Dennis Farina

Actor, Police detective
After spending 18 years as a Chicago police officer, actor Dennis Farina ironically earned a career onscreen playing supporting roles as criminals and mobsters, often to great comedic effect. Farina made his debut with ... Read more »
Born: 02/28/1944 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Actor (73)

Authors Anonymous 2014 (Movie)

John K. Butzin (Actor)

Lucky Stiff 2013 (Movie)

Luigi (Actor)

New Girl 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Luck 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

The Last Rites of Joe May 2011 (Movie)

Joe May (Actor)

Knucklehead 2010 (Movie)

Mephis Earl (Actor)

Law & Order 2001 - 2002, 2004 - 2006, 2008 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Actor

Unsolved Mysteries 1988 - 1998, 2001 - 2002, 2004 - 2005, 2008 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Host

Bottle Shock 2008 (Movie)

Maurice Cantavale (Actor)

National Lampoon's Bag Boy 2008 (Movie)

Marty Engstrom (Actor)

The Grand 2008 (Movie)

L.B.J. Deuce Fairbanks (Actor)

What Happens in Vegas 2008 (Movie)

Banger (Actor)

You Kill Me 2007 (Movie)

Edward O'Leary (Actor)

Purple Violets 2006 (Movie)

Gilmore (Actor)

Empire Falls 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Actor

Justice League Unlimited 2005 (Tv Show)

Voice

Law & Order: Trial by Jury 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Paparazzi 2004 (Movie)

Detective Burton (Actor)

NBC's Funniest Out-Takes #2 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The In-Laws 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Anatomy of a Scene: Sidewalks of New York 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Big Trouble 2002 (Movie)

Henry (Actor)

Stealing Harvard 2002 (Movie)

Mr Warner (Actor)

Sidewalks of New York 2001 (Movie)

Carpo (Actor)

Reindeer Games 2000 (Movie)

Jack Bangs (Actor)

Snatch 2000 (Movie)

Avi (Actor)

Bad Seed 1999 (Movie)

Dick (Actor)

Buddy Faro 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1999 ALMA Awards 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Italian Passion For Life 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The Mod Squad 1999 (Movie)

Captain Adam Greer (Actor)

Bella Mafia 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Out of Sight 1998 (Movie)

Marshall Sisco (Actor)

Saving Private Ryan 1998 (Movie)

Lieutenant Colonel Anderson (Actor)

That Old Feeling 1997 (Movie)

Dan De Mora (Actor)

Eddie 1996 (Movie)

Coach Bailey (Actor)

Get Shorty 1995 (Movie)

Ray "Bones" Barboni (Actor)

Little Big League 1994 (Movie)

George O'Farrell (Actor)

Romeo Is Bleeding 1994 (Movie)

Nick Gazzara (Actor)

Another Stakeout 1993 (Movie)

Brian O'Hara (Actor)

Mac 1993 (Movie)

Mr Stunder (Actor)

Striking Distance 1993 (Movie)

Nick Detillo (Actor)

Werewolf Concerto 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Drug Wars: The Cocaine Cartel 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Perfect Crimes 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Street Crimes 1992 (Movie)

Brian O'Neal (Actor)

We're Talkin' Serious Money 1992 (Movie)

Sal (Actor)

Men of Respect 1991 (Movie)

Bankie Como (Actor)

The American Gangster 1991 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Blind Faith 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

People Like Us 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Crime Story 1986 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Midnight Run 1988 (Movie)

Jimmy Serrano (Actor)

Jack and Mike 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Final Jeopardy 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling 1986 (Movie)

Freddy (Actor)

Manhunter 1986 (Movie)

Jack Crawford (Actor)

Code of Silence 1985 (Movie)

Dorato (Actor)

The Imposter 1984 - 1985 (TV Show)

Actor

The Killing Floor 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Thief 1981 (Movie)

Carl (Actor)

Bonanza: Under Attack (TV Show)

Actor

Cruel Doubt (TV Show)

Actor

Hard Knox (TV Show)

Actor

One Woman's Courage (TV Show)

Actor

Open Admissions (TV Show)

Actor

Out of Annie's Past (TV Show)

Actor

Six Against the Rock (TV Show)

