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March 20, 2000
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Smits far from blue
He moves on to movies -- with no regrets
By LOUIS B. HOBSON


HOLLYWOOD -- Jimmy Smits has no regrets about leaving NYPD Blue.

"I gave them five years. That fulfilled my contract. I know there were no hard feelings or they wouldn't have given my character the incredible send-off they did," says Smits, whose Det. Bobby Simone died of heart failure.

Simone's death played out over a three-week, high-ratings period.

Smits has a production deal with ABC to develop a new series which he will co-produce and star in within the next three years.

"I needed to leave TV for a while to concentrate on films. I love the idea of a short-term gypsy family that a movie gives you.

"For three months, you work with a group of people and then everyone goes their separate way. With a TV series, you're working with the same people on the same character for 10 months of every year."

In next month's family drama Price of Glory, Smits plays a former boxer who tries to live the glory he never had through his three sons.


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