Here is a very sad case of art imitating life. Months after his character of Nick Miller’s father on Fox’s “New Girl” died, and there was a particularly memorable episode themed around his body being laid to rest, we have now lost the actor who popularized the role in this past season.
Dennis Farina’s publicist confirmed on Monday that the actor died in Scottsdale, Arizona this week after suffering from a blood clot in his lung. This news comes just mere days after it was announced that he would be guest-voicing a character on an upcoming “Family Guy” episode. (The status of this episode is unknown, but traditionally guest actors tape their parts long in advance, meaning the he probably did so before passing.) Farina was 69 years old.
While recent TV fans are going to know Dennis best from his memorable “New Girl” stint, he was best known for his role on “Law & Order” and the short-lived HBO series “Luck,” which ran afoul thanks to some tragedies of its own. Before becoming an actor later in life, Farina was actually a detective in the city of Chicago (where Nick Miller is from) for nearly two decades, which adds some irony to the fact that his “New Girl” character was a noted con man, and one who tried to trick his son up until the end to do things for him in order for him to gain a profit, including participating in a horse-racing scam.
Jake Johnson was one of the first people to speak out about the death on his Twitter account, writing in a post that this was a “tremendous loss.” The rest of the “New Girl” cast has yet to address his passing.
Update: Zoeey Deschanel just issued the following statement: “I am completely devastated about Dennis Farina’s passing, I was lucky to have witnessed his charm and brilliance.”