Great Wounder, The

Dennis Farina, who played Lt. Mike Torello on the police drama CRIME STORY/NBC/1986-88 was nicknamed “The Great Wounder” by his fellow police officers when he worked for the police department in the days before he took up acting as a career.

During his eighteen years on the Chicago police force, every time he “pulled out his gun to shoot someone, he’d shoot them in the butt or the thumb” (TV Guide 2/6/88).

Born in the Italian section of Chicago, Farina left law enforcement in 1985 to pursue acting full-time. He was introduced to acting when his former supervisor, who had left the Chicago police force to pursue a career in writing, got him a small role in the movie Thief (1981). Farina was later cast as an FBI agent in the Michael Mann film Manhunter (1986).

Dennis Farina has also appeared on BUDDY FARO/CBS/2000 as a 1960s gumshoe come out of retirement; THE IN LAWS/NBC/2002-2003 as Victor Pellet a domineering, overprotective father-in-law who shares his house with his newly married daughter and her husband;  LAW & ORDER/NBC/(from 2004-2006) as New York City police homicide detective Joe Fontana; and LUCK/HBO/2011-2012  as Gus Demitriou, a guy who frequents a horse-racing track.

See also – “Johnny Pizza”


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Workplace Nickname

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