Law & Order's Dennis Farina Dead at 69
Was a real cop before playing one on TV
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2013 2:30 PM CDT
Joan Allen, Dustin Hoffman, John Ortiz and Dennis Farina are shown in a scene from HBO's "Luck." Farina died suddenly on Monday, July 22, 2013 after suffering a blood clot in his lung.   (Gusmano Cesaretti)

(Newser) – Dennis Farina, a onetime real Chicago cop who as a popular actor also played a cop on Law & Order, has died. Farina died this morning in a Scottsdale, Arizona, hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung, according to his publicist, Lori De Waal. He was 69. Born Feb. 29, 1944, in Chicago, Farina was a city detective before he found his way into the acting profession as he neared his forties. For three decades, Farina was a character actor who made effective use of his craggy face, steel-gray hair, ivory smile and ample mustache.

Among his many TV portrayals was Detective Joe Fontana on Law & Order during the 2004 to 2006 seasons. He also starred in the 1980s cult favorite Crime Story and was a regular in the 2011-12 HBO drama Luck. Farina appeared in films including Get Shorty, Saving Private Ryan, Midnight Run, and Out Of Sight. He recently completed shooting a comedy, Lucky Stiff.

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Jul 25, 2013 9:40 PM CDT
You will be missed by many fans and colleagues. Rest in peace dear man.
Jul 25, 2013 1:19 PM CDT
Oh yeah, I think he had small, but very funny role in "Little Big League" as the haggard Minnesota Twins manager. He was good at comedy too.
Jul 25, 2013 1:17 PM CDT
Farina could always deliver the goods in a police role. His performances way back in "Crime Story" were realistic and I'm sure he used his background to flesh out his role. His accents and mannerisms just screamed "Chicago", didn't they? Had he begun acting earlier, I'm sure he would have been perfect in the 70's anthology show "Police Story", which, along with "Crime Story" in the 1980's were two of the best police-oriented shows ever made on U.S. television. Fine, fine actor.