6 Actors Who Had Successful Careers as Something Else


Monday, America mourned the untimely death of 69-year-old Dennis Farina, best known for his starring role on NBC's hit show Law and Order. But Farina enjoyed a flourishing career off camera as well as a Chicago police officer, where he served the city for over 18 years. In honor of the late actor, here are six Hollywood stars that have excelled in careers beyond the film and TV industries. 

1. Dennis Farina, Cop

Dennis Farina passed away Monday morning at the age of 69 after suffering from a blood clot. Before he became renowned for his starring role as detective Joe Fontana on Law and Order, Farina served as a real-life Chicago cop. In addition to his lead TV role, Farina played memorable characters in the blockbuster hits Out of Sight, Midnight Run, Get Shorty, and Saving Private Ryan.

2. Steve Buscemi, Fireman

Steve Buscemi has a prolific film and TV career. He has starred in lead roles on hit series Saturday Night Live and Boardwalk Empire and has starred in films Fargo, The Big Lebowski, The Grey Zone, and Big Fish among many others. In addition to his career as an actor, Buscemi served as a firefighter for five years (1980 to 1985) in downtown Manhattan with FDNY's Engine Company 55. Buscemi even joined the FDNY in the aftermath of 9/11, working for 60 hours with his former crew helping to save victims from the wreckage. 

3. Mandy Patinkin, Broadway Singer

Mandy Patinkin has made an impressive name for himself on television, playing a lead role on CBS's Criminal Minds and Showtime's HomelandAside from his television persona, however, Patinkin also has an impressive tenor voice. He made his Broadway debut in 1980, playing the role of Che in Evita, a part for which he won a Tony Award for "Best Performance by a Featured Actor In a Musical." Patinkin then returned to Broadway in the show The Secret Garden. 

4. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Politician

The Austrian-born Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long list of jobs to put on his résumé including his career as an actor. Most famous for his role in the Terminator series and The Expendables, Schwarzenegger's claim to fame extends far beyond the entertainment business. He rose to fame as one of the world's top bodybuilders. He later entered the field of politics when he was elected as the governor of California in 2003. 

5. Richard Belzer, Standup Comedian

Richard Belzer might conceal his humorous side as he plays the role of tough-guy police detective John Munch on the NBC series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. But before Munch rose to stardom he was a stand up comedian. In fact, Belzer was a warm-up comedian for Saturday Night Live in 1975 and he is using his comedic background serving as a talent scout on NBC's Last Comic Standing.

6. Dwayne Johnson, Pro Athlete

Dwayne Johnson, more popularly known by his ring name "The Rock," is well-known for his prolific acting career. The 6-foot-5-inch, 265-pound celeb gained his fame, however, as a top wrestler in the World Wrestling Foundation (WWF). Johnson also played Division I football for the University of Miami, where he helped win a national championship in 1991.