This past winter, Dennis Farina returned to his Chicago roots to produce and star as the title character in 'The Last Rites of Joe May,' an independent drama written and directed by Joe Maggio. Produced by Farina's production company You're Faded and Steppenwolf Films, part of the legendary Steppenwolf Theatre company in Chicago, the film features Farina as a small-time hustler who finds a shot at redemption when he meets a young woman and her six year-old daughter. Farina most recently appeared on the big screen in the critically acclaimed feature 'Bottle Shock' alongside Alan Rickman, Chris Pine and Bill Pullman and as Cameron Diaz' boss in the Fox comedy feature 'What Happens in Vegas,' directed by Tom Vaughn. He is currently shooting the HBO series 'Luck' opposite Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte. The series was created by David Milch ('Deadwood') and the pilot was directed by Michael Mann, who is executive producing alongside Milch.
Farina is well remembered for his roles in memorable features such as Steven Soderbergh's 'Out of Sight,' the sly and sexy crime caper in which he played "Marshall Sisco," the retired lawman father of Jennifer Lopez's character. This was Farina's second outing in an Elmore Leonard best seller adaptation for Jersey Films, the previous one being 'Get Shorty,' directed by Barry Sonnenfeld and co-starring John Travolta, Rene Russo and Gene Hackman. Farina received an American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male for his performance as "Ray 'Bones' Barboni."
One of the most recognized character actors of our time, Farina has played everything from an army colonel in Steven Spielberg's 'Saving Private Ryan,' to a Jewish diamond merchant opposite Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro in the darkly comedic crime drama 'Snatch' directed by Guy Ritchie, to a seat belt challenged hit man in Touchstone's comedy "Big Trouble" directed by his 'Get Shorty' director Barry Sonnenfeld, to an Irish mob boss in 'You Kill Me' opposite Sir Ben Kingsley, Tea Leoni and Luke Wilson, to a wise-cracking news anchor with outrageous dating advice in 'Sidewalks of New York' directed by Ed Burns. He starred opposite Bette Midler in 'That Old Feeling' and played one of the most feared (and loved) gangsters of all time, "Jimmy Serrano," in Martin Brest's action-comedy 'Midnight Run' with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin. Some of Farina's other big screen credits include 'Reindeer Games,' 'Paparazzi,' 'The Mod Squad,' 'Little Big League,' 'Striking Distance,' 'Another Stakeout,' and the Michael Mann films 'Manhunter' and 'Thief,' the latter of which was Farina's feature film debut.
On the small screen, Farina is widely recognized for his recent portrayal of Detective Joe Fontana on NBC's epic series Law and Order. His other television series credits include NBC's 'In Laws,' CBS's critically acclaimed 'Buddy Faro,' created by Mark Frost ('Twin Peaks'), and NBC's 'Crime Story,' created by long-time collaborator Michael Mann. Farina starred in HBO's miniseries, 'Empire Falls,' directed by Fred Schepisi, which also starred Helen Hunt, Ed Harris, Paul Newman and Robin Wright Penn and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Mini-Series. He also appeared in the Emmy-nominated 'The Drug Wars: Columbia.'
A veteran of the Chicago theater, Farina has appeared in Joseph Mantegna's 'Bleacher Bums,' 'A Prayer For My Daughter,' directed by John Malkovich, 'A Class Three Trial in Yokohama' directed by Donald Finn, 'The Time of Your Life' directed by Donald Moffat, 'Heat' directed by Roberta Custer, 'Streamers' directed by Terry Kinney, 'Tracers' directed by Gary Sinise (a Joseph Jefferson Award Winner for Best Ensemble) and others.