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Prolific film and TV actor James Farentino dies at 73

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James Farentino George Clooney

Actor James Farentino, who appeared in dozens of movies and television shows, died Tuesday in a Los Angeles hospital, according to a family spokesman. He was 73.

Farentino died of heart failure at Cedars-Sinai Hospital after a long illness, said the spokesman, Bob Palmer.

Farentino had recurring roles on Dynasty, Melrose Place, The Bold Ones: The Lawyers, and ER, playing the estranged father to George Clooney’s character.

In 1978, he was nominated for an Emmy for his portrayal of Saint Peter in the television mini-series Jesus of Nazareth.

He also starred alongside Kirk Douglas and Martin Sheen in the 1980 science fiction film The Final Countdown. The movie featured a modern aircraft carrier that travels back in time to Pearl Harbor hours before the Japanese attack. And he starred opposite Patty Duke in 1969’s Me, Natalie.

In 1967, he won a “Most Promising Newcomer” Golden Globe for his performance in the comedy The Pad and How to Use It.

A four-time divorcee, Farentino’s tumultuous personal life made headlines, too.

In March 1994, he pleaded no contest to stalking his ex-girlfriend Tina Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra.

In 2010, the actor was arrested at his Hollywood home on suspicion of battery when he tried to physically remove a man from his home.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1938, Farentino is survived by two sons, David and Saverio.