Actor James Farentino

Some of you may have already heard the news, but for those who haven’t, the Associated Press reported the death of actor James Farentino earlier today. Farentino is probably most well known for his work on the show ER as the rough around the edges father of George Clooney. But those with a little bit more of a long term memory most likely recall his roles on Melrose Place and The Final Countdown.

Farentino was famous for playing characters that mirrored his own life. He was married four times and often found himself in trouble with the law including a recent battery charge. But his spirit shined in all of his roles; he was as coarse as he was sentimental. His death was the result of a heart failure.

Farentino’s career stretches back over 40 years in both film and TV, starring in starring in a couple of episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, the Jesus of Nazareth mini-series, of which he was nominated for an Emmy, and the sci-fi thriller The Final Countdown with Kirk Douglas. His career was launched through his television career in shows like Dynasty and Blue Thunder.

He is survived by his two sons, David and Saverio.

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This article was first posted on January 26, 2012