ACTOR PROFILE: Dennis Farina is still the toughest guy in the room

IT'S hard to imagine a better place to meet Dennis Farina than in New York's Friars Club. Its borscht belt clientele and social-club ambience is old school, like Farina himself.  "A lot of them are in show business in one way or another," says Farina, surveying the wood-paneled room and its lunchtime customers, some of whom stop to say hello. "A lot of them are retired. Some guys run casinos in Vegas."

Farina fits right in, though he's wearing an orange shirt, which is at odds with the conservative suits and ties all around him. But he's nothing if not slick: He's got a pinkie ring, polished nails, a trim gray mustache, a full head of gray hair and a rough, ruddy complexion. He's the most colorful guy in a room full of colorful guys. 

For years Hollywood has used Farina's off-screen qualities for on-screen duty as gangsters, cops and other assorted tough guys in such films as "Get Shorty" (1995) and "Out of Sight" (1998) and on television shows such as "Law & Order" (2004-06). 

(Source:  Los Angeles Times)


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