James Farentino was married four times and was once accused of stalking his former girlfriend, Tina Sinatra. Here's a look inside the late actor's personal life.
While James Farentino had the physical attributes that should have helped him become a Hollywood icon, he is known more for his relationships with women than his roles on screen.
A four-time married man, Farentino was also close to being a four-time divorcee. Several times, he and his final wife filed for divorce under the grounds of irreconcilable differences, only to withdraw them.
James Farentino on November 19, 1998 at 6363 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California. | Photo: Getty Images
It was in 1962 when Farentino got married to actress Elizabeth Ashley. In 1963, after Farentino and Ashley's relationship fell apart, Michele Lee, who was also an actress, stepped inside his world.
Lee first met Farentino when she was dating an actor friend of his a year earlier. Following his divorce from Ashley in 1965, Lee wore tight, form-fitting frocks to Farentino's social gatherings.
Lee comforted Farentino, and they later became romantically involved. When they tied the knot in 1966, the two decided on a civil ceremony since Farentino was Catholic and Lee was Jewish.
Elizabeth Ashley at Cipriani Wall Street on December 2, 2019 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images
Lee and Farentino's union led to a son named David. In the years leading up to their divorce in 1982, they had a tumultuous relationship. Nevertheless, the divorce went through without a hitch.
A few years earlier, police had arrested him, and the news was all over it.
Michele Lee and David Farentino at NBC TV Studios in Burbank, California, United States, in 1984. | Photo: Getty Images
The fourth wife of Farentino is Stella Farentino. They married in 1994 and shared a son named Saverio. After three years, Farentino filed for divorce from her, claiming irreconcilable differences.
A divorce petition by Stella was withdrawn in 1998, after which Farentino filed for divorce again in 2001. Despite both petitions, Farentino and Stella remained married up until he passed away in 2012.
James Farentino and Debrah Farentino on March 28, 1982 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. | Photo: Getty Images
STALKING HIS FORMER GIRLFRIEND
When Farentino pled no contest to stalking his ex-girlfriend, Tina Sinatra, the daughter of Frank Sinatra, in March 1994, a probationary period and psychological counseling were imposed upon him.
″The charges are completely untrue and unfounded,″ said one of Farentino's lawyers at the time. ″If the prosecutor decides to push the charge, we're positive that Jim will be completely exonerated.″
A few years earlier, police had arrested him, and the news was all over it. The authorities stopped the package of cocaine from being delivered to his hotel room in Canada while he was shooting a TV film.
James Farentino and Stella Farentino on August 28, 1996 at Cinerama Dome Theatre in Hollywood, California. | Photo: Getty Images
Then in 2010, Farentino was arrested on misdemeanor battery charges after trying to remove a man physically from his home. Ultimately, his acting career dried up as a result of his torrid off-screen antics.
In January 2012, as a result of complications arising from a right hip fracture, Farentino passed away at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, California, after having a long illness. His age was 73.
James Farentino and Tina Sinatra on December 11, 1989 at the Cineplex Odeon Century Plaza Cinemas in Century City, California. | Photo: Getty Images
FARENTINO'S SPECTACULAR CAREER
During his career, Farentino appeared in nearly 100 films, TV programs, and stage roles. In 1971, Cecil Smith of The Los Angeles Times wrote, "Farentino can play in anybody's league as an actor."
His early career was highlighted by his performance as Happy Loman in the 1966 TV version of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman." His later career included recurring roles on "Dynasty" and "ER."
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