Dennis Schlachta

Dennis Schlachta

American actor
Date of Birth: 28.10.1944
Country: USA

  1. Biography of Dennis Franz
  2. Early Life and Military Service
  3. Early Acting Career
  4. Breakthrough with "NYPD Blue"

Biography of Dennis Franz

Dennis Franz Schlachta, born on October 28, 1944, is an American actor best known for his role as the brave detective Andy Sipowicz in the television series "NYPD Blue." He was born in Chicago, Illinois, to German immigrant parents. His mother, Eleanor, worked at the post office, while his father, Franz, worked as a baker.

Dennis Schlachta

Early Life and Military Service

Franz completed his education at a local school and then went on to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale. After graduating, he joined the United States Army, serving eleven months as part of the 82nd Airborne Division in Vietnam.

Early Acting Career

At the beginning of his career, Dennis Franz quickly gained recognition among the television industry. He possessed an incredible talent for humanizing even the most despicable characters. With his perpetual unshaven appearance and disheveled look, Franz was initially typecast in supporting roles as second-rate detectives and corrupt police officers. His appearance alone suggested that he was involved in something illegal and corrupt.

Franz's first significant television role was as the corrupt police officer Sal Benedetto in the NBC series "Hill Street Blues." He received recognition for this role, being named the "Villain of the Year" by TV Guide. Soon after, producer Steven Bochco invited Franz to join the short-lived sports series "Bay City Blues." After the series ended, Franz returned to "Hill Street Blues" to play the role of Lieutenant Norman Buntz, a character that became well-received and even had his own spin-off series titled "Beverly Hills Buntz."

Breakthrough with "NYPD Blue"

One of Dennis Franz's most significant roles came in Bochco's police drama series "NYPD Blue." Though the show received mixed reviews and faced controversy, Franz's role as Detective Andy Sipowicz, a detective with a tumultuous personal life dealing with alcoholism, prostate cancer, and the loss of family and partners, became the pinnacle of his career.

For an extended period during the show's run, Franz became synonymous with this character. Surprisingly, the role even turned him into a sex symbol and earned him four Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series" in 1994, 1996, 1997, and 1999.

Dennis Franz's portrayal of Andy Sipowicz solidified his place in television history and made him one of the most recognizable and respected actors in the industry.