Dennis Farina

Dennis Farina, the actor known for roles in Law & Order, Snatch, Get Shorty and Midnight Runhas died. NBC News reports that the cause of death was a blood clot in his lung. The actor was 69. A former police officer, Farina first broke into Hollywood as a police consultant on Michael Mann’s 1981 film Thief. From there Mann cast him as Lt. Mike Torello on the series Crime Story and mobster Albert Lombard on Miami Vice. His fate was sealed: from then on, Farina had a long, successful career as either the cop or the crook. In either case he performed with gusto; equal parts smarm and charm, and always with a thick Chicago accent and equally thick mustache. He appeared in two films that have yet to be released- Authors Anonymous and Lucky Stiff. Farina is survived by longtime partner Marianne Cahill, three children and six grandchildren. Have a favorite Dennis Farina performance? Share it with us below.

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Quick, name the best film directed by Michael Mann about career criminals. Yeah, you probably just blurted out Heat without giving it a second thought, and you’d be about 58,396 miles from being alone. However, you’d be wrong. Before you start going off about “matter of opinion” and “how can he say these words” repeat these after me. “Heat is NOT, I repeat, NOT, Michael Mann’s best film.” There, now doesn’t that feel loads better? Oh, what’s that? you want to know what is Michael Mann’s best film? Let’s go back to 1981 where Mann offered up his second feature film, Thief, a film about a career criminal trying for his one last score – you can forgive this particular film for that cliche. It was the catalyst for all these other heist films using it that runs over the surface of rainy, Chicago streets. It’s cool. It’s energetic. It features one of James Caan‘s best performances. So, here, in honor of all the inspiration the film brings to Refn’s Drive, we offer up what Mann and Caan had to say about this milestone-of-cool film in their respective careers. You can even go watch Heat afterwards. I’ll forgive, but remember those words.

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I am a long time Michael Mann fan, even Miami Vice I would mark down as a misunderstood masterpiece. But Mann is not only one of the greatest filmmakers working today, he also knows good television. Whether it be the original Miami Vice series or the hit seventies series Vega$, Mann always had a knack for the small screen. Unfortunately, after the not so great Robbery Homicide Division in ’02, Mann sort of stepped away from television and went back to film full time. That is until Luck came along. And here is the first look at the new HBO series: Series creator David Milch described the pilot as “A bunch of intersecting lives in the world of horse racing.” With a cast boasting the likes of Dustin Hoffman, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, Nick Nolte and Joan Allen, along with Mann directing the pilot, I would say that Luck won’t need much of itself to succeed.

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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.26.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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published: 11.21.2014
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