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R.I.P. Dennis Farina; Here Are Six of His Best Movies

Oh Monday, you had to start the week off by taking a great actor away from us. Dennis Farina's publicist confirmed this morning that the police officer turned actor died at the age of 69. He had recently guest-starred on the Fox sitcom New Girl.

Farina was one of those talented but criminally underused actors in Hollywood. When he did get a chance to shine, he brought to life many memorable roles. Here are six of our favorite Farina film performances.

Let us know what some of your favorites are in the comment section.


Saving Private Ryan

While the majority of the movie centers on Tom Hanks and his platoon, Farnia appears as Lt. Colonel Anderson in the beginning to brief Hanks on the "public relations mission" ahead.

Get Shorty

Farina mixes it up with John Travolta's Chili Palmer in this adaptation of the Elmore Leonard novel. The mob-themed crime comedy proved to be a box office success and gave us this memorable scene where Farina throws down with Gene Hackman. His performance earned him an American Comedy Award win and a nomination as part of the Shorty cast.

Warning, the clip is filled with colorful language.

Midnight Run

Though the story focuses mainly on Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin, Farina appears intermittently as an intimidating Chicago mob boss (is there really any other kind) looking for the runaway duo. How intimidating? He'd do bad things to you with a writing instrument.

Again, watch out for more colorful language.


Farina was so good as an angry mobster in Midnight Run and Get Shorty that he returned to channel more rage in Guy Ritchie's crime thriller. Playing Cousin Avi, he guzzles Alka-Seltzer and chases down a stolen diamond while offering up the advice, "Don't go to England."

Say it with me now… watch out for colorful language.


The film centers on James Caan playing an experienced jewel thief and is filled with memorable performances throughout, including Farina playing Robert Prosky's main enforcer, Carl. The film marked the directorial debut for Michael Mann. He and Farina would collaborate a few years later for Crime Story as well as the next film below.


Another Farina-Mann collaboration sees William Petersen in a pre-CSI role as an FBI profiler tracking down Hannibal Lecktor. If that name sounds familiar, it's based on Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon, which was made re-adapted to film following the success of Silence of the Lambs.

Of course, Farnia enjoyed a successful career on TV as well. His two best-known performances are probably Law & Order and Crime Story. Check out a couple of clips from both show below.

Crime Story

Law & Order

Finally, Farina was a leap year baby, born on February 29, 1944. Here, he explains how he celebrates his birthdays all while maintaining a politeness you just don't see as much anymore.


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