James Farentino



  • Birth Name: Ferdinand James Ferrantino
  • Height: 5' 11" (1.8 m)


James Farentino was an American actor, with many appearances in film and television. He is better known for playing fisherman and apostle Simon Peter in the miniseries “Jesus of Nazareth” (1977), and revenge-seeking psychiatrist Dr. Nick Toscanni in the soap opera “Dynasty”. He played the role of Toscanni from 1981 to 1982. Farentino was born in Brooklyn, New York City. He studied drama and acting in a Catholic school. He was frequently cast in guest-star roles in television through the 1950s and 1960s. His first recurring role was that of lawyer Neil Darrell in the legal drama “The Bold Ones: The Lawyers” (1968-1972). He appeared in 19 of the series’ 29 episodes. Farentino found critical acclaim in his role as Simon Peter in “Jesus of Nazareth” (1977. He was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, but the award was instead won by rival actor Howard Da Silva (1909-1986). Farentino next found a notable recurring role in the soap opera “Dynasty” as psychiatrist Dr. Nick Toscanni. Originally introduced as an old friend of protagonist Blake Carrington (played John Forsythe), Carrington was eventually revealed as a secret enemy of Carrington who held a grudge against him. Toscanni’s vengeful plots were among the main subplots of the series’ second season, but he was then written out. In the 1990s, Farentino continued working an an actor, but he gained more notoriety for his personal life. In 1991 he was arrested for cocaine possession, and in 1993 he was charged with stalking his former girlfriend Tina Sinatra. Later he had a troubled marriage with his fourth wife Stella Farentino. In the 2000s, Farentino entered retirement from acting, due to health problems. In 2010, Farentino was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor battery, because he tried to physically remove a man from his house. Farentino was briefly held by the Los Angeles Police Department. He was released after posting a 20,000 dollars bond. In January 2012, Farentino died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. His death was caused from complications due to a right hip fracture. He was 73-years-old at the time of death, dying a full month before his 74th birthday.