Dennis Franz

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Dennis Franz
Dennis Franz (1994).jpg
Franz at a rehearsal for the 1994 Emmy Awards
Born Dennis Franz Schlachta
(1944-10-28) October 28, 1944 (age 69)
Maywood, Illinois, United States
Residence Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Occupation Actor
Years active 1978–2005

Dennis Franz (/frɑːnz/; born October 28, 1944) is an American actor best known for his role as Andy Sipowicz, a hard-boiled police detective, in the television series NYPD Blue. He previously appeared as Lt. Norman Buntz on Hill Street Blues, and earlier played Detective Benedetto on the same show.

Early life[edit]

Franz was born Dennis Franz Schlachta in Maywood, Illinois, the son of German immigrants[1][2][3] Eleanor, a postal worker, and Franz Schlachta, who was a baker and postal worker.[4] Franz is a graduate of Proviso East High School (in Maywood), Wilbur Wright College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.[5] After graduating from college, Franz was drafted into the United States Army. He served eleven months with the 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam.[6]

Career[edit]

Franz began his acting career at Chicago's Organic Theater Company. Although he has in the past performed Shakespeare, his "look" led to his being typecast early in his career as a police officer. (By Franz's own count, the character of Detective Andy Sipowicz was his 27th role as a police officer). He has also guest-starred in shows such as The A-Team. Other major roles were on the television series Hill Street Blues in which he played two characters over the run of that show. Franz first played the role of Detective Sal Benedetto, a corrupt cop in the 1983 season, who later kills himself. Due to his popularity with fans, he returned in 1985 as Lt. Norm Buntz, remaining until the show's end in 1987. He starred in the short-lived Beverly Hills Buntz as the morally questionable Norman Buntz.

Franz had a small role as a grouchy movie director in Body Double (1984).

Franz went on to win four Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue. The character of Sipowicz was ranked #23 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters list.

In 1994 Franz made a cameo appearance as himself in The Simpsons episode "Homer Badman" - when Homer is accused of sexually harassing a babysitter, the case becomes tabloid fodder, generating an exploitative Fox telemovie, Homer S.: Portrait of an Ass-Grabber, in which Franz portrays Homer.

He starred as "Earl", the abusive husband, in the Dixie Chicks' music video "Goodbye Earl", as the obnoxious Captain Carmine Lorenzo in the 1990 action film Die Hard 2 and as Nathaniel Messinger in the 1998 film, City of Angels.

Franz has stayed out of the acting spotlight since 2005 to focus on his private life. He has told Access Hollywood he would be interested to return to acting if given the right opportunity.

Filmography[edit]

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1978 Remember My Name Franks
1978 The Fury Bob
1978 A Wedding Koons
1978 Stony Island Jerry Domino
1979 A Perfect Couple Costa
1979 Bleacher Bums Zig Television film
1980 Dressed to Kill Detective Marino
1980 Popeye Spike
1981 Blow Out Manny Karp
1983 Psycho II Warren Toomey
1984 Body Double Rubin
1985 Deadly Messages Detective Max Lucas Television film
1986 A Fine Mess Phil Uncredited
1987 Tales from the Hollywood Hills Louie Television film
1989 Kiss Shot Max Fleischer Television film
1989 The Package Lt. Milan Delich
1990 Die Hard 2 Captain Carmine Lorenzo
1990 Nasty Boys, Part 2: Lone Justice Lt. Stan Krieger Television film
1991 NYPD Mounted Tony Spampatta
1991 The Sid Story Sid
1992 In the Line of Duty: Siege at Marion Bob Bryant
1994 Moment of Truth: Caught in the Crossfire Gus Payne Television film
1995 Texas Justice Richard Haynes
1996 Healing the Hate Host
1996 American Buffalo Don Dubrow
1997 Mighty Ducks the Movie: The First Face-Off Captain Klegghorn
1998 City of Angels Nathaniel Messinger

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1982 Chicago Story Officer Joe Gilland 13 episodes
1983-1987 Hill Street Blues Lt. Norman Buntz 46 episodes
1983 Bay City Blues Angelo Carbone 8 episodes
1984 The A-Team Sam Friendly Episode: "Chopping Spree"
1985 The A-Team Brooks Episode: "Beverly Hills Assault"
1985 Hunter Sgt. Jackie Molinas 2 episodes
1987-1988 Beverly Hills Buntz Norman Buntz 13 episodes
1989 Matlock Jack Brennert 2 episodes
1990 Nasty Boys Lt. Stan Krieger 12 episodes
1993-2005 NYPD Blue Detective Andy Sipowicz 261 episodes
1994 The Simpsons Himself Episode: "Homer Badman"
1996-1997 Mighty Ducks Captain Klegghorn 17 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SMOKE 03/98 - Dennis Franz
  2. ^ Gerard Gilbert (8 July 2002). "TV Heroes: #6: Dennis Franz". The Independent. 
  3. ^ News-Record.com: Archives Search: 01 results for search "( (unq:"0EAF85A3C033421C") ) "
  4. ^ Dennis Franz Biography (1944-)
  5. ^ Utterback, Wayne (2007-04-19). "Emprace the 'Dark': Author, SIUC alumnus reprints book about Strip". Daily Egyptian. p. 7. 
  6. ^ Dennis Franz - Trailer - Showtimes - Cast - Movies - The New York Times

External links[edit]