Dennis Farina, ‘Law & Order’ Star, Dead at 69

Dennis Farina, 'Law & Order' Star, Dead at 69

Actor died after suffering a blood clot in his lung, publicist says

Actor Dennis Farina, who starred as Detective Joe Fontana on "Law & Order," has died, his publicist told TheWrap on Monday. He was 69.

Farina died suddenly Monday morning in Scottsdale, Ariz., after suffering a blood clot in his lung, Farina's publicist said. He' survived by three sons, six grandchildren and Marianne Cahill, described as "the love of his life of 35 years."

Born Feb. 29, 1944 in Chicago, Farina was a police officer in Chicago before entering acting. On screen, he was often cast as either a police officer or a mobster on the other side of the law. His big-screen appearances included the Steven Soderbergh crime caper "Out of Sight," "Get Shorty and "Midnight Run." He also appeared in the Michael Mann films "Manhunter" and "Thief" — the latter of which, released in 1981, being Farina's feature-film debut.

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On the small screen, Farina succeeded Jerry Orbach on "Law & Order" in 2004, starring on the long-running crime series for two years. Other television credits included the short-lived series NBC series "In Laws," HBO's ill-fated horse-racing drama series "Luck."

Farina recently produced and starred in the independent film "The Last Rites of Joe May."

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Donations can be sent to The 100 Club of Chicago, which assists the families of fallen police officers and firefighters of Cook County, in lieu of flowers.