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Monday, July 22, 2013

RIP Dennis Farina: A Crime Story Appreciation

Posted by Wm.™ Steven Humphrey on Mon, Jul 22, 2013 at 2:29 PM

Former Chicago cop turned actor Dennis Farina has passed away due to a blood clot on his lung. He was 69. While remembered most recently from his stint on Law & Order, and as Nick's dad on New Girl, he also starred in one of my fave TV series of all time: Michael Mann's Crime Story.

Way before Mad Men was a gleam in Matthew Weiner's eye, Crime Story was a gorgeously shot police series set in early 1960s Chicago, featuring Farina as Lt. Mike Torello and his battles with mobster Ray Luca (Anthony Denison). It ran from 1986-88, and while later episodes became too cartoony for my tastes, you'd still be hard-pressed to find a more exciting, violent, and atmospheric cop show. Here's a great elongated scene about a department store robbery filled with the sort of hard-boiled tension Crime Story was famous for. And Farina, unsurprisingly, is at the top of his game.

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