James Farentino

James Farentino

Farentino in Cool Million, 1972.
Born James Farentino
(1938-02-24)February 24, 1938
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died January 24, 2012(2012-01-24) (aged 73)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Heart failure
Years active 1962-2006
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Ashley (1962–65)
Michele Lee (1966–82)
Debrah Farentino (1985–88)
Stella Farentino (1994–2012)
Children David Farentino

James Farentino (February 24, 1938 – January 24, 2012) was an American actor. He appeared in nearly 100 television, film, and stage roles, among them The Final Countdown, Jesus of Nazareth, and Dynasty.


Born in Brooklyn, New York, Farentino attended local schools followed later by studying drama and acting in Catholic school.

In the 1950s/60s, he went on to stage and a few TV roles. Among his many television appearances, he guest-starred in 1964 with Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., in the episode "Super-Star" of the CBS drama series, The Reporter, with Harry Guardino in the starring role of journalist Danny Taylor of the fictitious New York Globe newspaper. Early in 1967, he appeared in Barry Sullivan's NBC western series The Road West in the episode "Reap the Whirlwind". In 1969, he starred opposite Patty Duke in the film Me, Natalie. Farentino was one of the lawyers in NBC TV series The Bold Ones (1969–1972), which also starred Burl Ives and Joseph Campanella. He made two appearances in the 1970s anthology television series Night Gallery, once with then-wife Michele Lee ("Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay"), and next with actress Joanna Pettet ("The Girl With The Hungry Eyes"). In 1973, he appeared in the episode "The Soft, Kind Brush" of the romantic anthology series Love Story. During the 1970s, he appeared on NBC's Cool Million.

In 1978, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Special for his portrayal of Simon Peter in the miniseries, Jesus of Nazareth. In 1980, Farentino starred in The Final Countdown with Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen, and then played Juan Perón opposite Faye Dunaway's Eva Perón in the 1981 television movie Evita Perón. Farentino appeared as Frank Chaney in the short-lived 1984 ABC series Blue Thunder, based on the 1983 film of the same name, starring Roy Scheider. In the late 1990s, he appeared as the estranged father of lead character Doug Ross on ER.

Personal life

Farentino was married to:

Farentino was charged with stalking his former girlfriend, Tina Sinatra (youngest child of Frank Sinatra) in 1993. A restraining order was issued against him after he entered a plea of nolo contendere.[2]

Farentino was arrested in Vancouver, British Columbia, on July 23, 1991, after Canada Customs intercepted a package containing 3.2 grams of cocaine being sent to his hotel room. Farentino was in town filming the TV movie Miles From Nowhere. He was charged with cocaine possession and released on bail.[3]

In 2010, Farentino was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor battery after a citizen's arrest was made against the actor.[4] Police were called to Farentino's Hollywood home. He was taken into custody and booked at the Los Angeles Police Department's Hollywood-area station. Farentino was released two days later after posting $20,000 bond. Police said the actor was trying to physically remove a man from his house. The man, who police said suffered visible bruising, made a citizen's arrest on Farentino for battery.[5]

Selected filmography


On January 24, 2012, Farentino died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California following a long illness. He was 73 years old.


  1. "Divorce No. 4 For Farentino", People
  2. "CBSNews.com Timeline". CBS News. 2003-04-20. Archived from the original on April 14, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-29. Celebrities are common targets of stalkers, and some celebrities even have been known to stalk each other. Too often, these cases claim innocent lives.
  3. "July 23 — Today in History". Magic City Morning Star. 2007-07-23. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  4. Actor James Farentino arrested
  5. "James Farentino ARRESTED: Actor Charged In Battery Case". Huffington Post. 2010-06-05. Retrieved 2012-01-25.
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