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.
Born Feb. 29, 1944, in Chicago, he was a city police officer before turning to acting in his late 30s, beginning with a small role in the Michael Mann film “Thief.”
Among his many TV portrayals was Det. Joe Fontana on “Law & Order.” Prior to that he starred in the 1980s cult favorite, “Crime Story,” a period cop drama produced by Mann for NBC. He also played a private detective in the short-lived series “Buddy Faro.”
More recently, he co-starred in the HBO drama “Luck” (another Mann project), and guest-starred on Fox’s “New Girl,” where he played the father to Jake Johnson’s Nick. Johnson paid tribute to Farina via Twitter:
In a statement, “Law & Order” exec producer Dick Wolf said, “I was stunned and saddened to hear about Dennis’ unexpected passing this morning. The ‘Law & Order’ family extends sympathy and condolences to his family. He was a great guy.”
Whitney Friedlander and AJ Marechal contributed to this report.