Dennis Farina, 'Law & Order' actor, dies at 69 - KiiiTV.com South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Dennis Farina, 'Law & Order' actor, dies at 69

Posted:
Highlights
  • Actor Dennis Farina was known for cop and tough-guy roles
  • Farina played Joe Fontana on "Law & Order"
  • Actor was longtime Chicago police officer who went into acting

By Todd Leopold

Dennis Farina, the dapper, mustachioed cop-turned-actor best known for his tough-as-nails work in such TV series as "Law & Order," "Crime Story," and "Miami Vice, has died. He was 69.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of a great actor and a wonderful man," said his publicist, Lori De Waal, in a statement Monday. "Dennis Farina was always warm-hearted and professional, with a great sense of humor and passion for his profession. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and colleagues."

Farina, who had a long career as a police officer in Chicago, got into acting through director Michael Mann, who used him as a consultant and cast him in his 1981 movie, "Thief." That role led to others in such Mann-created shows as "Miami Vice" (in which Farina played a mobster) and "Crime Story" (in which he starred as Lt. Mike Torello).

Farina also had roles, generally as either cops or gangsters, in a number of movies, including "Midnight Run" (1987), "Get Shorty" (1995), "The Mod Squad" (1999) and "Snatch" (2000).

In 2004, he joined the cast of the long-running "Law & Order" after Jerry Orbach's departure, playing Detective Joe Fontana, a role he reprised on the spinoff "Trial by Jury." Fontana was known for flashy clothes and an expensive car, a distinct counterpoint to Orbach's rumpled Lennie Briscoe.

Farina was on "Law & Order" for two years, partnered with Jesse L. Martin's Ed Green. Martin's character became a senior detective after Farina left the show.

In recent years, Farina was one of the stars of "Luck," the ill-fated HBO series about horse racing, and had an occasional role on the Fox series "New Girl."

Throughout his career, he was loyal to his hometown.

"My personality was formed by Chicago," Farina told Cigar Aficionado in 1999. "It's very American, very straightforward. If you can't find it, or make it there, you won't make it anywhere. It's a very honest place."

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Man Arrested For Holding Mother Against Her Will

    Man Arrested For Holding Mother Against Her Will

    A Corpus Christi man was arrested late Thursday night after allegedly holding his mother captive for several hours. Police say the 54-Year old held against her will and beaten in her apartment along the 800 block of Hancock Avenue, allegedly at the hands of her own son, Joe Witherspoon, 29.The woman tried to get away several times, but Witherspoon refused to let her leave and threatened her more. Around 11:40 PM Monday night, someone knocked on the apartment door, the woman then took running ...More >>
    A Corpus Christi man was arrested late Thursday night after allegedly holding his mother captive for several hours. Police say the 54-Year old held against her will and beaten in her apartment along the 800 block of Hancock Avenue, allegedly at the hands of her own son, Joe Witherspoon, 29.The woman tried to get away several times, but Witherspoon refused to let her leave and threatened her more. Around 11:40 PM Monday night, someone knocked on the apartment door, the woman then took running ...More >>
  • Man Wanted for Stealing Construction Equipment

    Man Wanted for Stealing Construction Equipment

    Arrest warrants have been issued for Daniel Martinez, 32, in connection with the burglary of a building in Corpus Christi. It was back on August 21st when Corpus Christi police raided the home of Martinez along the 1700 block of Nile Dr.In all police have obtained four warrants for Martinez, including two for the burglary of a building and two others for theft. During the August 21st raid, police found stolen items including two trailers, a couple of cement spreaders, two compressors, a weldi...More >>
    Arrest warrants have been issued for Daniel Martinez, 32, in connection with the burglary of a building in Corpus Christi. It was back on August 21st when Corpus Christi police raided the home of Martinez along the 1700 block of Nile Dr.In all police have obtained four warrants for Martinez, including two for the burglary of a building and two others for theft. During the August 21st raid, police found stolen items including two trailers, a couple of cement spreaders, two compressors, a weldi...More >>
  • Hazardous Rip Current Warning Issued Through Wednesday

    Hazardous Rip Current Warning Issued Through Wednesday

    The National Weather Service has issued a warning of dangerous rips currents along the middle Texas coast. The warnings are in place through Wednesday evening for beaches along the Texas coast that face the Gulf of Mexico.Experts say Tropical Storm Dolly is creating a surf that is dangerous for swimmers, especially around jetties and piers. Beach goers should be aware of their surroundings and watch out for jetties and piers and pay attention to flags and posted signs. Should you get caught i...More >>
    The National Weather Service has issued a warning of dangerous rips currents along the middle Texas coast. The warnings are in place through Wednesday evening for beaches along the Texas coast that face the Gulf of Mexico.Experts say Tropical Storm Dolly is creating a surf that is dangerous for swimmers, especially around jetties and piers. Beach goers should be aware of their surroundings and watch out for jetties and piers and pay attention to flags and posted signs. Should you get caught i...More >>