Dennis Farina (29 February, 1944 – 22 July, 2013) was an American actor best known for his roles in the feature films Midnight Run, Manhunter, Striking Distance, Another Stakeout, Get Shorty, Saving Private Ryan, Little Big League, Snatch, The Mod Squad and Out of Sight.
Farina returned to his Chicago roots to produce and star as the title character in The Last Rites of Joe May, an independent drama written and directed by Joe Maggio.
Produced by Farina's production company You're Faded and Steppenwolf Films, part of the legendary Steppenwolf Theatre company in Chicago, the film features Farina as a small-time hustler who finds a shot at redemption when he meets a young woman and her six year-old daughter.
Farina appeared on the big screen in the critically acclaimed feature Bottle Shock alongside Alan Rickman, Chris Pine and Bill Pullman and as Cameron Diaz' boss in the Fox comedy feature What Happens in Vegas, directed by Tom Vaughn.
He also starred in the HBO series Luck opposite Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. The series was created by David Milch (Deadwood) and the pilot was directed by Michael Mann, who was executive producing alongside Milch.
Farina is well remembered for his roles in memorable features such as Steven Soderbergh's Out of Sight, the sly and sexy crime caper in which he played Marshall Sisco, the retired lawman father of Jennifer Lopez's character.
This was Farina's second outing in an Elmore Leonard best seller adaptation for Jersey Films, the previous one being Get Shorty, directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and co-starring John Travolta, Rene Russo and Gene Hackman. Farina received an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male for his performance as Ray 'Bones' Barboni.
One of the most recognized character actors of his time, Farina played everything from an army colonel in Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan to a Jewish diamond merchant opposite Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro in the darkly comedic crime drama Snatch, directed by Guy Ritchie, to a seat belt challenged hit man in Touchstone's comedy Big Trouble directed by his Get Shorty director Barry Sonnenfeld, to an Irish mob boss in You Kill Me opposite Sir Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni and Luke Wilson, to a wise-cracking news anchor with outrageous dating advice in Sidewalks of New York directed by Ed Burns.
He starred opposite Bette Midler in That Old Feeling and played one of the most feared (and loved) gangsters of all time, Jimmy Serrano, in Martin Brest's action-comedy Midnight Run with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin.
Some of Farina's other big screen credits include Reindeer Games, Paparazzi, The Mod Squad, Little Big League, Striking Distance, Another Stakeout and the Michael Mann films Manhunter and Thief, the latter of which was Farina's feature film debut.
On the small screen, Farina is widely recognised for his portrayal of Detective Joe Fontana on NBC's epic series Law and Order. His other television series credits include In Laws, Buddy Faro, created by Mark Frost (Twin Peaks) and Crime Story, created by long-time collaborator Michael Mann.
Farina starred in HBO's miniseries Empire Falls, directed by Fred Schepisi, which also starred Helen Hunt, Ed Harris, Paul Newman and Robin Wright Penn and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Mini-Series.
He also appeared in the Emmy-nominated The Drug Wars: Columbia.
A veteran of the Chicago theatre, Farina appeared in Joseph Mantegna's Bleacher Bums, A Prayer For My Daughter, directed by John Malkovich, A Class Three Trial in Yokohama directed by Donald Finn, The Time of Your Life directed by Donald Moffat, Heat directed by Roberta Custer, Streamers directed by Terry Kinney, Tracers directed by Gary Sinise (a Joseph Jefferson Award Winner for Best Ensemble) and others.
Farina died on 22 July, 2013 in a hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He was 69.