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September 22, 2023

Here's the Scoop...

Dennis Franz really became known for playing Detective Andy Sipowicz on the television series NYPD Blue, but did you know that he has played a cop almost 30 times in his career? Guess he just has that tough guy image! I also didn't know that he grew up in the Chicagoland area, not far from me! What else can we learn about this talented actor? Keep reading to find out!

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Dennis Franz

Learn More About Dennis Franz, see Then & Now pictures, and find out What He's Been Up To on Celebrity Nooz

BIRTH DATE: October 28, 1944 in Maywood, Illinois, USA

BIRTH NAME: Dennis Franz Schlacta

CLAIM TO FAME: Dennis Franz is a retired American actor best known for his role as NYPD Detective Andy Sipowicz in the ABC television series NYPD Blue (1993-2005), a role that earned him a Golden Globe Award, three Screen Actors Guild Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards.

FAMILY LIFE: In 1995, Franz married Joanie Zeck; they met in 1982. He is the stepfather of Zeck's two daughters, Tricia and Krista, from her previous marriage.

INFO: The son of Eleanor, a postal worker, and Franz Ferdinand Schlachta, who was a baker and postal worker.

He has two older sisters, Heidi Deigl and Marlene Schraut.

Of German and Polish ancestry.

A 1962 graduate of Proviso East High School in Maywood. During his high school years, he was active in baseball, football and swimming.

Attended Wilbur Wright College and Southern Illinois University Carbondale, graduating from the latter with a bachelor's degree in speech and theater in 1968.

After graduating from college, Franz was drafted into the United States Army. He served eleven months with the 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam.

He spoke of wartime experiences and post-war trauma of veterans at a Memorial Day Concert in 2012.

TRIVIA: Franz began his acting career at Chicago's Organic Theater Company.

Was one of the authors of the play "Bleacher Bums" premiered by Chicago's Organic Theater Company in 1977 and performed in New York the following year, with Franz creating in it the role of Zig.

One of his major roles was on the television series Hill Street Blues, in which he played two characters over the run of the show. Franz first played the role of the corrupt Detective Sal Benedetto in the 1982-1983 season. He later returned to the series in 1985 as main character Lt. Norman Buntz, remaining until the show's end in 1987. He also starred in the short-lived Beverly Hills Buntz as the same character.

Franz went on to win four Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue from 1993 to 2005.

The character of Sipowicz was ranked No. 23 on Bravo's 100 Greatest TV Characters list.

Andy Sipowicz, Franz's character on NYPD Blue (1993), was ranked #31 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time"

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television at 7021 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 19, 1999.

In 2000, Franz starred as Earl, an abusive husband, in the Dixie Chicks' music video "Goodbye Earl".

In 2001, he competed on the celebrity edition of the hit television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, winning $250,000 for his charity, the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

After the end of the show in 2005, Franz retired from acting to focus on his private life.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW: Franz did indeed retire from acting, although he told the New York Post he would be interested in returning to acting if given the right opportunity. Hopefully, we will see him on the screen again.


1993-2005 NYPD Blue (TV Series)...Det. Andy Sipowicz / Sgt. Andy Sipowicz
All 261 Episodes

2000 Dixie Chicks: Goodbye Earl (Music Video)...Earl

1998 City of Angels...Nathaniel Messinger

1998 Sesame Street (TV Series)...Dennis Franz
- Monster Day (1998) ... Dennis Franz

1996-1997 Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series (TV Series)...Captain Klegghorn
- To Catch a Duck (1997) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Duck Hard (1997) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- The Return of Asteroth (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- The Iced Duck Cometh (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- The Final Face Off (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Mad Quacks Beyond Hockeydome (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Puck Fiction (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Mondo-Man (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Jurassic Puck (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Beaks vs. B.R.A.W.N. (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Microducks (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- The Human Factor (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Take Me to Your Leader (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- Dungeons and Ducks (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- A Traitor Among Us (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- The First Face-Off: Part 2 (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)
- The First Face-Off: Part One (1996) ... Captain Klegghorn (voice)

1996 American Buffalo...Don

1996 Mighty Ducks the Movie: The First Face-Off (Video)...Captain Klegghorn (voice)

1996 Healing the Hate (TV Movie)...Host

1995 Texas Justice (TV Movie)...Richard 'Racehorse' Haynes

1994 The Simpsons (TV Series)...Dennis Franz as Homer Simpson
- Homer Badman (1994) ... Dennis Franz as Homer Simpson (voice)

1994 Moment of Truth: Caught in the Crossfire (TV Movie)...Gus Payne

1993 Nasty Boys, Part 2: Lone Justice (TV Movie)

1992 The Player...Dennis Franz

1992 In the Line of Duty: Siege at Marion (TV Movie)...Bob Bryant

1991 Civil Wars (TV Series)...Murray Seidelman
- Pilot (1991) ... Murray Seidelman

1991 N.Y.P.D. Mounted (TV Movie)...Anthony 'Tony' Spampatta

1990 Nasty Boys (TV Series)...Lt. Stan Krieger
All 13 Episodes

1990 Die Hard 2...Carmine Lorenzo

1989 The Sid Story (Video short)...Sid

1989 Christine Cromwell (TV Series)...Detective Grainger
- Easy Come, Easy Go (1989) ... Detective Grainger

1989 The Package...Lt. Milan Delich

1989 Kiss Shot (TV Movie)...Max Fleischer

1989 Matlock (TV Series)...Jack Brennert
- The Mayor: Part 2 (1989) ... Jack Brennert
- The Mayor: Part 1 (1989) ... Jack Brennert

