Image: Wise-guy and crime fighter Best known for: Law and Order Early life: Farina was born in Chicago on February 29, 1944, to Italian-American parents. He has three brothers and three sisters. Farina served 18 years as a policeman in Chicago before becoming an actor. He began his career in showbusiness working for director Michael Mann as a police consultant on Mann's early works. This led to an interest in acting and he was cast in a small role in the 1981 film Thief. Farina moonlighted as an actor in the Chicago theatre scene before Mann chose him for his Crime Story series.
Career: One of his most well-known movie characters is Jimmy Serrano, the mob boss from Midnight Run. Other films include Manhunter, Striking Distance, Another Stakeout, Get Shorty, Saving Private Ryan, Snatch and Out of Sight. Farina starred as Detective Joe Fontana on long-running television series Law & Order from 2004 to 2006. He can still be seen in episodes airing in the UK. He currently has three films in production and is set to star alongside Dustin Hoffman in forthcoming TV drama Luck. Love life: Farina is the father of three sons, Dennis, Michael and Joseph, from his marriage to Patricia, which ended in divorce in 1980.
Don't mention: He was convicted of carrying a handgun at LAX airport, and sentenced to two years probation in 2008.
Quote: "Some people approach acting with all these things in their head, making it more complicated than it needs to be, too cerebral. I don't want to know that an actor lived in a cave for 12 days so that he could prepare for a part." Tonight: Law & Order, Five, 10.30pm.