At 69 years old, Dennis Farina has this physical status:
Farina began working for director Michael Mann as a police consultant, which led Mann to cast him in a small role in the 1981 film Thief. Farina worked with Mann again, as mobster Albert Lombard, in several episodes of Miami Vice. He moonlighted as an actor in Chicago-based films (like Code of Silence, a 1985 Chuck Norris film) and theater before Mann chose him for his Crime Story series, which aired on NBC from 1986 to 1988. He later starred as the title character in Buddy Faro, a short-lived 1998 private detective series on CBS.
Farina played mob boss Jimmy Serrano in the comedy-crime film Midnight Run; and Ray "Bones" Barboni, a rival criminal to Chili Palmer, in Get Shorty. He played FBI Agent Jack Crawford in Michael Mann's Manhunter, the first film to feature the character Hannibal Lecter. His other film appearances include Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, Striking Distance, Another Stakeout, Snatch, The Mod Squad, Reindeer Games, Men of Respect, Big Trouble and Out of Sight. He played a baseball manager in Little Big League and a nemesis basketball coach in Eddie.
In a departure from his usual parts, he had a leading-man role, co-starring with Bette Midler, in the romantic comedy That Old Feeling (1997), directed by Carl Reiner.
Farina won an American Comedy Award for his performance in Get Shorty, and starred in the television sitcom In-Laws from 2002 until 2003. He appeared in the 2002 film Stealing Harvard, a comedy where he played a tough-talking, overprotective father-in-law. He had comic roles opposite Ed Harris and Helen Hunt in the HBO production of Empire Falls in 2005, and opposite Alan Rickman in the 2008 Bottle Shock.
Working as a voice-actor beginning in early 2005, he provided the voice of aging boxer-turned-superhero Wildcat on Justice League Unlimited. In early 2013, he voiced the father of Daffy Duck's girlfriend on The Looney Tunes Show, and played himself in an April 13, 2014, episode of the animated series Family Guy called "The Most Interesting Man in the World," aired posthumously, one of his final acting roles.
In 2004, producers of the television series Law & Order hired him as Detective Joe Fontana, following the departure of longtime cast member Jerry Orbach. Farina stayed on the show for two seasons. In May 2006, it was announced he was leaving Law & Order for other projects, including the 2007 You Kill Me opposite Ben Kingsley and the 2008 What Happens in Vegas with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher.
His role of Detective Lt. Mike Torello on Crime Story was as a Chicago police officer, assigned to the U.S. Justice Department. Farina's Law & Order character, Detective Fontana, worked for Chicago Homicide before his transfer to the NYPD. Fontana shared a number of other characteristics with the actor who played him since they came from the same Chicago neighborhood, attended the same parochial school and had the same tastes in clothes and music and were fans of the Chicago Cubs.
He appeared in two television network miniseries based on Joe McGinniss's true-crime books, Blind Faith (1990) and Cruel Doubt (1992). He made a rare western, portraying legendary lawman Charlie Siringo in a 1995 television movie, Bonanza: Under Attack, a followup to the hit 1960s series.
In October 2008, he became the new host of Unsolved Mysteries when it returned to television with a new five-season, 175-episode run on Spike TV. Farina replaced Robert Stack, who had hosted the series for its prior 15-year run. This version featured re-edited segments from previous incarnations on NBC, CBS and Lifetime.
He played the title role in a 2011 independent film, The Last Rites of Joe May, written and directed by Joe Maggio, shot on location in Chicago. He was among the stars of a 2014 release, Authors Anonymous, playing a wannabe novelist with a fantasy of becoming another Tom Clancy.
Again on television, Farina co-starred in the 2012 HBO horse-race gambling series Luck, with Dustin Hoffman, directed by Michael Mann. He had a recurring guest role in 2013 in the television comedy series New Girl, though his character was killed off prior to his death.
Farina's last film role was as an aging Italian playboy in a film version of the Off-Broadway musical Lucky Stiff co-starring Dominic Marsh, Nikki M. James and Jason Alexander. The film, released posthumously in 2014, was dedicated to his memory.