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Farina finally gets lucky with 'Law & Order' role

Actor Dennis Farina's luck is beginning to turn around.

The former Chicago police officer hadn't appeared in any major projects for some time, and then was forced to withdraw from "Collateral," the thriller starring Tom Cruise, after a car accident.

"He was starting to doubt that there was going to be anything really worthwhile on the horizon," Chuck Adamson, a friend and retired Chicago police sergeant told The New York Times in Sunday editions.

Then, Farina was recruited to join the cast of "Law & Order," after longtime fixture Jerry Orbach announced he was leaving to join a spinoff.

Farina says he was already a fan of the show and liked the emphasis on the crime stories rather than the characters' personal lives.