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    ER Actor James Farentino Cause of Death: A Broken Hip?

    James Farentino Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage

    James Farentino, a prolific character actor who in later years played George Clooney's estranged father on ER, was originally said to have died last week following a long illness.

    But that's not the whole story, according to the death certificate released today by the L.A. County Department of Public Health and obtained by E! News.

    What did the document reveal?

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    Primary cause of death was noted as "sesquelae of right hip fracture," which basically means Farentino died of complications from a broken hip.

    MORE: View the death certificate

    The exact nature of those complications—"sesquelae" is a pathological condition resulting from disease, injury or trauma—was not disclosed, but the certificate states that the 73-year-old broke his hip in December.

    But Farentino was not otherwise a healthy man. Other factors contributing to his death, according to the coroner's report, were diabetes, hypertensive arteriosclerotic cardiopulmonary disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

    Farentino was best known for the sci-film The Final Countdown with Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen, and he worked steadily in TV, including multi-episode arcs on ER and Melrose Place.

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