Oct. 28th, 1944
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Dennis Franz's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles1998 - City of Angels
1996 - American Buffalo
1992 - The Player
1990 - Die Hard 2: Die Harder
1989 - The Package
1986 - A Fine Mess
1985 - Runaway Train
1983 - Psycho II
1983 - Scarface
1981 - Blow Out
1980 - Dressed to Kill
1980 - Popeye
1978 - The Fury
Guest TV Roles
Sgt. Jackie Molinas
Inspector Frank Menlo
Himself as Homer Simpson (Voiced)
Dennis Franz was born Dennis Franz Schlacta in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father was a German immigrant and both he and Franz's mother, were postal workers. He has two sisters, Marlene (born 1938) and Heidi (born 1935). He graduated from Southern Illinois University and was immediately drafted into the military. He served 11 month in Vietnam in a reconnaissance unit, and after his service he suffered depression for some time afterwards. In 1972 he joined the Organic Theatre Company. Robert Altman (I) discovered him at an auditions and urged him to go to Los Angeles, where he became part of Altman's resident company. He met Joanie Zeck on April Fool's Day 1982 and aided her in raising her two daughters, Krista (born 1976) and Tricia (born 1974). They married thirteen years later in Carmel, California.
- By 11th grade, he tried out for a part in a school play called, "The Crucible," because his girlfriend was auditioning. He won the part, but his girlfriend didn't
- Was a mailman before becoming an actor
- Always travels with a pet bird.
- Attended Wright Junior College and Southern Illinois University, with a major in speech and theater
- Before entering _"Hill Street Blues" (1981)_ (qv), as Norm Buntz, appeared as Sal Benedetto for a few episodes.
- He and 'Jimmy Smits' (qv) began their association with 'Steven Bochco' (qv) in the 1980s.
- He was nominated for the 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his performance in the play, "Cops" at the Organic Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois.
- His former _"NYPD Blue" (1993)_ (qv) co-star, 'David Caruso (I)' (qv), is currently the star of _"CSI: Miami" (2002)_ (qv), the spin-off of 'William Petersen' (qv)'s series _"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000)_ (qv). Franz and Petersen co-presented an award at the 2004 Emmys.