The four-time Emmy winner Dennis Franz — Detective Andy Sipowicz in NYPD Blue — enlisted in the U.S. Army after college!
Dennis Franz, grew up in Illinois, the son of German immigrants Eleanor and Franz. He began acting as young as high school age when he participated in his high school’s version of “The Crucible.” Dennis Franz later attended college, and after graduating, enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Franz served 11 months in Vietnam with the 82nd and 101’s Airborne divisions! His unit saw combat, and the experiences he had overseas left a profound mark on him.
“I was curious about the military service and went into the Army. [It] was a very traumatic, life-changing experience… I’m not as frivolous as I once was. I experienced death over there, and losing friends. I got as close to being shot as I care to. I could feel and hear bullets whizzing over my head, and that shakes you up quite a bit.”
In a 1995 interview…
“It was the loneliest, most depressing, frustrating time. It was life-altering. I came back a much different person than when I left, much more serious. I left my youth over there.”
After coming home after the war, Dennis Franz made his living as a postman until he starred in a play called “cops.” From there, his career began to grow and he starred in roles in “A Perfect Couple,” “Dressed to Kill,” “Body Double,” and more. His first appearance on television came through the role of Detective Sal Benedetto on “Hill Street Blues.” After such an incredible and well acted role, even after his character was killed off, his producer created a second role for him as Lieutenant Norman Buntz.
Dennis Franz’s next appearance came in “NYPD Blue” with the role of Detective Andy Sipowicz. Due in part to Franz’s appearance, he was typecast early on as a tough cop character. According to Franz himself, Andy Sipowicz was his 27th cop role. His success on “NYPD Blue” highlighted his entire career. He was nominated six times and won four Emmys for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series.” !!!
Beloved actor and Veteran!
Thank you for your service!!