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.
Rita Moreno to receive SAG award
Rita Moreno will receive the Life Achievement Award for career and humanitarian accomplishments at the 20th annual SAG Awards. Screen Actors Guild & American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Co-President Ken Howard made the announcement Monday. He said Moreno is the 50th recipient of the award, “the most prestigious honor we bestow.” Moreno, 81, won a best supporting actress Oscar for 1961’s “West Side Story.” She also has won two Emmys, a Tony and a Grammy Award, making her one of the few artists to win all four top show business awards. She currently appears in TV Land’s “Happily Divorced.” The SAG Awards will air Jan. 18, 2014, on TNT and TBS.
al jazeera head named: ABC News executive Kate O’Brian is the new president of Al Jazeera America, the cable news network that plans to launch in the United States next month. Al Jazeera announced O’Brian’s appointment Monday. She has worked at ABC News for 30 years and since 2007 has overseen coverage of major news events. Three other American news veterans have been named senior vice presidents of Al Jazeera America. They are: David Doss, a former producer for CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360”; Shannon High-Bassalik, who has worked at CNN and NBC News; and Marcy McGinnis, a former senior news executive at CBS who has been teaching journalism the past few years.