skip navigation
Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina

| VIEW ALL

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here
ADD YOUR COMMENT>

share:

TCM Archive Materials VIEW ALL ARCHIVES (0)

Recent DVDs

 
 

That Old Feeling DVD Carl Reiner's "That Old Feeling" (1997) is a convoluted romantic comedy that... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Midnight Run DVD It seemed like a simple job for bounty hunter Jack Walsh (Robert Dinero). All he... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Manhunter DVD Hannibal the Cannibal made his screen debut in this stylish adaptation of Thomas... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Bottle Shock DVD Based on a true story, Bottle Shock chronicles the events leading up to the... more info $6.98was $6.98 Buy Now

Out Of Sight DVD It's the film that turned George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez into genuine film... more info $12.98was $12.98 Buy Now

Out Of Sight / Intolerable Cruelty (Double... A double dose of George Clooney! First he pairs up with Jennifer Lopez in "Out... more info $14.98was $14.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: February 29, 1944 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chicago, Illinois, USA Profession: actor, police detective

Biography CLOSE THE FULL 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,...

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.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Knucklehead (2010)
3.
 Purple Violets (2008)
5.
 Bottle Shock (2008)
6.
7.
 Grand, The (2007)
8.
 You Kill Me (2007)
9.
 Paparazzi (2004) Detective Burton
10.
 Big Trouble (2002) Henry
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
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
1981:
Made feature film debut in Mann's "Thief"
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"
1986:
Played Lt. Mike Torello on TV's "Crime Story"
:
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
1992:
Narrated the historical documentary, "The American Gangster"
1996:
Won plaudits for his supporting role in "Get Shorty", adapted from the Elmore Leoanard novel
1997:
Co-starred with Bette Midler in "That Old Feeling"
1998:
Appeared in second film adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel, Stephen Soderbergh's "Out of Sight"
1998:
Had supporting role in Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan"
1998:
Had title role in the CBS series "Buddy Faro"
2000:
Portrayed an American gangster who becomes embroiled with London crooks in "Snatch"
2001:
Had role as a TV newsman in the Edward Burns-directed "Sidewalks of New York"
2002:
Appeared with Tim Allen in "Big Trouble"
2002:
Had role in comedy "Stealing Harvard"
2002:
Landed leading role in NBC sitcom "In-Laws"
2004:
Replace Jerry Orbach on the hit NBC drama "Law and Order"; left show after two seasons to pursue other projects
2005:
Cast in the ensemble drama "Empire Falls," the HBO adaptation of Richard Russo's Pulitzer Prize winning novel
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
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"
2011:
Featured on the HBO drama "Luck"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

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.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Dennis Farina Jr.
son:
Michael Farina.
son:
Joseph Farina.

Please support TCMDB by adding to this information.

Click here to contribute