Veteran character actor Dennis Farina, best known for playing his fair share of weathered
tough guys in films like “Out of Sight,” “Get Shorty,” “Midnight Run,” has died at age 69, his publicist confirmed today. A former Chicago police officer, Farina is best known to most for his portrayal of Detective Joe Fontana in NBC’s long-running drama series “Law & Order.”
Long relegated to supporting roles, Farina experienced a late career breakthrough in 2011 with the release of Joe Maggio’s solemn character study “The Last Rites of Joe May,” starring Farina as the titular short-money hustler clinging to the belief that he has a future in the game. In an interview with Indiewire, Farina said of the role, “Every character I’ve enjoyed doing, but this was another kind of character. Everybody likes to do that. Switch it up.”
Following that acclaimed turn, Farina continued his great run on the small screen by starring opposite Dustin Hoffman in Michael Mann’s ill-fated HBO show “Luck,” and as Nick Miller’s father in the Fox’s hit comedy show “New Girl.”
A cause of death has yet to be announced. Go here for our interview with the late actor.