1987-1988 Beverly Hills Buntz (TV Series)...Norman Buntz
All 13 Episodes

1987 Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Pat Hobby Teamed with Genius (TV Movie)...Louie

1983-1987 Hill Street Blues (TV Series)...Lt. Norman Buntz / Det. Sal Benedetto
- It Ain't Over Till It's Over (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- A Pound of Flesh (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- The Runner Falls on His Kisser (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Days of Swine and Roses (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Dogsbreath Afternoon (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- The Cookie Crumbles (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Sorry Wrong Number (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Norman Conquest (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Der Roachenkavalier (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- City of Refuse (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- A Wasted Weekend (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- She's So Fein (1987) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- More Skinned Against Than Skinning (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Fathers and Guns (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Falling from Grace (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Amazing Grace (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Say Uncle (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- I Come on My Knees (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Bald Ambition (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- The Best Defense (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- A Case of Klapp (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Suitcase (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Come and Get It (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Slum Enchanted Evening (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Look Homeward, Ninja (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Jagga the Hunk (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Iced Coffey (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Larry of Arabia (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Remembrance of Hits Past (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- I Want My Hill Street Blues (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Scales of Justice (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Das Blues (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Say It as It Plays (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Two Easy Pieces (1986) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- The Virgin and the Turkey (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- What Are Friends For? (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Fathers and Huns (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- An Oy for an Oy (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Oh, You Kid (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Somewhere Over the Rambo (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- In the Belly of the Bus (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Seoul on Ice (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Hacked to Pieces (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz
- Blues in the Night (1985) ... Lt. Norman Buntz (credit only)
- A Hill of Beans (1983) ... Det. Sal Benedetto
- Buddy, Can You Spare a Heart? (1983) ... Det. Sal Benedetto
- Spotlight on Rico (1983) ... Det. Sal Benedetto
- Moon Over Uranus: The Sequel (1983) ... Det. Sal Benedetto
- Moon Over Uranus (1983) ... Det. Sal Benedetto

1986 A Fine Mess...Phil

1985 Runaway Train...Cop (uncredited)

1985 Scene of the Crime (TV Series)...Pat Grandy
- A Vote for Murder/The Medium is the Murder (1985) ... Pat Grandy

1985 Street Hawk (TV Series)...Inspector Frank Menlo
- Female of the Species (1985) ... Inspector Frank Menlo

1984-1985 The A-Team (TV Series)...Brooks / Sam Friendly
- Beverly Hills Assault (1985) ... Brooks
- Chopping Spree (1984) ... Sam Friendly

1985 Hunter (TV Series)...Sgt. Jackie Molinas
- The Snow Queen: Part 2 (1985) ... Sgt. Jackie Molinas
- The Snow Queen: Part 1 (1985) ... Sgt. Jackie Molinas

1985 Deadly Messages (TV Movie)...Detective Max Lucas

1985 MacGruder and Loud (TV Series)...Roche
- On the Wire (1985) ... Roche

1984-1985 Hardcastle and McCormick (TV Series)...Joe Hayes / Tony Boutros
- There Goes the Neighborhood (1985) ... Joe Hayes
- Did You See the One That Got Away? (1984) ... Tony Boutros

1985 Simon & Simon (TV Series)...Frank Mahoney
- Almost Foolproof (1985) ... Frank Mahoney

1984 T.J. Hooker (TV Series)...Andros Margolis
- Hardcore Connection (1984) ... Andros Margolis

1984 Body Double...Rubin

1984 E/R (TV Series)...The Boyfriend
- The Sister (1984) ... The Boyfriend

1983-1984 Bay City Blues (TV Series)...Angelo Carbone
All 8 Episodes

1984 Riptide (TV Series)...Earl Bertane
- Double Your Pleasure (1984) ... Earl Bertane

1983 Scarface...Immigration Officer (voice, uncredited)

1983 Psycho II...Toomey

1982 Chicago Story (TV Series)...Off. Joe Gilland
All 13 Episodes

1981 Blow Out...Manny Karp

1981 Chicago Story (TV Movie)...Officer Joe Gilland

1980 Popeye...Spike, a Tough

1980 Dressed to Kill...Detective Marino

1979 Bleacher Bums (TV Movie)...Zig

1979 A Perfect Couple...Costa

1978 Stony Island...Jerry Domino

1978 Remember My Name...Franks

1978 A Wedding...Koons

1978 Towing...Al

1978 The Fury...Bob

1976 The Last Affair...Fight in Bar

1965 Mickey One...Minor Role in Dressing Room (uncredited)

To see Then & Now pictures of Dennis Franz, visit: Celebrity Nooz