RIP Dennis Farina, Mel Smith

dennis farina crime story

Here’s two gentlemen who departed this mortal coil who couldn’t be more dissimilar. Yet they played huge roles in our entertainment lives.

Dennis Farina has died at age 69. A former Chicago cop who became a beloved character actor, Farina was known for TV series like “Law and Order” and movies like “Get Shorty.”

But a couple of roles will make him live forever for me. One was the mobster in the action comedy “Midnight Run.”

And then there was – as seen above – tough Chicago cop Mike Torrello in “Crime Story,” Michael Mann’s late-1980s follow-up to “Miami Vice.” Stylish and multi-layered in its story of cops, criminals and attorneys, first in Chicago and then Las Vegas, the series was ahead of his time, and Farina was great in it.

mel smith princess bride

Then there’s Mel Smith, a funny Brit best known as the master of “the pit of despair” in “The Princess Bride.”

But my first memory of Smith was “Morons from Outer Space,” a wonderful but little-seen 1985 comedy.

Smith was 60.

Both will be missed.


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