Graduated from Proviso East H.S. Maywood IL, in 1962.
Was considered for the role of Vic in American Graffiti (1973).
Step-Children: Tricia (b. 1974) and Krista (b. 1976). Both are from his wife Joanie's first marriage.
He was nominated for a 1976 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Switch Bitch" at the Organic Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for the 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role for his performance in the play, "Cops" at the Organic Theater Company in Chicago, Illinois.
He and Jimmy Smits began their association with Steven Bochco in the 1980s.
Before entering "Hill Street Blues" (1981), as Norm Buntz, appeared as Sal Benedetto for a few episodes.
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" [20 June 2004 issue].
His former "NYPD Blue" (1993) co-star, David Caruso, is currently the star of "CSI: Miami" (2002), the spin-off of William Petersen's series "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000). Franz and Petersen co-presented an award at the 2004 Emmys.
Best known by the public for his starring role as Det. Andy Sipowicz on "NYPD Blue" (1993).
Franz's own recipes are included in "The Cop Cookbook" by Greta Garner-Hewitt, Ken Beck and Jim Clark, published in 1997.