Tall, broad-shouldered, and handsome, this former football star became a respected TV actor best known for his six seasons as Officer Joe Coffey, partner to Betty Thomas' Lucy Bates, on "Hill Street Blues" (NBC, 1981-86). Ed Marinaro was attracted to acting when he was healing from a foot injury and his New York Jets teammate Joe Namath suggested he give the entertainment industry a whirl. He soon quit football, moved to Los Angeles, studied acting and bagged a guest shot on an episode of the police drama "Eischied". Soon after, he appeared in an unsold pilot, but producer Garry Marshall saw the project and hired Marinaro for the ABC sitcom "Laverne and Shirley" during its waning days when Laverne (Penny Marshall) had moved to Hollywood. Marinaro was cast as Sonny, a stuntman and neighbor who became Laverne's beau. After a season, Marinaro joined "Hill Street Blues" as the caring, yet masculine cop, a persona he would subsequently refine in numerous roles. His good looks and popularity led to parts in two TV-movies, "Born Beautiful" (NBC, 1982), in which Marinaro was a fashion photographer, and "Policewoman Centerfold" (NBC, 1983), in which he was the husband of a cop who decides to bare all.