A Tribute to Dennis Farina (1944-2013)


Hollywood lost one of its best character actors when Dennis Farina died of a blood clot in one of his lungs on July 22, 2013 at the age of 69. Farina did not originally choose acting as his first profession as he spent 18 years working for the burglary division of the Chicago Police Department. However, after working as a police consultant for Michael Mann on his 1981 crime thriller, Thief, and earning a small role in the film, Farina decided to spend the next few years moonlighting as an actor before Mann gave him a full-time role on his TV series, Crime Story. I’ve noticed that Farina appeared in no less than four films which have been featured in my “Robin’s Underrated Gems” columns. He played Chuck Norris’ partner in Code of Silence, FBI agent Jack Crawford in Michael Mann’s Manhunter, Jennifer Lopez’s father in Out of Sight, and (my personal fave) mobster Jimmy Serrano in Midnight Run.

Some of his other films included Another Stakeout, Little Big League, Striking DistanceSaving Private Ryan, Snatch, and he pretty much stole the show with his memorable performance as obnoxious gangster Ray “Bones” Barboni in Get Shorty. Of course, he had a memorable run as Detective Joe Fontana on Law & Order and even had the unenviable task of taking over the late, great Robert Stack’s hosting duties on the Spike TV reboot of Unsolved Mysteries. R.I.P. Mr. Farina and as this clip demonstrates, not many actors uttered the word “fuck” better than you.

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