Actor

The Disappearance of Nora (TV Show)

Actor

Through Naked Eyes (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

After spending 18 years as a Chicago police officer, actor Dennis Farina ironically earned a career onscreen playing supporting roles as criminals and mobsters, often to great comedic effect. Farina made his debut with a small part as a henchman in Michael Mann's crime thriller "Thief" (1981), which led to joining the Chicago theater scene that included a stint at the Steppenwolf Theater alongside the likes of Gary Sinise and John Malkovich. Following an acclaimed, but short-lived stint as a cop on "Crime Story" (NBC, 1986-88), he landed a higher-profile supporting role in "Manhunter" (1986), the first of several serial-killer movies featuring Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox). From there, he delivered strong performances in a series of television movies and feature films until finally breaking out with an uproarious turn as self-serious Miami crime boss Ray Barboni in the surprise hit "Get Shorty" (1995). Now on Hollywood's radar, Farina had memorable turns in "Saving Private Ryan" (1998) and "Out of Sight" (1998) before landing his own drama series, the unfortunately short-lived "Buddy Faro" (CBS, 1998). He returned to series television some years later to replace Jerry Orbach on "Law & Order" (NBC, 1990-2010), while continuing to dazzle in a wide array of supporting roles in features. These diverse film and television parts marked Farina, who died in 2013, as being one of the most highly prized character actors working in the business.

Relationships

Dennis Farina Jr

Son

Joseph Farina

Son

Michael Farina

Son

Patricia Farina

Ex-Wife

Milestones

2011

Featured on the HBO drama "Luck"

2008

Appeared in the ensemble comedy drama "Bottle Shock"

2008

Cast in a supporting role opposite Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz in "What Happens in Vegas"

2007

Cast opposite Woody Harrelson in "The Grand," a comedy set against a poker tournament in Las Vegas

2007

Co-starred in the mafia comedy thriller, "You Kill Me" directed by John Dahl

2005

Cast in the ensemble drama "Empire Falls," the HBO adaptation of Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize winning novel

2004

Replace Jerry Orbach on the hit NBC drama "Law and Order"; left show after two seasons to pursue other projects

2002

Appeared with Tim Allen in "Big Trouble"

2002

Had role in comedy "Stealing Harvard"

2002

Landed leading role in NBC sitcom "In-Laws"

2001

Had role as a TV newsman in the Edward Burns-directed "Sidewalks of New York"

2000

Portrayed an American gangster who becomes embroiled with London crooks in "Snatch"

1998

Had supporting role in Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"

1998

Appeared in second film adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, Stephen Soderbergh's "Out of Sight"

1998

Had title role in the CBS series "Buddy Faro"

1997

Co-starred with Bette Midler in "That Old Feeling"

1996

Won plaudits for his supporting role in "Get Shorty", adapted from the Elmore Leoanard novel

1992

Narrated the historical documentary, "The American Gangster"

1986

Played Lt. Mike Torello on TV's "Crime Story"

1985

Retired from the police force to focus on acting

1985

Returned to features four years later to play a role in "Code of Silence"

1981

Made feature film debut in Mann's "Thief"

Acted a leading role in the play "Streamers" at Chicago's Steppenwolf Theater; revived role when the play opened in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center

Born and raised on the south side of Chicago

Worked on the Chicago police force for 18 years before meeting producer-writer-director Michael Mann, a friend of a friend

Bonus Trivia

.

Farina is celebrity chairman to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington DC.

.

"No one can say the F-word like Dennis," gushes "Get Shorty" director Barry Sonnenfeld. . . . --Quoted from "Copper of Attitudes" by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, October 27, 1995.

.

But his heart's desire, a Western, remains unfulfilled: "I did an episode of "Bonanza" (1995 TV film "Bonanza: Under Attack") once and met Ben Johnson. The first day I didn't bug him too much, but the second day I was asking questions about films by John Ford with John Wayne, Ward Bond. I tried not to make a pest of myself, but he was in my favorite Western, "The Wild Bunch", so I had to pick his brain about that." --From "Dennis Farina, Nose to Nose with Big-Name Stars" by Elizabeth Snead, USA TODAY, October 26, 1995.

SIMILAR ARTICLES