Brian Dennehy, Tony-winning stage, screen actor, dies at 81

Entertainment News

FILE – In this June 6, 1999 file photo, actor Brian Dennehy, left, applauds playwright, Arthur Miller, before awarding him the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tony Awards in New York. Dennehy, the burly actor who started in films and later in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays, died of natural causes on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in New Haven, Conn. He was 81. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Brian Dennehy, the burly actor who started in films as a macho heavy and later in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays by William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller, has died. He was 81.

Dennehy died Wednesday night of natural causes in New Haven, Connecticut, according to Kate Cafaro of ICM Partners, the actor’s representatives.

His daughter Elizabeth Dennehy tweeted on Thursday his death was not coronavirus-related. 

“Larger than life, generous to a fault, a proud and devoted father and grandfather, he will be missed by his wife Jennifer, family and many friends,” she wrote.

Known for his broad frame, booming voice and ability to play good guys and bad guys with equal aplomb, Dennehy won two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe and was nominated for six Emmys. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2010.

Among his 40-odd films, he played a sheriff who jailed Rambo in “First Blood,” a serial killer in “To Catch a Killer,” and a corrupt sheriff gunned down by Kevin Kline in “Silverado.”

One of his most noteworthy movie appearances was as Big Tom Callahan in 1995’s “Tommy Boy,” starring Chris Farley.

He also had some benign roles: the bartender who consoles Dudley Moore in “10” and the levelheaded leader of aliens in “Cocoon” and its sequel.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories