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Mirror, Mirror On The Wall . . .

November 02, 1986|Craig Modderno

Just how ugly is ugly?

NBC President Brandon Tartikoff, in reference to his new-face star Dennis Farina on "Crime Story," told Rolling Stone: "Nobody's ever gonna accuse us of selecting a matinee idol. He ain't handsome. He's got pockmarks, but his face is one of the most interesting you're liable to see anywhere."

Farina, 42, a former detective in the Central Investigative Unit of the Chicago Police Department, knows on which side his scripts are typed.

"If he says I'm ugly, then I'm ugly," he said of the boss' statement on the phone between "Crime Story" setups. "I think our entire cast has a pretty unconventional look. The show doesn't portray tall, dark and handsome well. Still, the cast is just now starting to get a lot of fan mail.

"I've got fan letters from little old ladies in Florida, Ohio and California wanting me to eat lasagna at their house. I wrote and told them thanks but my mom makes that the best.

"My favorite letter went on and on about how I was the sexiest guy on television even though I looked different and--let's face it--was not handsome. The person loved my work and always watched the show, the whole bit. Then they wanted an autographed photo with the name of my character, Lt. Buntz"--as in Dennis Franz's character on "Hill Street Blues."

Nevertheless, Farina is winning ugly. Although the show hasn't had good ratings, it's the first of the new shows to be renewed.

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