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Dennis Farina, Who Played 'Law & Order' Detective, Dies at 69

Image: Dennis Farina, Who Played 'Law & Order' Detective, Dies at 69

By David Ogul   |   Monday, 22 Jul 2013 03:15 PM

"Law & Order" star Dennis Farina died Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., from a blood clot in his lung, according to the actor’s publicist. He was 69.

Farina, a former Chicago cop who was born in the Windy Cindy on Feb. 29, 1944, played Detective Joe Fontana on the hit series. Set and filmed in New York, "Law & Order" is the longest-running crime drama on primetime TV, premiering on Sept. 13, 1990 and running through May of 2010.

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Farina had been an officer for 18 years and was working as a detective while moonlighting in local theater and taking small movie roles, said The Chicago Tribune.

Farina also played the role of Lt. Mike Torello in the 1980s cop series "Crime Story," and appeared in the movies "Get Shorty," "Midnight Run," and "Snatch," among others.

“I had met ('Law & Order' creator and executive producer) Dick Wolf a long time ago when I worked on some episodes of 'Miami Vice' when he was a producer of that show,” Farina once told the Tribune. “I wasn’t so sure about signing up for 'Law & Order.' I liked the show, but another TV series? I’ll tell you, though, it’s been great and I had no idea how popular the show was.”

As news of his death spread, fans were paying homage to Farina on social networking sites.

“RIP #DennisFarina. Snatch, Midnight Run. Manhunter… too many great roles to list them all,” tweeted @Joblocom.

“It was pleasure enough just seeing Dennis Farina’s name pop up in the credits. Always a joy to watch. RIP,” tweeted @SuitablyManic.

“I had the pleasure of working with Dennis Farina years ago. Generous & dedicated guy. Tremendous presence. He will be greatly missed,” tweeted @ThomasSadoski.

Tweeted actor David Krumholtz, who stars on the popular television series "Numb3rs," “Got to work with the hilarious Dennis Farina. He was a great man, full of life, and he loved being an actor. He was made for acting. RIP.”

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