Dennis Farina, cop-turned-actor, has died
Dennis Farina, a Chicago police officer for 18 years before becoming an actor, has died.
Farina picked up acting jobs on the side during his career as a Windy City cop. He had roles in several movies, including Get Shorty (1995), Saving Private Ryan (199), and HBO's Empire Falls (2005), based on the novel by the same name by Richard Russo.
But it was his role, for three season, as the crusty, snappy-dressed detective, Joe Fontana, that endeared him to the hit TV franchise, Law and Order fans. His years in the Chicago PD burglary division served him well and gave his performances wonderful authenticity.
Farina, who was 69, died from a blood clot in his lungs in Scottsdale, Arizona.