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

(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.

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)
Dennis Farina arrives at the premiere for the HBO television series Luck.   (Matt Sayles)
Dennis Farina, who plays New York Police Detective Joe Fontana, acts in a scene with Michael Imperioli in the role of Detective Nick Falco, in an episode from NBC's police drama,"Law & Order."   (JESSICA BURSTEIN)
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