Dennis Farina is an actor known for his roles in "Midnight Run," "Get Shorty," "Miami Vice" and "Law & Order," among others.
Dennis Farina was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised in a large family and has three brothers and three sisters. Before becoming an actor, Farina served 18 years in the Chicago Police Department's burglary division, from 1967 to 1985.
Farina began his work in show business working for director Michael Mann as a police consultant, which subsequently led to an interest in acting when Mann cast him in a small role in the 1981 film "Thief." Farina proceeded to moonlight as an actor in the Chicago theater scene before Mann chose him for his "Crime Story" series. Farina played the mobster Albert Lombard in Michael Mann's other television show, "Miami Vice."
Two of his most well-known movie characters are Jimmy Serrano, the mob boss from "Midnight Run," and Ray "Bones" Barboni, a rival criminal of Chili Palmer's in "Get Shorty." He also played FBI Agent Jack Crawford in the first Hannibal Lecter crime film, Michael Mann's "Manhunter."
Other movies in Farina's filmography include Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan" (as Army Lieutenant Colonel Walter Anderson), "Striking Distance," "Another Stakeout," "Little Big League," "Snatch," "The Mod Squad" and "Out of Sight." He co-starred with Bette Midler in the romantic comedy "That Old Feeling."
Farina has demonstrated quite a flair for comedy. He won an American Comedy Award for his performance in "Get Shorty" and starred in a television sitcom, "In-Laws," from 2002-03. He had a comic role opposite Ed Harris and Helen Hunt in the HBO production of "Empire Falls" in 2005 and opposite Alan Rickman in 2008's "Bottle Shock."
In early 2005, Farina provided the voice of aging boxer-turned-superhero Wildcat on "Justice League Unlimited." The producers of the long-running television series "Law & Order" hired Farina as Det. Joe Fontana after the retirement of Jerry Orbach's character Lennie Briscoe. Farina stayed with the show for two years. In May 2006, it was announced that Farina was leaving "Law & Order" to pursue other projects, including 2007's "You Kill Me" opposite Ben Kingsley and 2008's "What Happens in Vegas" with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher.
In October 2008, Farina became the new host of "Unsolved Mysteries" when it returned to television with a new five-season, 175-episode run on Spike TV. Farina replaced Robert Stack, who had hosted the series for its entire original 15-year run before his death in 2003. The series included re-edited segments from previous incarnations on NBC, CBS, and Lifetime (all originally hosted by Stack) as well as several new original stories.
Farina played the title role in a 2011 independent film, "The Last Rites of Joe May," written and directed by Joe Maggio, shot on location in Chicago.
He co-starred in the 2012 HBO horse-race gambling series "Luck," with Dustin Hoffman, directed by Michael Mann.
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