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Dennis Farina Biography

Birth Place:
Chicago, Illinois, United States

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


  • 1995Screen Actors Guild Awards-Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: nominated


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