It’s been a bad month for TV tough guys. Actor Dennie Farina, best known for his roles as either a tough-talking wiseguy police officer, or tough-talking wiseguy mobster in everything he was ever in (and he was in a lot) including a memorable run on Law & Order, has died at the age of 69.
Farina was an 18-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department, a detective who moonlighted on Chicago theater stages and in small movie roles. In the 1980s he was on the NBC television series “Crime Story.”
He became a full-time actor much in demand for feature films (“Midnight Run,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Get Shorty,” “Snatch”), TV movies (“The Case of the Hillside Strangler,” “Empire Falls”) and TV series (“The In-Laws,” “Buddy Faro”).
He then became one of the stars of “Law & Order,” playing tough, nattily dressed Detective Joe Fontana. (Chicago Tribune)