Seasoned star Brian Dennehy, understood for functions in “Rambo: First Blood,” “Tommy Kid” and “To Catch A Killer,” died Wednesday at age 81.
The big star started in movies as a macho heavy and later on in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays by William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller. He passed away of natural causes in New Haven, Conn., according to Kate Cafaro of ICM Partners, the actor’s representatives.
Understood for his broad frame, thriving voice and ability to play good guys and bad people with equivalent aplomb, Dennehy won 2 Tony Awards, a Golden World and was nominated for six Emmys. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Popularity in 2010.
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Amongst his 40- odd movies, he played a constable who imprisoned Rambo in “First Blood,” a serial killer in “To Catch a Killer,” and a corrupt constable assassinated by Kevin Kline in “Silverado.” He also had some benign roles: the bartender who consoles Dudley Moore in “10” and the levelheaded leader of aliens in “Cocoon” and its follow up.
Ultimately, Dennehy wearied of the studio life. “Movies utilized to be fun,” he observed in an interview. “They looked after you, top-notch. Those days are gone.”
Dennehy had a long connection with Chicago’s Goodman Theater, which had a reputation for heavy drama. He appeared in Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo” in 1986 and later Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchard” at far lower incomes than he made in Hollywood. In 1990 he played the function of Hickey in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” a play he reprised at the Goodman with Nathan Lane in 2012 and in Brooklyn in 2013.
Star Brian Dennehy died at age81
( AP Photo/Max Nash, FIle)
In 1998, Dennehy appeared on Broadway in the timeless function of Willy Loman, the worn-out hustler in Miller’s “Death of a Salesperson” and won the Tony for his efficiency.
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Dennehy was born July 9, 1938, in Bridgeport, Conn., the very first of three children.
His moms and dads– Ed Dennehy, an editor for The Associated Press in New York, and Hannah Dennehy, a nurse– might never understand why his boy chose to act.
Brian Dennehy died in his house state of Connecticut at age81
( John Lamparski/WireImage)
The 6-foot-3-inch Dennehy went to Hollywood for his first movie, “Semi-Tough” starring Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson. “I try to play villains as if they’re good guys and excellent men as if they’re villains,” he stated in 1992
He worked deep into his 70 s, in such jobs as SundanceTV’s “Hap and Leonard,” the film “The Seagull” with Elisabeth Moss and Annette Bening and the play “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett at the Long Wharf Theatre.
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He is survived by his 2nd spouse, outfit designer Jennifer Arnott and their 2 children, Cormac and Sarah.