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Brian Dennehy (American actor) Bio, Facts. 

Brian Dennehy

Born Name: Brian Manion Dennehy
Date of Birth: July 9, 1938
Place of Birth: Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Died: April 15, 2020 (aged 81), New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Occupation: Actor
Height: 1.9 m
Spouse(s): Judith Scheff (m. 1959⁠–⁠1974), Jennifer Arnott (m. 1988)
Children: Elizabeth Dennehy, Cormack Dennehy, Kathleen Dennehy, Deirdre Dennehy, Sarah Dennehy
Brian Manion Dennehy (July 9, 1938 – April 15, 2020) was an American actor of film, stage, and television. A winner of one Golden Globe, two Tony Awards and a recipient of six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, he gained initial recognition in film for his role as Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood (1982). He had roles in numerous films including Gorky Park (1983), Silverado (1985), Cocoon (1985), F/X (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), Romeo + Juliet (1996), and Knight of Cups (2015). Dennehy won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or Television Film for his role as Willy Loman in the television film Death of a Salesman (2000).

According to Variety, Dennehy was "perhaps the foremost living interpreter" of playwright Eugene O'Neill’s works on stage and screen. He had a decades long relationship with Chicago's Goodman Theatre where much of his O'Neill work originated. He also regularly played Canada's Stratford Festival, especially in works by William Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett. He once gave credit for his award-winning performances to the play's authors: "When you walk with giants, you learn how to take bigger steps."

Early life
Brian Manion Dennehy was born on July 9, 1938, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hannah (Manion) and Edward Dennehy, a wire service editor for the Associated Press. He had two brothers, Michael and Edward. He was of Irish ancestry and was raised Catholic. The family relocated to Long Island, New York, where Dennehy attended Chaminade High School in the village of Mineola.

A football scholarship paved the way to Columbia University in New York City, where he played football, earned a B.A. in history, became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity and played rugby union for Old Blue R.F.C. Prior to pursuing acting Dennehy worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch in their Manhattan office in the mid 1970s.

Career
Film
Dennehy was primarily known as a dramatic actor. His breakthrough role was as the overzealous sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood (1982) opposite Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo.

His earlier films included several comedies, like Semi-Tough with Burt Reynolds (in which he portrayed a pro football player), Foul Play with Chevy Chase, and 10 with Dudley Moore (as a Manzanillo bartender). He later portrayed a corrupt sheriff in the western Silverado and an alien in Cocoon, both released in 1985.

Dennehy had memorable supporting parts in such films as Split Image (1982), Legal Eagles (1986), F/X: Murder By Illusion (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991) and Prophet of Evil (1993).

Dennehy gradually became a valuable character actor but also achieved leading-man status in the thriller Best Seller (1987) co-starring James Woods. He also starred in the Peter Greenaway film The Belly of an Architect, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the 1987 Chicago International Film Festival. Commenting upon this unusual venture, Dennehy said, "I've been in a lot of movies but this is the first film I've made."

He went on to star as Harrison in the Australian film The Man from Snowy River II in 1988.

One of his most well-known roles came in the 1995 Chris Farley-David Spade comedy Tommy Boy as Big Tom Callahan. He also was reunited with his 10 co-star Bo Derek in Tommy Boy, in which she played his wife.

Dennehy had a voice role in the animated movie Ratatouille as Django, father of the rat chef Remy. He appeared as the superior officer of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in the 2008 cop drama Righteous Kill and as the father of Russell Crowe in the 2010 suspense film The Next Three Days.

Dennehy starred as Clarence Darrow in Alleged, a film based on the Scopes Monkey Trial, the famous court battle over the teaching of evolution in American public schools.

Television
Dennehy began his professional acting career in small guest roles in such 1970s and 1980s series as Kojak, Lou Grant, Dallas, Dynasty, and Hunter. He also appeared in an episode of Miami Vice during the 1987–88 season.

Dennehy portrayed Sergeant Ned T. "Frozen Chosen" Coleman in the television movie A Rumor of War (1980) opposite Brad Davis. He continued to appear in such high-profile television films as Skokie (1981), Split Image (1982), Day One (1989), and A Killing in a Small Town (1990) opposite Barbara Hershey. He also played the title role in HBO's Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story.

