Farina at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival
|Born||February 29, 1944
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||July 22, 2013
Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Farina (1970-1980) (divorced), 3 sons|
Dennis Farina (February 29, 1944 – July 22, 2013) was an American actor of film and television and former Chicago police officer. He was 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. He also hosted and narrated a revived version of Unsolved Mysteries. His last major television role was in HBO's Luck, which premiered on January 29, 2012.
Farina was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Sicilian-American parents Yolanda (née Donati), a homemaker, and Joseph Farina, a doctor. His father was from Villalba, Sicily. He was raised in a large family and had three brothers and three sisters.
Before becoming an actor, Farina served three years in the United States Army and then 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 best 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, Big Trouble and Out of Sight. He co-starred with Bette Midler in the romantic comedy That Old Feeling.
Farina demonstrated 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 until 2003. 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 shared a number of other characteristics with the actor who played him: they hailed from the same Chicago neighborhood, attended the same parochial school, and had the same tastes in both clothes and music and were even fans of the Chicago Cubs.
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. This version featured re-edited segments from previous incarnations on NBC, CBS, and Lifetime (all originally hosted by Stack).
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.
He co-starred in the 2012 HBO horse-race gambling series Luck, with Dustin Hoffman, directed by Michael Mann. He also had a recurring guest role in 2013 in the television comedy series New Girl, though his character was killed off prior to the actor's death.
Farina was married to Patricia Farina from 1970 until their divorce in 1980. They have three sons together: 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. He lived with his longtime girlfriend Marianne Cahill in Arizona.
Farina was a lifelong Chicago Cubs fan and played in this role 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 Los Angeles International Airport security. Farina was taken to the Los Angeles Police Department'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.
|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"
|Empire Falls||Walt Comeau||HBO Miniseries|
|2008 – 2010||Unsolved Mysteries||Host/narrator||Lifetime|
|2011 – 2012||Luck||Gus Demitriou||HBO|
|2012||New Girl||Walt Miller||Episodes: 2.13 "A Father's Love", 2.23 "Virgins"|
|Doc McStuffins||Riggo||Episode: "Stuck Up"|
|2013||The Looney Tunes Show (TV series)||Frank Russo (voice)||Cartoon Network|
- "Dennis Farina, ‘Law & Order’ Actor, Dies at 69". The New York Times (New York Times Company). Associated Press. July 22, 2013. Retrieved July 23, 2013.[dead link]
- "People Profile | Dennis Farina". Cigar Aficionado. 1999-08-01. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Dennis Farina Biography (1944-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "'Unsolved Mysteries' Gets A New Look On Spike Tv". Thefutoncritic.com. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Dennis Farina and his longtime love Marianne Cahill ". E News Daily. 5 July 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-22.
- "Actor Dennis Farina arrested at LA Airport". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Actor Dennis Farina Gets Probation on Gun Charge". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
- "Publicist: Actor Dennis Farina, Police Officer Turned Star of "Law & Order," Has Died at 69.". Associated Press. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
- "'Law And Order' Star Dies; Blood Clot In Lung". TMZ. Retrieved 22 July 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dennis Farina.|
- Dennis Farina at the Internet Movie Database
- Dennis Farina - Hollywood.com
- Dennis Farina Net Worth
- Dennis Farina At Find A Grave