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. (Read more Law & Order stories.)