To many for years he was best known Detective Fontana in long running TV Drama Law And Order, Chicago Cop turned actor, Dennis Farina has sadly died aged 69.Confirmed by his Publicist , the actor died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona after developing a blood clot in his lung.
Born in Chicago on 29 February 1944 as Donaldo Gugliermo Dennis Farina always wanted to be an actor with his road to becoming that actor started with a 3 year stint in American Army. For 18 years he kept the streets of Chicago safe as a police officer boasting he had such a bad shot it earned him the nickname “The Great Wounder”.
He was a latecomer to the acting fraternity nearly 40 when he crossed paths with filmmaker Michael Mann who gave him his first credited role in Thief, originally brought onboard as a consultant for Mann. For the next few years Farina would earn his acting badge by working in a number of theatre roles but Hollywood soon beckoned Code Of Silence, Midnight Run, Striking Distance, Get Shorty, Out Of Sight, Saving Private Ryan and Snatch as foul mouth Cousin Avi a role that got him recognised by a younger audience.
Whilst he made an name for himself a actor who loved to drop the f-bombs like their going out of fashion he was crating a persona as a hard as nails tough talking cop or mobster, it was probably television he really made his mark. it was the 1980’s tv show Crime Story as Lt. Mike Torello working once again with Michael Mann, He was also in the original Miami Vice series. Television did help to mold his career which would make him one of TV&Film’s best character actors, with him appearing in a host of other shows such as Tales From The Crypt, In Laws but most of all as Detective Joe Fontana in the long running crime drama Law & Order for 46 episodes.
More recently has seen him star in Dustin Hoffman’s short lived HBO series Luck and a critically received performances in New Girl with Zooey Deschanel,“I am completely devastated about Dennis Farina’s passing,I was lucky to have witnessed his charm and brilliance.” said Deschanel.
Our thoughts go to Dennis Farina’s surviving partner of 35 years, Marianne Cahill, three sons and six grandchildren.
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