Actor James Farentino Dies at 73

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  • James Farentino
    (NBC)
    James Farentino in the courtroom drama "The Bold Ones" in 1969. He was one of the last contract performers with Universal Studios in the 1960s. (NBC)
By Setrige Crawford , Christian Post Reporter
January 26, 2012|8:53 am

Actor James Farentino, a famous theater and television actor has died at the age 73 after battling a lengthy illness.

Farentino, who is known for prominent television roles dating back to 1960s, died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital, according to family spokesperson Bob Palmer. He acted in over 100 roles on shows, such as "The Bold Ones: The Lawyers," "Dynasty," "Blue Thunder" and "Police Story," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Farentino was born in Brooklyn in 1938 and trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts before launching his career on Broadway. He made his debut appearance in "Night of the Iguana," in 1961.

He played roles in the films, "The Pad and How to Use It," "Me, Natalie" and "The Final Countdown," from the late 60s to the 80s. He shared the screen with Martin Sheen and Kirk Douglas in "The Final Countdown," which was released in 1980, according to Newsday.

He also made an appearance in the 2006 television film, "Drive/II."

Farentino's off-screen life may have earned as much headlines and been as dramatic as his acting roles. In addition to marrying and divorcing three times, he had a tumultuous relationship with the daughter of Frank Sinatra.

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The relationship with Tina Sinatra almost ruined his acting career, according to the Los Angeles Times. In 1994, he was charged with 24 misdemeanor counts of stalking, making harassing phone calls and violating a restraining order.

The two had a rocky five-year relationship and Farentino received three years of probation following the break-up and subsequent stalking charges. He was also ordered to undergo psychiatric and alcohol counseling.

Farentino later acknowledged his behavior as appalling and said that studio executives stifled his career as a result of the off-screen drama.

In a 2003 interview he said that people in the business called him an alcoholic, a drunk and characterized him as the man who stalked Tina. Farentino added that they tried to put clamps on his career, casting him in less desirable roles. He made a comeback in 2003, playing a role in the play, "Boy Gets Girl."

Farentino is survived by his fourth wife, Stella and his two sons, David and Saverio.

 

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