‘First Blood,’ ‘Tommy Boy’ actor Brian Dennehy dies at 81

Written by on April 17, 2020

Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Tony award-winning actor Brian Dennehy, known for his roles in films including Tommy Boy, First Blood and Cocoon, has passed away at the age of 81.

His daughter, actress Elizabeth Dennehy, confirmed his passing on Twitter Thursday.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father, Brian passed away last night from natural causes, not Covid-related,” she wrote. “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.”

Bridgeport, Connecticut native Dennehy began his acting career on television in the 1970s, with guest roles on shows like Kojak, M*A*S*H, Lou Grant and Dallas. In 1981, he landed a recurring role on Dynasty.

His breakout movie role was as Sheriff Teasle opposite Sylvester Stallone in the 1982 Rambo film, First Blood. His most notable comedic role was playing Big Tom Callahan in the 1995 Chris Farley film Tommy Boy.  Other notable films roles included appearing in Gorky Park, Sliverado, and F/X and its sequel

The actor won his first Tony in 1999 for his performance in the leading role of Willy Loman in the revival of the Arthur Miller classic, Death of a Salesman. He won a second Tony for his role as James Tyrone in the Eugene O’Neill revival Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 2003.

Dennehy’s survived by his wife, Jennifer Arnott, and his five children.

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