- US actor Brian Dennehy has died at the age of 81 of natural causes in Connecticut, USA
- He was the winner of two Tony Awards in a career that spanned films including Tommy Boy, First Blood and Cocoon
- His agency confirmed the news of his sudden and sad passing
An accomplished American actor has died at the age of 81. Brain Dennehy, who starred in over 40 films in his lifetime, passed away from natural causes in Connecticut, United States.
Dennehy was a versatile actor, a skill which saw him scoring multiple television and film credits. The macho roles he played included him as the sheriff who jailed Rambo in First Blood and when he portrayed the serial killer John Wayne Gacy in To Catch a Killer. Dennehy’s amazing contribution to our screens awarded him with a Golden Globe and six Emmy nominations.
The two Tony Awards the actor won were for his part in a classic performed on stage.
Paying tribute via Twitter to this remarkable actor, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda stated that he was fortunate enough to witness Dennehy on stage on two occasions, masterful in Love Letters, and monumentally heartbreaking in Death Of A Salesman. He wrote that Dennehy was a giant in the industry and his passing is a great loss.
Featuring alongside Dennehy in Bestseller, James Woods tweeted that he was mourning a beloved friend and colleague. Woods wrote that he has never laughed so much as he did with Dennehy, whether it was on or offset.
Born on 9 July, 1938 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Dennehy attended a high school in Brooklyn where at the age of 14 played the title role in a production of Macbeth. Dennehy struggled academically and left school to join the Marines. After leaving the service, Dennehy completed his bachelor’s degree at Columbia in 1965.
He was a towering man, standing at 6ft3in. To support his family and fund his acting career, Dennehy worked various jobs as a cab driver, trucker, bartender and salesman.
Speaking to The New York Times in 1989, the actor said he had to make a life inside the other jobs he was doing and not pretend.
Semi-Tough allowed Dennehy to break into the film industry in 1977. He played next to Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson. He told the Associated Press at the time that he was paid $10 000 a week and it seemed like all the money in the world to him. He was also known on the big screen for the role in films such as Gorky Park and Legal Eagles.
After receiving an Emmy Award nomination in 1991 for the TV movie To Catch a Killer, Dennehy said he tried to play villains as if they were good guys and the good guys as villains.
Dennehy was also a celebrated stage presence, proving his ability to play any character from Shakespeare and Chekhov, winning two Tony awards for Death of a Salesman in 1999 and Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 2003. He also won a Golden Globe for the miniseries of Death of a Salesman.
The deadly virus, Covid-19, that is plaguing the world had nothing to do with his death. He died from natural causes on Wednesday evening while he was at home with his wife, Jennifer and son, Cormac by his side.
Brian Dennehy is also survived by four other children, three of them from a previous marriage.
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