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Dennis Farina: 5 of the Actor’s Best Criminal Performances (Video)

The actor and former Chicago cop made a career out of playing a man of the law, but stood out when he played a career criminal

Dennis Farina, who died suddenly at the age of 69 on Monday morning, was widely known for playing a no-nonsense New York City detective on "Law & Order," but gave some of his best performances as no-nonsense characters working on the opposite side of the law.

Also read: Dennis Farina, 'Law & Order' Star, Dead at 69

His explicit, intimidating, and often hilarious turn as a gangster was often the most colorful and captivating character on the screen in films like "Midnight Run, "Get Shorty" and "Snatch." 

See photos: Hollywood Notable Deaths of 2013

Like Samuel L. Jackson, another famous on-screen gangster, Farina developed a reputation as a connoisseur of curse words, and one hell of a character actor.

Watch five of the actor's most unforgettable (and uncensored) performances, below:

"Midnight Run" (1988): The chemistry between stars Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin carried the hit Universal buddy crime comedy, but Farina's portrayal of Chicago mob boss Jimmy Serrano put the icing on the cake.

"Get Shorty" (1995): Farina was nominated for an American Comedy Award for playing Ray "Bones" Barboni, the Miami mob rival of Chili Palmer (John Travolta) in Barry Sonnenfeld's classic ensemble crime comedy.

"Snatch" (2000): Cousin Avi, Farina's character in Guy Ritchie's British crime comedy, was a New York jeweler, but flies to London, where he commits his fair share of crime while searching for a stolen 86-carat diamond. 

"Big Trouble" (2002): In another collaboration with Sonnenfeld, Farina delivers one of the best monologues in the movie when his hitman character, Henry Desalvo, politely lectures a group of obnoxious smokers in a restaurant about the difference between rules and manners. Sure, they're technically allowed to smoke, but he's also technically allowed to fart on their food, yet he's able to restrain himself from doing so.

And if you weren't already convinced that Farina could drop an F-bomb on the big screen like no other actor in Hollywood, here's a highlight reel of his finest foul-mouthed performances:

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