Actor Dennis Farina who is perhaps best known for his roles in the TV shows “Law & Order” and “Miami Vice” has died at the age of 69. Farina was synonymous with the theatrical portrayal of your average tough-talking mustachioed gumshoe cop, but what many might not realize is that Mr. Farina started off as a legitimate police officer in Chicago. Brought in as a consultant by director Michael Mann, Farina’s acting talent was uncovered which led to roles in numerous successful films such as “Snatch”, “Get Shorty”, “The Mod Squad”, “Midnight Run” and “Saving Private Ryan”.
Of course the actor’s most well-known role was playing “Detective Joe Fontana” in the hit TV series “Law & Order”. This was a natural and perhaps perfect role for Farina, who had only thought of acting as a hobby. Working as a police officer for more than a decade, Dennis landed a small part in the 1981 film “Thief” and was even encouraged to further pursue acting by none other than John Malkovich.
Mr. Farina is survived by his longtime partner Marianne Cahill as well as his 3 sons and numerous grandchildren.