Dennis Farina, star of 'Law & Order,' dead

July 23, 2013 7:20:49 AM

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NEW YORK -- Dennis Farina, a onetime Chicago cop who as a popular character actor played a TV cop on "Law & Order" during his wide-ranging career, has died. 

 

Death came Monday morning in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital after Farina suffered a blood clot in his lung, according to his publicist, Lori De Waal. He was 69. 

 

For three decades, Farina was a character actor who displayed remarkable dexterity, charm and toughness, making effective use of his craggy face, husky frame, ivory smile and ample mustache. He could be as dapper as Fred Astaire and as full of threat as Clint Eastwood. His gift has been described as wry, tough-guy panache, and audiences loved him for it. 

 

"Sometimes you can take those dramatic roles and maybe interject a little humor into them, and I think the reverse also works," Farina said in a 2007 interview with The Associated Press. "One of the funny things in life to me is a guy who takes himself very seriously."