Dennis Franz

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Dennis Franz
Dennis Franz (1994).jpg
Franz at a rehearsal for the 1994 Emmy Awards
BornDennis Franz Schlachta
(1944-10-28) October 28, 1944 (age 69)
Maywood, Illinois, United States
ResidenceCoeur d'Alene, Idaho
Years active1978–2005
Jump to: navigation, search
Dennis Franz
Dennis Franz (1994).jpg
Franz at a rehearsal for the 1994 Emmy Awards
BornDennis Franz Schlachta
(1944-10-28) October 28, 1944 (age 69)
Maywood, Illinois, United States
ResidenceCoeur d'Alene, Idaho
Years active1978–2005

Dennis Franz (/frɑːnz/; born October 28, 1944) is an American actor best known for his role as Andy Sipowicz, a hard-boiled police detective, in the television series NYPD Blue. He previously appeared as Lt. Norman Buntz on Hill Street Blues, and earlier played Detective Benedetto on the same show.

Early life[edit]

Franz was born Dennis Franz Schlachta in Maywood, Illinois, the son of German immigrants[1][2][3] Eleanor, a postal worker, and Franz Schlachta, who was a baker and postal worker.[4] Franz is a graduate of Proviso East High School (in Maywood), Wilbur Wright College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale.[5] After graduating from college, Franz was drafted into the United States Army. He served eleven months with the 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam.[6]


Franz began his acting career at Chicago's Organic Theater Company. Although he has in the past performed Shakespeare, his "look" led to his being typecast early in his career as a police officer. (By Franz's own count, the character of Detective Andy Sipowicz was his 27th role as a police officer). He has also guest-starred in shows such as The A-Team. Other major roles were on the television series Hill Street Blues in which he played two characters over the run of that show. Franz first played the role of Detective Sal Benedetto, a corrupt cop in the 1983 season, who later kills himself. Due to his popularity with fans, he returned in 1985 as Lt. Norm Buntz, remaining until the show's end in 1987. He starred in the short-lived Beverly Hills Buntz as the morally questionable Norman Buntz.

Franz had a small role as a grouchy movie director in Body Double (1984).

Franz went on to win four Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue. The character of Sipowicz was ranked #23 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters list.

In 1994 Franz made a cameo appearance as himself in The Simpsons episode "Homer Badman" - when Homer is accused of sexually harassing a babysitter, the case becomes tabloid fodder, generating an exploitative Fox telemovie, Homer S.: Portrait of an Ass-Grabber, in which Franz portrays Homer.

He starred as "Earl", the abusive husband, in the Dixie Chicks' music video "Goodbye Earl", as the obnoxious Captain Carmine Lorenzo in the 1990 action film Die Hard 2 and as Nathaniel Messinger in the 1998 film, City of Angels.

Franz has stayed out of the acting spotlight since 2005 to focus on his private life. He has told Access Hollywood he would be interested to return to acting if given the right opportunity.



1978Remember My NameFranks
1978The FuryBob
1978A WeddingKoons
1978Stony IslandJerry Domino
1979A Perfect CoupleCosta
1979Bleacher BumsZigTelevision film
1980Dressed to KillDetective Marino
1981Blow OutManny Karp
1983Psycho IIWarren Toomey
1984Body DoubleRubin
1985Deadly MessagesDetective Max LucasTelevision film
1986A Fine MessPhilUncredited
1987Tales from the Hollywood HillsLouieTelevision film
1989Kiss ShotMax FleischerTelevision film
1989The PackageLt. Milan Delich
1990Die Hard 2Captain Carmine Lorenzo
1990Nasty Boys, Part 2: Lone JusticeLt. Stan KriegerTelevision film
1991NYPD MountedTony Spampatta
1991The Sid StorySid
1992In the Line of Duty: Siege at MarionBob Bryant
1994Moment of Truth: Caught in the CrossfireGus PayneTelevision film
1995Texas JusticeRichard Haynes
1996Healing the HateHost
1996American BuffaloDon Dubrow
1997Mighty Ducks the Movie: The First Face-OffCaptain Klegghorn
1998City of AngelsNathaniel Messinger


1982Chicago StoryOfficer Joe Gilland13 episodes
1983-1987Hill Street BluesLt. Norman Buntz46 episodes
1983Bay City BluesAngelo Carbone8 episodes
1984The A-TeamSam FriendlyEpisode: "Chopping Spree"
1985The A-TeamBrooksEpisode: "Beverly Hills Assault"
1985HunterSgt. Jackie Molinas2 episodes
1987-1988Beverly Hills BuntzNorman Buntz13 episodes
1989MatlockJack Brennert2 episodes
1990Nasty BoysLt. Stan Krieger12 episodes
1993-2005NYPD BlueDetective Andy Sipowicz261 episodes
1994The SimpsonsHimselfEpisode: "Homer Badman"
1996-1997Mighty DucksCaptain Klegghorn17 episodes

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ SMOKE 03/98 - Dennis Franz
  2. ^ Gerard Gilbert (8 July 2002). "TV Heroes: #6: Dennis Franz". The Independent. 
  3. ^ Archives Search: 01 results for search "( (unq:"0EAF85A3C033421C") ) "
  4. ^ Dennis Franz Biography (1944-)
  5. ^ Utterback, Wayne (2007-04-19). "Emprace the 'Dark': Author, SIUC alumnus reprints book about Strip". Daily Egyptian. p. 7. 
  6. ^ "Dennis Franz". The New York Times (New York, New York: The New York Times, Co.). 2010. Retrieved 25 September 2014. 

External links[edit]