Hollywood is mourning the death of legendary TV and film actor Dennis Farina, who died today at the age of 69. His rep said in a statement that he was "always warmhearted and professional, with a great sense of humor and passion for his profession," a sentiment we wholeheartedly agree with.
Farina leaves behind a legacy of iconic movie roles (Snatch, Get Shorty and Midnight Run, to name just a few), but he was also a favorite of the small screen. From a detective who wasn't afraid to be flashy to the world's slickest father, here are Farina's most memorable turns on television:
1. Albert Lombard, Miami Vice (1984-1989): On the cult classic Miami Vice, Farina played Albert "Al" Lombard, a crime boss who ran every kind of gambling operation. From poker, roulette, blackjack, cockfights and shirtless brawls, Albert was one member of the Librizzi empire that you did not want to mess with. However, in the end Farina's character had a change of heart and he agreed to help the Miami Vice team to bring down Librizzi, even though it meant he had to die in the process.
2. Detective Joe Fontana, Law & Order, (2004-2006): After Jerry Orbach passed away in 2004, Farina was brought on to replace his character: the legendary Lennie Briscoe. Joe Fontana was a transfer from the Chicago Police Department, a nod to Farina's Windy City roots. The detective was unlike other Law & Order folks, because he wasn't afraid to be flashy. He loved tailored suits and drove a Mercedes around the streets of NYC. Who says you have to look dull while chasing down perps?
3. Gus Demitriou, Luck (2011-2012): Though the show only lasted one season (it was canceled due to controversy surrounding the death of three horses), Farina managed to use the short timeframe wisely and gave us another standout performance. As Ace's (Dustin Hoffman) longtime driver and all-around gofer, Gus held titles ranging from registered horse owner to (spoiler alert!) murderer.
4. Walt Miller, New Girl (2013): Farina was a fan favorite parent in the New Girl loft playing Walt, Nick Miller's (Jake Johnson) dad, and a silver-haired fox/con-man. He and Nick were not always on the best of terms, but luckily they patched things up before Walt passed away at the end of Season two. Despite their rocky relationship, Walt left his son with some truly amazing advice before he passed: "I want to make sure that you don't miss out on the things in life that are happening when you're not thinking. Because, believe you me, those are the best things in life."