Actor Dennis Farina, who passed away on Monday, July 22, because of blood clot in his lung, suffered from recurrence cancer before his death. His cardiologist Dr. Marc A. Kates said that the actor was diagnosed with the disease 13 years ago.
"Over the last several months, he unfortunately experienced a recurrence of the cancer which was being treated. Despite treatment, over the weekend, a blood clot developed in Mr. Farina's lung which unexpectedly and suddenly took his life," the doctor said, as quoted by Reuters.
Farina, a former real-life cop who took part in "Law & Order" as a detective, passed away at the age of 69 in a Scottsdale, Arizona hospital. He was survived by three sons, six grandchildren and his partner of 35 years, Marianne Cahill.
"Law & Order" creator Dick Wolf said in a statement following the sad news, "I was stunned and saddened to hear about Dennis' unexpected passing this morning. The 'Law & Order' family extends sympathy and condolences to his family. He was a great guy."
Farina worked in Chicago Police Department between 1967 and 1985 before entering entertainment business. He joined "Law & Order" to replace Jerry Orbach in 2004. The actor played Det. Joe Fontana on the NBC series.
In addition to the crime drama, Farina's credits included Steven Spielberg's movie "Saving Private Ryan" and a major role in horse-racing series "Luck" with Dustin Hoffman. Unfortunately, the series was stopped after one season because three horses died during the production. He also took part in a comedy film "That Old Feeling" in 1997 alongside Bette Midler.