Dennis Farina remembered as star who ‘never went Hollywood’
BY TINA SFONDELES Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org July 30, 2013 1:02PM
Pallbearers guide the casket of actor and ex-Chicago cop Dennis Farina Tuesday morning outside Assumption Catholic Church in Chicago. Farina died last week at 69. | Michael R. Schmidt~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 31, 2013 1:04AM
Chicago native Dennis Farina — the cop-turned-actor — never let fame go to his head, a close friend said Tuesday at his funeral.
“He was a star and he went to Hollywood, but he never went Hollywood,” the Rev. Tom Nangle, a retired Chicago Police chaplain, told hundreds of mourners at Assumption Catholic Church. “He always kept his Chicago way, in his way of speaking, and when it came to his behavior.”
The former police detective, U.S. Army veteran and actor died in Arizona at 69 last week from a blood clot in his lung.
Farina’s no-frills, simple funeral Mass was a reflection of him, a man who stuck to his ways even when fame and money came knocking.
Nangle, the only speaker at the funeral, described Farina as “unfailingly gracious, polite and generous.”
He spoke highly of his years in the police department, where his natural talents shined through.
“He was a detective ... more than that, he was one of those rare types who could see around corners and see through walls,” Nangle said.
Farina’s three sons sat in the first church pew with their wives, as did Farina’s companion of 35 years, Marianne Cahill. Several of his grandsons served as pallbearers.
Farina’s casket, wrapped in an American flag, was taken into the church about 10 a.m. By 11 a.m., as a man sang “Danny Boy,” hundreds watched the casket leave the church, adorned in white cloth.
The church itself was chosen for his funeral site because it was the first parish his parents attended when they came to Chicago from Sicily, said the Rev. Joseph Chamblain, pastor of Assumption Church.
A day earlier, friends and family attended his Northwest Side wake to remember Farina, who served as a police officer before his acting career took off, appearing in movies such as “Saving Private Ryan” and “Get Shorty.” His most recent acting stint was on the TV sitcom “New Girl,” playing the father of a lead character.