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Dennis Farina

Dennisfarina

Miami Vice Character
Born
February 29, 1944, Chicago, Illinois
Died
July 22, 2013, Scottsdale, Arizona (age 69, pulmonary embolism)
Active
1981-2013
Spouse/Children
Patricia Farina (1964-85, divorced), 3 sons


Dennis Farina (February 29, 1944 - July 22, 2013) is an American actor, primarily cast in roles of mobsters and police officers. He appeared in the show Miami Vice as Albert "Al" Lombard, mob boss overseeing gambling activities in the episodes "One Eyed Jack", "Lombard", and "World of Trouble".

Early Life/CareerEdit

Farina was born in Chicago, Illinois, son of Italian-American parents. He was a police officer with the Chicago Police Department from 1967-1985, and began his acting career as a police consultant for Michael Mann on some of his early works. In 1981 Farina made his film debut in Mann's Thief (with Chuck Adamson, Willie Nelson, John Santucci and Tom Signorelli); Thief is notable for the extraordinary coincidences surrounding its cast, largely stemming from Mann's love of employing the right people for technical authenticity - Santucci was a jewel thief before he became an actor and technical advisor and was actually arrested by Farina while the latter was a Chicago police officer. Furthermore, the main heist in Thief, involving the use of a thermal lance to cut through a vault door, was based on a real-life robbery orchestrated by Santucci.

Following his early films roles, Farina then moved to television with police/detective dramas Hardcastle & McCormick, Hunter and Remington Steele.

Miami ViceEdit

Mann brought Farina on for a guest appearance on his Miami Vice series as Albert "Al" Lombard in the episode "One Eyed Jack". Lombard was a mobster who specialized in gambling, who allegedly had a friend of James "Sonny" Crockett killed due to unpaid gambling debts. Farina would return in the episode "Lombard" where he had to testify against a fellow mobster or be put in jail, and Crockett & Tubbs were to protect him. Lombard refused to testify and was held on contempt charges, but made bail and escaped with two hitmen on his tail. Farina would portray the mobster one more time in the fifth season "lost" episode "World of Trouble", where he had a final showdown with the mobster Librizzi who tried to have him killed previously.

During & After ViceEdit

During Vice's run, Farina was brought in as Lt. Mike Torello in Michael Mann's other series Crime Story, which ran for two seasons, from 1986-88, as well as FBI agent Jack Crawford in Mann's Hannibal Lecter movie Manhunter (with Garcelle Beauvais, Bill Cwikowski, Chris Elliott, Kim Griest, Michele Shay, Bill Smitrovich, Jim Zubiena and Michael Talbott). His other notable movie roles were as mob boss Jimmy Serrano in Midnight Run (with Jack Kehoe), Ray Barboni in Get Shorty (with Martin Ferrero) and "Cousin" Avi Denovitz in Snatch (with Benicio del Toro). In 2004 he joined the cast of Law & Order (created by Dick Wolf) as Detective Joe Fontana, replacing Jerry Orbach's Lennie Briscoe. He played the role for two seasons. In October 2008 he took over as host of the series Unsolved Mysteries, resurrected on Spike TV and consisting of re-edited cases from past episodes hosted by the late Robert Stack, plus new cases never before seen. In 2011 Farina and Michael Mann reunited for a cable series about horse racing called Luck. The pilot aired in December, 2011 and the series began in January, 2012, but was cancelled due to repeated injuries to the horses used in filming, resulting in three deaths.  Farina's final TV role was in two 2013 episodes of the series New Girl.

Personal LifeEdit

Farina has three brothers and three sisters. He was married to Patricia from 1964-1985 and has three sons: Dennis, Michael & Joseph and six grandchildren, after his divorce Farina was in a relationship with Marianne Cahill, who remained together until his 2013 death. In May, 2008, Farina was arrested on suspicion of carrying an concealed weapon when he went through airport security in Los Angeles with a loaded .22 caliber pistol. Farina claimed he forgot the weapon was still in his briefcase and he didn't intend to take it on a plane. When the weapon was discovered to be unlicensed, Farina's charges were upgraded to a felony and his bail was changed from $25,000 to $35,000. In July, he agreed to a plea bargain that gave him two years probation in exchange for a no contest plea. In July, 2009, the judge in his case dropped all charges and cleared his otherwise clean record, deciding no criminal charges should have been filed in the case.

DeathEdit

Farina died on July 22, 2013, in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the age of 69 from a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung).

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