Dennehy had a lead role as fire chief/celebrity dad Leslie "Buddy" Krebs in the short-lived 1982 series Star of the Family. Despite his star power, that show was canceled after a half a season.

Dennehy was nominated for Emmy Awards six times for his television movies. In 1992, he was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for his performance as John Wayne Gacy in To Catch a Killer, and was nominated that same year in a different category, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie, for The Burden of Proof. Dennehy's other Emmy nominations were for his work in A Killing in a Small Town, Murder in the Heartland (1993) and for the Showtime cable TV movie Our Fathers (2005), which was about the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. In 2000, Dennehy was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for a television presentation of his performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman which he had performed on Broadway. While not gainung the actor an Emmy win the performance did, however, win him a Golden Globe Award.

He starred in the popular crime drama Jack Reed TV movies. He also appeared as a recurring character in the NBC sitcom Just Shoot Me!.

A cartoon version of Dennehy appeared in the film South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and an episode of The Simpsons.

In January 2007, he starred in the episode "Scheherazade" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a retired criminal who wants to reconnect with his daughter and admit his crimes before dying of a terminal disease thus eventually clearing a wrongfully imprisoned inmate. In April 2008, Dennehy guest-starred as a Teamster boss in an episode of 30 Rock.

Dennehy guest-starred in a 2009 episode of Rules of Engagement as the father of the main character, Jeff.

Dennehy also narrated many television programs. He narrated the Canadian-Irish docudrama Death or Canada.

At the time of his death, Dennehy was set to star in the Amazon Studios series Cocked which would co-star Jason Lee, Dreama Walker, Diora Baird, and Sam Trammell.

Dennehy starred as Elizabeth Keen's grandfather on the NBC series The Blacklist.

Theater
Dennehy won two Tony Awards, both times for Best Lead Actor in a Play. The first win was for Death of a Salesman (for which he also won a Laurence Olivier Award for the production's London run), in 1999, and the second was for Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night in 2003. Both productions were directed by Robert Falls and were originally produced at the Goodman Theatre company in Chicago.

On stage, Dennehy made frequent performances in the Chicago theater world, and made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Brian Friel's Translations. In 1999, he was the first male performer to be voted the Sarah Siddons Award for his work in Chicago theater. He made a return to Broadway in 2007 as Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind opposite Christopher Plummer, then returned again opposite Carla Gugino in a 2009 revival of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms.

In fall 1992, he played the lead role of Hickey in Robert Falls's production of Eugene O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin.

In 2008, Dennehy appeared at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, appearing in All's Well That Ends Well as the King of France, and a double bill of plays, Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and Eugene O'Neill's Hughie, where Dennehy reprised the role of Erie Smith.

In 2010, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.

In December 2010, he returned to Ireland to play Bull McCabe in the Olympia Theatre of Dublin's stage version of John B. Keane's The Field.

In 2011, Dennehy returned to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in the role of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. He also played Max in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, the first Pinter work to be produced there.

In April through June 2012, he played the role of Larry Slade in the Eugene O'Neill play The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, which he reprised in 2015 when the production, with most of the Goodman Theater production cast, was revived at the BAM Harvey Theater in Brooklyn, New York.

Personal life and death
Dennehy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps from 1958 to 1963, including a brief stint on Okinawa. In a 1989 interview, he described being hurt in combat and in 1993 he told an interviewer he had served in Vietnam. In 1999, he apologized for misrepresenting his military record.

He married twice and had five children including actress Elizabeth Dennehy.

Dennehy died on April 15 2020, of cardiac arrest due to sepsis during a hospital stay in New Haven, Connecticut. He was 81.

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Categories: 1938 births,2020 deaths,20th-century American male actors,21st-century American male actors,American actor-athletes,American male film actors,American male stage actors,American male television actors,American people of Irish descent,Best Miniseries or Television Movie Actor Golden Globe winners,Chaminade High School alumni,Columbia Lions football players,Columbia University alumni,Deaths from sepsis,Drama Desk Award winners,Laurence Olivier Award winners,Male actors from Bridgeport, Connecticut,Military personnel from Bridgeport, Connecticut,Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Screen Actors Guild Award winners,People from Mineola, New York,Tony Award winners,United States Marines

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