×
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

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

  • Adam Levine Cardi B

    Maroon 5 and How the Super Bowl Halftime Show Became Music's Least Wanted Gig

    Who would have thought that the Super Bowl Halftime show, an American institution watched by more than 100 million people, would become the least wanted gig in music? But thanks to the ongoing controversy concerning the NFL’s stance on a player’s right to protest, brought to the forefront by football’s top conscientious objector Colin Kaepernick, [...]

  • CBS Studios Exterior

    James Corden's Fulwell 73 to Develop Sci-Fi Drama at CBS (EXCLUSIVE)

    CBS is developing a drama series that hails from James Corden’s production company, Fulwell 73, Variety has learned exclusively. The series is titled “Embody.” In the series, after a mission gone wrong renders her permanently blind, a special agent volunteers for an experimental government program that can temporarily transfer her consciousness into someone else’s body, giving [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content