Dennis Farina, known for his tough guy roles in movies and television has died.

Dennis Farina, known for his tough guy roles in movies and television has died.

Dennis Farina, an easily recognizable face with chiseled looks and a penchant for playing the tough guy in television and movie roles, including “Get Shorty,” and “Saving Private Ryan,” died suddenly this morning (July 22) from a blood clot, his publicist announced. He was 69.

Farina had been admitted to a hospital in Scottsdale, Ariz., suffering a blood clot in his lung, his publicist Lori De Waal, said.

His most recent work included the role of Detective Joe Fontana on “Law & Order” from 2004 to 2006, and also appeared in the short lived HBO series “Luck,” with Dustin Hoffman.

He just finished shooting a comedy, “Lucky Stiff,” about a bachelor who discovers he has a late rich uncle and travels to Monte Carlo to claim his inheritance. The film stars Dominic Marsh, Nikki M. James, Pamela Shaw and Jason Alexander.

Born and raised in Chicago, he joined the city police force and was an 18-year-veteran in his 40s when director Michael Mann hired him as consultant for one of his movies.

He got the acting bug and Mann gave him a small part in the 1981 movie “Thief,” about a safe-cracker who is enlisted by the Mafia. It starred James Caan, Tuesday Weld and Willie Nelson.

“I remember going to the set that day and being intrigued by the whole thing,” he told the Associated Press in a 2004 interview. “I liked it. And everybody was extremely nice to me. If the people were rude and didn’t treat me right, things could have gone the other way.”

Along with his debut, now veteran actors William Petersen, James Belushi and Robert Prosky also landed their first film parts. Ironically, Farina played a mob henchman while John Santucci, who played a corrupt cop, was on parole for theft.

The film also marked a relationship with Mann that continued through “Crime Stories” and Mann’s other television show, “Miami Vice.” Mann also directed the HBO series “Luck.”

He also had roles in Steven Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan,” “Striking Distance,” “Another Stakeout,” “Little Big League,” “Snatch,” “The Mod Squad,” “Big Trouble” “That Old Feeling” and “Out of Sight.”

Farina is survived by three sons, six grandchildren and his longtime partner, Marianne Cahill.