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Jewish Journal

RIP Dennis Farina, aka Cousin Avi

by Uriel Heilman, JTA

July 22, 2013 | 2:05 pm

Late Actor Dennis Farina on Jan. 25, 2012. Photo by Gus Ruelas/Reuters

Late Actor Dennis Farina on Jan. 25, 2012. Photo by Gus Ruelas/Reuters

To most people, Dennis Farina, who died Monday at age 69, may be best remembered as a tough-talking Chicago cop (which he actually was, for 18 years, before becoming an actor) or as a tough-talking New York City police detective, which he ably played for two seasons as Joe Fontana on “Law & Order.”

But I think of Cousin Avi, the foul-mouthed, kipah-wearing Jew that Farina played in “Snatch,” the delightful British comedy crime movie (2000) directed by Guy Ritchie. The film, which opens with Brad Pitt playing a jewelery thief disguised as a hasidic Jew, showcased quintessential Farina. Here’s a taste:

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