James Farentino Of 'Dynasty' Dies At 73
He had been ill for some time, according to a family spokesperson
Actor James Farentino, who was famous for his life both on and off screen, died Tuesday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at the age of 73 after a lengthy illness, according to a family spokesperson.
Farentino was best known for his roles as Dr. Nick Toscanni on Dynasty, and Frank Chaney on Blue Thunder. In the '90s he also had a stints on the primetime dramas Melrose Place and ER, on which he played Ray Ross, the estranged father of George Clooney's character, Doug Ross. Farentino kept working in television until 2006.
The television actor was married four times, including once to actress Elizabeth Ashley and once to Michele Lee. The real-life scandal that damaged his career, however, involved his five-year relationship with Tina Sinatra, the daughter of legendary singer Frank Sinatra. Their tumultuous, on-again, off-again relationship wound him in court in 1994, where he pleaded no contest to 24 misdemeanor charges of stalking, making harassing phone calls, and violating a restraining order, according to the L.A. Times. He was charged with 36 months of probation and mandatory psychiatric and substance abuse counseling.
"My behavior was appalling," he later acknowledged in an interview with the newspaper. He claimed to be "feeling so hurt and rejected that I was the victim when I really wasn't. So you inflict your pain on someone else to make them identify with you."
He is survived by his fourth wife, Stella, and his two sons, David and Saverio.