Tough guy character actor Dennis Farina, whose grizzled persona lent authenticity to Midnight Run, Saving Private Ryan, and NBC’s Law & Order, died July 22 in Scottsdale, AZ, reportedly from a blood clot in his lung. He was 69.
Before he became an actor, Farina worked as a Chicago police officer. He drew the attention of director Michael Mann while acting as a police consultant, which led to a small role in Mann’s thriller Thief. He subsequently appeared in two of Mann’s television series, Crime Story and Miami Vice, as well as his film adaptation of Manhunter (which marked the first big screen appearance of the intelligent psychopath Hannibal Lecter). Later, he earned strong notices playing criminals in Midnight Run and Get Shorty and law enforcement types in Out of Sight and the long-running television series Law & Order (his most high-profile role). More recently, he starred in the HBO series Luck and the independent drama The Last Rites of Joe May. He is survived by his longtime girlfriend, three sons, and six grandchildren.