‘Law and Order’ Actor Dennis Farina Dies at 69

Dennis Farina Dead
Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina, a former Chicago cop who as a popular actor played a cop on “Law & Order” and elsewhere, has died.

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.”

Farina appeared in films including “Get Shorty,” ”Saving Private Ryan” and “Midnight Run.”

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.

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