Sad news today, as former cop turned brilliant actor Dennis Farina passed away at the age of 69.
Farina had quite the career, finding major success on TV and on the big screen. No matter what the project was, he was at the very least enjoyable in it.
Here are our Five Favorite Dennis Farina roles…
Farina was rarely the center of attention on the big screen, but that never stopped him from stealing almost every scene he was in. If you were putting together an ensemble cast, you needed Farina. This 2007 crime comedy was a lot of fun and carried by Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni, but Farina still managed to make his mark. Fun movie, great performance.
A headlining role was rare for him, especially going side by side with the star power of Bette Midler, but he more than held his own in this 1997 comedy and delivered the leading man performance he should have been given more of. It’s your typical romantic comedy, but he is worth watching no matter what genre, and his chemistry with Midler was fantastic. If you’re stuck watching a romantic comedy, it definitely gets worse than watching one starring Farina.
Picking 1-3 is extremely hard, because any one of them could be number 1, easily. But his turn as Cousin Avi in Guy Ritchie’s snatch is probably the role that introduced his comedic genius to an entire new generation. His delivery and style are built for early Guy Ritchie films. He has the serious, imposing look to match the gritty tone, but the comedic timing to nail the comedy. It’s hard not to think about any scene he’s in and not smile with joy.
Probably his most iconic, well known role was as Jimmy Serrano in Midnight Run. Going toe to toe with Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin, and damn near stealing the show. This, much like Cousin Avi in Snatch, is the kind of role he was built for. Flawless performance in a classic film.
Perhaps this is a bit fair, putting the best movie he was in at number one, and not necessarily his best performance. But this movie is damn near perfect, and he’s a big contributor to that. Every scene he has with Jennifer Lopez makes you wish he were your dad. Much like he proved in Snatch that he was built for Guy Ritchie’s style, this and Get Shorty also show that he was a perfect fit for any Elmore Leonard material as well.
5 More That Were Hard To Leave Out Of The Top Five
Get Shorty, Little Big League, Manhunter, Another Stakeout, The Mod Squad
In short, you can’t go wrong with Dennis Farina. RIP