Farina as Det. Joe Fontana after the retirement of Jerry Orbach's character Lennie Briscoe. Farina stayed with the show for two years, but his character was not as popular with viewers as Orbach's Lennie Briscoe had been. As a result, in May 2006, it was announced that Farina was leaving Law & Order to pursue other projects, including 2007's You Kill Me opposite Ben Kingsley and 2008's What Happens in Vegas with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher.
His role of Detective Lt. Mike Torello on Crime Story was as a Chicago police officer, who was later seconded to the U.S. Justice Department. Farina's Law & Order character, Joe Fontana, worked for Chicago Homicide before his transfer to the NYPD. As is common on Law & Order, Fontana shares a number of other characteristics with the actor who plays him: they hail from the same Chicago neighborhood, attended the same parochial school, and have the same tastes in both clothes and music.
In October 2008, Farina became the new host of Unsolved Mysteries when it returned to television with a new five-season, 175-episode run on Spike TV. Farina replaced Robert Stack, who had hosted the series for its entire original 15-year run before his death in 2003. The series would include re-edited segments from previous incarnations on NBC, CBS, and Lifetime (all originally hosted by Stack) as well as several new original stories.
Farina played the title role in a 2011 independent film, The Last Rites of Joe May, written and directed by Joe Maggio, shot on location in Chicago.
Personal life 
Farina was married to Patricia Farina from 1970 until their divorce in 1980. They have three sons: Dennis Jr, Michael, and Joseph. His youngest son, Joseph, is also an actor. He has two granddaughters, Brianna and Olivia, and four grandsons: Michael, Tyler, Matthew, and Eric.
Farina is a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and played an avid fan in a 1988 revival of the successful 1977 Organic Theater Company stage play The Bleacher Bums which was written by and starred fellow Chicago actors Joe Mantegna and Dennis Franz.
Farina was arrested on May 11, 2008, for carrying a loaded .22 caliber pistol through LAX airport security. Farina was taken to LAPD's Pacific Division and booked on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, and bail was set at $25,000. He claimed he had simply forgotten the weapon was still in his briefcase and had never intended to take it on a plane. After police determined the weapon was unregistered, the charges were upgraded to a felony and bail was increased to $35,000.
On July 17, 2008, after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors, Farina pleaded no contest and was sentenced to two years probation. On July 17, 2009, the judge in his case dismissed the charge and expunged it from Farina's otherwise clean record.
|1985||Code of Silence||Dorato||portrayed CPD officer-filmed in Chicago|
|1986||Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling||Freddy|
|1988||Midnight Run||Jimmy Serrano|
|1990||Men of Respect||Bankie Como|
|1992||We're Talking Serious Money||Sal|
|1993||Another Stakeout||Brian O'Hara|
|Romeo Is Bleeding||Nick Gazzara||Uncredited Role|
|Striking Distance||Capt. Nick Detillo|
|1994||Little Big League||George O'Farrell|
|1995||Get Shorty||Ray "Bones" Barboni|
|1996||Eddie||Coach John Bailey|
|1997||That Old Feeling||Dan De Mora|
|1998||Out of Sight||Marshall Sisco|
|Saving Private Ryan||Lt. Col. Walter Anderson|
|1999||The Mod Squad||Capt. Adam Greer|
|2000||Reindeer Games||Jack Bangs|
|Preston Tylk||Dick Muller|
|Snatch||Abraham "Avi" Denovitz|
|2001||Sidewalks of New York||Carpo|
|2002||Big Trouble||Henry Desalvo|
|Stealing Harvard||Mr. Warner|
|Scrambled Eggs||Dr. Carlson||Short film|
|2007||You Kill Me||Edward O'Leary|
|National Lampoon's Bag Boy||Marty Engstrom|
|2008||The Grand||L.B.J. Deuce Fairbanks|
|What Happens in Vegas||Banger|
|2011||Last Rites of Joe May||Joe May|
|1983||Through Naked Eyes||Patrolman||ABC TV-Movie|
|1984||Hard Knox||April||NBC TV-Movie/TV-Pilot|
|1984–1989||Miami Vice||Albert Lombard||Episode: One Eyed Jack
Episode: "World of Trouble"
|1985||American Playhouse||Supervisor||Episode: "The Killing Floor"|
|Hardcastle and McCormick||Ed Coley||Episode: "Undercover McCormick"|
|Hunter||Vic Terranova||Episode: "The Snow Queen" 1 & 2|
|Remington Steele||Cop||Episode: "Steele Trying"|
|Final Jeopardy||Policeman #2||NBC TV-Movie|
|1986||The Birthday Boy||Short TV-Movie|
|Jack and Mike||Episode: Pilot|
|Lady Blue||Joe Kaufman||Episode: "Sylvie"|
|Triplecross||Ernie (Veteran Cop)||ABC TV-Movie|
|1986–1988||Crime Story||Lt. Mike Torello||44 episodes|
|1987||Six Against the Rock||Robert Stroud||NBC TV-Movie|
|1988||Open Admissions||Fred||CBS TV-Movie|
|1989||China Beach||Lt. Col. Edward Edward Vincent||Episode: "All About E.E.V."|
|The Case of the Hillside Stranglers||Angelo Buono, Jr.||NBC TV-Movie|
|1990||Blind Faith||Prosecutor Kelly||NBC TV-Movie|
|People Like Us||Elias Renthall||NBC TV-Movie|
|1991||Perfect Crimes||Armand Zaro||NBC TV-Movie/Unsold TV-Pilot|
|1992||Drug Wars: The Cocaine Cartel||Mike Cerone||NBC TV-Movie|
|Cruel Doubt||Tom Bereton||NBC Miniseries|
|Tales from the Crypt||Antoine||Episode: "Werewolf Concerto"|
|1993||The Disappearance of Nora||Denton||CBS TV-Movie|
|A Stranger in the Mirror||ABC TV-Movie|
|1994||One Woman's Courage||Craig McKenna||NBC TV-Movie|
|The Corpse Had a Familiar Face||Det. Harry Lindstrom||CBS TV-Movie|
|1995||Out of Annie's Past||Charlie Ingle||TV-Movie|
|Bonanza: Under Attack||Charley Siringo||NBC TV-Movie|
|1997||Bella Mafia||Don Roberto Luciano||CBS TV-Movie|
|1998||Buddy Faro||Buddy Faro||13 episodes|
|2002–2003||In-Laws||Victor Pellet||15 episodes|
|2004–2006||Law & Order||Det. Joe Fontana||46 episodes|
|2005||Justice League Unlimited||Wildcat||Voice Role
Episode: "The Cat and the Canary"
|Law & Order: Trial by Jury||Det. Joe Fontana||Episode: "Skeleton"|
|Empire Falls||Walt Comeau||HBO Miniseries|
|2012||New Girl||Walt Miller||FOX|
|2013||The Looney Tunes Show (TV series)||Frank Russo (voice)||Cartoon Network|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Dennis Farina|
- Dennis Farina at the Internet Movie Database
- Dennis Farina at Yahoo! Movies
- Dennis Farina - Hollywood.com