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Dennis Farina, Chicago cop turned actor, dies at 69
Dennis Farina, a longtime Chicago police officer who went on to a distinguished career as a TV and movie character actor, has died at age 69, the AP reports. Lori De Waal, his representative, says Farina died Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69.
Among his many TV portrayals was Det. Joe Fontana on “Law & Order.” He starred in the 1980s cult favorite, “Crime Story” and most recently was in the HBO drama series “Luck.”
Farina most recently starred in the HBO series “Luck” and produced and starred in the independent film “The Last Rites of Joe May.”
He starred on the TV series “Crime Story,” “Miami Vice,” “Law & Order” and his own short-lived vehicle “Buddy Faro.” His big-screen credits include “Get Shorty,” “Midnight Run” and “Saving Private Ryan.”
A Chicago native, he brought hometown traits to many of his roles.
“Chicago is a state of mind,” he told the Sun-Times in a 1998 interview with Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker. “I’m sure New Yorkers feel that way about New York, but I think Chicagoans are even more adamant about it. You know the first thing a Chicagoan tells you is, `I’m from Chicago!’ And then the questions come if they discover you’re one, too. `What parish are you from? What ward are you from? Who’s your alderman?’
“See? It is a state of mind. After all, is there anything better than the Art Institute? Or walking through Lincoln Park? Or getting a hot dog or a beef sandwich?”
Born Feb. 29, 1944, in Chicago, he was a city police officer before turning to acting in his late 30s.
Farina appeared in films including “Get Shorty,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Midnight Run.”
Sun-Times reporter Mike Thomas talked to Mr. Farina in 2011. Read his interview here.