Faces: Character actor Dennis Farina dies at 69

  • Updated: July 22, 2013 - 6:12 PM
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From left, Joan Allen, Dustin Hoffman, John Ortiz and Dennis Farina are shown in the HBO series “Luck.” Farina died suddenly on Monday from a blood clot in his lung.

Photo: File photo by Gusmano Cesaretti • HBO via Associated Press,

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Dennis Farina, a onetime Chicago cop who as a popular actor played a cop on “Law & Order,” died Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after suffering a blood clot in his lung, according to his publicist. He was 69.

Farina, a character actor for 30 years, displayed remarkable dexterity, charm and, when called for, toughness, making effective use of his craggy face, steel-gray hair, ivory smile and ample mustache.

Farina appeared in films including “Get Shorty,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Midnight Run” and “Out Of Sight.” Among his many TV portrayals was Detective Joe Fontana on “Law & Order” during the 2004-06 seasons. He starred in the 1980s cult favorite “Crime Story” and was a regular in the 2011-12 HBO drama “Luck.”

He recently completed shooting the comedy “Lucky Stiff.” A veteran of Chicago theater, Farina appeared in Joseph Mantegna’s “Bleacher Bums,” as well as in “Streamers,” directed by Terry Kinney, among other productions. Born Feb. 29, 1944, in Chicago, he was a city detective before he found his way into the acting profession as he neared his forties.

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