You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Actor James Farentino dies

Was mainstay of television for decades

Actor James Farentino, a mainstay of television for decades who also appeared in films and onstage, died Tuesday of heart failure in Los Angeles. He was 73.

Farentino guested on dozens of shows, ranging from “Route 66,” “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” and “Ironside” in the 1960s to a role as Simon Peter in 1977’s “Jesus of Nazareth,” a recurring stint in the 1980s on “Dynasty” as Dr. Nick Toscanni and a story arc as the father of George Clooney’s character on “ER” in 1996.

Farentino also appeared in 17 films, including “Ensign Pulver”; sci-fi war film “The Final Countdown,” in which he starred with Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen; and Bruce Beresford’s “Her Alibi.”

The actor made his smallscreen debut in a 1962 episode of “Naked City.” He had a recurring role as Neil Darrell on “The Bold Ones: The Lawyers” from 1969-72; starred as a private eye in the brief NBC series “Cool Million”; appeared in a number of episodes of “Police Story” and “Insight”; and starred as Gen. Juan Peron opposite Faye Dunaway in the 1981 NBC telepic “Evita Peron.”

Farentino starred opposite Mary Tyler Moore in the brief 1985 Moore vehicle “Mary” and opposite Julie Andrews in the similarly brief 1992 Andrews series “Julie.” In 1998 Farentino had a recurring role on “Melrose Place.”

The actor also appeared in numerous telepics, starring as the slain, abusive father in 1998’s “Honor Thy Father and Mother: The True Story of the Menendez Murders” and as a detective in 2000’s “Murder in the Mirror.”

James Ferrantino was born in Brooklyn and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He made his Broadway debut in Tennessee Williams’ “The Night of the Iguana” in 1961, won a 1973 Theatre World Award for his portrayal of Stanley Kowalski in a revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” opposite Rosemary Harris and appeared as Biff in a 1975 Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman” that starred George C. Scott.

The actor had a few brushes with the law, including being charged with stalking former girlfriend Tina Sinatra in 1993.Farentino was married to four actresses: Elizabeth Ashley, Michele Lee, Debrah Farentino and Stella Farentino. He is survived by Stella and a son by Lee, occasional actor David Farentino.

More TV

  • TV News Roundup: Jada Pinkett Smith's

    TV News Roundup: Amazon's 'Sneaky Pete' Releases Season 3 Trailer

    In today’s roundup, Amazon Prime Video releases a trailer for Season 3 of “Sneaky Pete,” and “Red Table Talk” with Jada Pinkett Smith sets a return date on Facebook Watch. FIRST LOOKS The official trailer for the third season of “Sneaky Pete” on Amazon Prime Video has been released, showing off the new lies and [...]

  • Tammy Filler Nathan Najarian NBC

    E! Expands News Coverage, Brings 'Today' Vet Tammy Filler Aboard (EXCLUSIVE)

    E! is expanding its entertainment-news programming, with plans to add three more hours of coverage to its linear schedule in 2020, Variety has learned. To help spearhead the effort, the cable channel is bringing aboard Tammy Filler, a veteran producer on NBC’s “Today,” to lead creative and production for E! News. The expansion of news [...]

  • Armando Iannucci

    Armando Iannucci Space Comedy 'Avenue 5' Ordered to Series at HBO

    HBO has given a series order to the comedy “Avenue 5” from creator Armando Iannucci. The series is described as a space tourism comedy set forty years in the future when the solar system is everyone’s oyster. Hugh Laurie stars as Ryan Clark, the captain of the space cruise ship Avenue 5. The series also [...]

  • NCIS Los Angeles and NCIS New

    'NCIS: Los Angeles' and 'NCIS: New Orleans' Renewed at CBS

    CBS has renewed “NCIS: Los Angeles” for an 11th season, and “NCIS: New Orleans” for a sixth season. Both action drama are spinoffs of “NCIS,” which was renewed in early April. “NCIS: Los Angeles” follows a Naval Criminal Investigative Service division based in the City of Angels that is tasked with catching dangerous and elusive [...]


    Brazil’s Ancine Freezes Incentives, Threatening Film-TV Industry Paralysis

    Brazil’s Ancine agency, its foremost public-sector source of film funding, has frozen all of its incentive programs, potentially near paralyzing new production in Latin America’s biggest film-TV industry. The dramatic decision, which has left Brazil’s industry is a state of shock and intense fear for its future, comes as it has taken further hits. In [...]

  • TV Shows to Watch the Week

    TV Shows to Watch the Week of April 22, 2019: 'Gentleman Jack' and the NFL Draft

    Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV. Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch them. This week, “Gentleman Jack” debuts on HBO, and “Kobra Kai” season two drops on YouTube [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content