Actor James Farentino Dead At 73

January 24, 2012

Actor James Farentino, widely known for his roles on television as well as on the silver screen, died of heart failure Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. According to family spokesman Bob Palmer, the actor had been battling an illness for some time. He was 73 years old.

James Farentino

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Farentino’s first foray into the entertainment world came in 1961, appearing in Broadway’s “Night of the Iguana”. He would soon appear in several television shows, starting with “Naked City” in 1962. He had recurring roles on shows such as “The Bold Ones: The Lawyers”, “Police Story”, “Dynasty” and “ER”, playing George Clooney’s father.

On the silver screen he has appeared in films such as “The War Lord” (1965), “The Pad and How to Use It” (1966), “The Final Countdown” (1980), “Dead and Buried” (1981), “Termination Man” (1998), “The Last Producer” (2000) and his last film in 2006, “Drive/II”.

On a personal note, the actor was married four times to actresses Elizabeth Ashley (loved her in “Evening Shade”!), Michele Lee of “Knots Landing” fame (with whom he had a son, David Farentino), Debrah Farentino (whom I totally remember from the long ago CBS soap “Capitol”), and his current wife, Stella Farentino.

He began a five year relationship with Tina Sinatra, the youngest daughter of Frank Sinatra, in 1988. According to a friend of Farentino, their romance was “perfect” but “volatile” at the same time. They split in February of 1993 and just three months later, she took out a restraining order against Farentino after he allegedly threatened to kill her. In July of the same year, James was arrested for “stalking” Sinatra and violating the restraining order. In 1994, he plead “no contest” to the charges and was subsequently placed on three years’ probation and required to attend psychiatric and alcohol counseling. It’s sad that this is what people remember about him the most.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of James Farentino during this difficult time. RIP.

James Farentino James Farentino


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