Fast Facts

  • In 1985, retired after 18 years with the Chicago Police Department to concentrate on acting, which he had been moonlighting in since taking a part in director Michael Mann's first movie, Thief (1981). A year later, had the lead in Mann's underrated TV series Crime Story.
  • Known as "The Great Wounder" during his time on the police force, due to his poor marksmanship skills.
  • Stage career is highlighted by leading roles in Steppenwolf Theatre productions, including A Prayer for My Daughter, Tracers and Streamers.
  • Won an American Comedy Award as the Funniest Supporting Male of 1996 for playing gangster Ray "Bones" Barboni in Get Shorty.
  • At the start of its 15th season, joined the cast of Law & Order as Det. Joe Fontana, replacing Jerry Orbach's Det. Lennie Briscoe.


  • 1995, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee


  • Michael Farina — Son
  • Joseph Farina — Father
  • Patricia Farina — Ex-wife
  • Dennis Farina Jr. — Son
  • Yolanda Farina — Mother
  • Joseph Farina — Son


  • Attended Truman Junior College, Chicago, IL

Next On TVSee all »


  • Birth Place: Chicago, IL
  • Died: July 22, 2013
  • Profession: Actor

Trending TonightSee all »

Watch This

Chandler Riggs, <em>The Walking Dead</em>
The Walking Dead: Is Carl Going to Die?

Carl might be on his way to the Big Pudding Can in the Sky