Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina was a Chicago icon gone too soon. This is one of the many features to come spotlighting some of the great talents from back in the day that came from Chicago.

When I put these together, I try to add a little personalization to them because at one time or another I either knew these gifted people, worked with them, was close with someone who was instrumental in their successes, or provided services for them or had a dialog with them.

Dennis Farina holds a special place in my heart. A truly nice guy who gave me some great advice long ago regarding acting and expectations as well as some interesting details about casting information regarding The Sopranos TV show that I’ll never forget. My stepfather and Dennis were very close friends. I had the opportunity to meet him many times. In fact, I worked with one of his sons, Joe [who is a wonderful spirit] on a few projects while I was still an actor.

Dennis left the CPD in 1985 for good when it appeared his acting career could be enough to take care of him and the family. His first visible role was a commercial for Jewel, a local grocery chain here in Chicago.

He was an extra in “The Blues Brothers” but, like me in many projects, his work wound up “on the floor,’ edited out.

In 1981, his relationship with another Chicago icon, director Michael Mann would set him on a path that would put him on the map as a working actor for the rest of his life. Mann, who earned an M.A. from the London Film School started out his career as a writer for shows including Starsky & Hutch; wrote the pilot for the short-lived show Vega$ [starring the late Robert Urich who was also a sales rep at one time for WGN TV as well as a weatherman] and many more.

The multiple Emmy award-winning director brought Dennis on as a consultant in the 1981 film “THIEF” which was filmed here in Chicago. The movie starred James Cahn, Tuesday Weld, Willie Nelson, a very young Jim Belushi (whom I had the honor to work with at Second City many moons ago under Don Depollo).

From there Dennis would go on to roles in Miami Vice (as Albert Lombard), Crime Story (as detective Mike Torello) and commercials, movies, TV shows, as well as a spokesperson for Comcast Xfinity.

We have a few of Dennis’ movies and TV shows you can watch for free, on-demand including Thief, Snatch, Crime Story, Code Of Silence, Midnight RunGet Shorty, Snatch

Below you’ll find Dennis’s legacy of work in film and TV as well as video from those works, interviews, beautiful tributes to him and more.

1981 Thief Carl
1984 The Killing Floor supervisor
1985 Code of Silence Det. Dorato
1986 Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life Is Calling Freddy
1986 Manhunter Jack Crawford
1988 Midnight Run Jimmy Serrano
1990 Men of Respect Bankie Como
1990 Havana Joe Volpe’s assistant Uncredited
1992 Mac Mr. Stunder
1992 We’re Talking Serious Money Sal
1992 Street Crimes Brian
1993 Another Stakeout Brian O’Hara
1993 Romeo Is Bleeding Nick Gazzara Uncredited
1993 Striking Distance Capt. Nick Detillo
1994 Little Big League George O’Farrell
1995 Get Shorty Ray “Bones” Barboni
1996 Eddie Coach John Bailey
1997 That Old Feeling Dan De Mora
1998 Out of Sight Marshall Sisco
1998 Saving Private Ryan Lt. Col. Walter Anderson
1999 The Mod Squad Capt. Adam Greer
2000 Reindeer Games Jack Bangs
2000 Preston Tylk Dick Muller
2000 Snatch Abraham “Avi” Denovitz
2001 Sidewalks of New York Carpo
2002 Big Trouble Henry Desalvo
2002 Stealing Harvard Mr. Warner
2004 Paparazzi Det. Burton
2004 Scrambled Eggs Dr. Carlson Short film
2007 You Kill Me Edward O’Leary
2007 Purple Violets Glen Gilmore
2007 The Grand L.B.J. Deuce Fairbanks
2007 National Lampoon’s Bag Boy Marty Engstrom
2008 Bottle Shock Maurice Cantavale
2008 What Happens in Vegas Banger
2010 Knucklehead Memphis Earl
2011 The Last Rites of Joe May Joe May
2014 Authors Anonymous John K. Butzin
2014 Lucky Stiff Luigi (final film role)

1983 Through Naked Eyes Patrolman TV film
1984 Hard Knox April TV film
1984–1989 Miami Vice Albert Lombard 3 episodes
1985 Hardcastle and McCormick Ed Coley Episode: “Undercover McCormick”
1985 Hunter Vic Terranova Episode: “The Snow Queen” 1 & 2
1985 Remington Steele Cop Episode: “Steele Trying”
1985 Final Jeopardy Policeman #2 TV film
1986 The Birthday Boy Diner owner TV film
1986 Jack and Mike Episode: Pilot
1986 Lady Blue Joe Kaufman Episode: “Sylvie”
1986 Triplecross Ernie (Veteran Cop) TV film
1986–1988 Crime Story Lt. Mike Torello 44 episodes
1987 Six Against the Rock Robert Stroud TV film
1988 Open Admissions Fred TV film
1989 China Beach Lt. Col. Edward Edward Vincent Episode: “All About E.E.V.”
1989 The Case of the Hillside Stranglers Angelo Buono, Jr. TV film
1990 Blind Faith Prosecutor Kelly TV film
1990 People Like Us Elias Renthall TV film
1991 Perfect Crimes Armand Zaro TV film
1992 Drug Wars: The Cocaine Cartel Mike Cerone TV film
1992 Cruel Doubt Tom Bereton Miniseries
1992 Tales from the Crypt Antoine Episode: “Werewolf Concerto”
1993 The Disappearance of Nora Denton TV film
1993 A Stranger in the Mirror TV film
1994 One Woman’s Courage Craig McKenna TV film
1994 The Corpse Had a Familiar Face Det. Harry Lindstrom TV film
1995 Out of Annie’s Past Charlie Ingle TV film
1995 Bonanza: Under Attack Charley Siringo TV film
1997 Bella Mafia Don Roberto Luciano TV film
1998 Buddy Faro Buddy Faro 13 episodes
2002–2003 In-Laws Victor Pellet 15 episodes
2004–2006 Law & Order Det. Joe Fontana 46 episodes
2005 Law & Order: Trial by Jury Det. Joe Fontana Episode: “Skeleton”
2005 Justice League Unlimited Wildcat (voice) Episode: “The Cat and the Canary”
2005 Empire Falls Walt Comeau Miniseries
2008–2010 Unsolved Mysteries Host/narrator Spike TV
2011–2012 Luck Gus Demitriou HBO
2012 Doc McStuffins Riggo (voice) Episode: “Stuck Up”
2013 New Girl Walt Miller 2 episodes
2013 The Looney Tunes Show Frank Russo (voice) Episode: “Daffy Duck, Esquire”
2014 Family Guy Himself Episode: “The Most Interesting Man in the World” (final role)

Source: Sal Amato
Source: Wikipedia

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