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‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘First Blood’ Star Dies at 81 – Variety



Brian Dennehy, the winner of two Tonys for his starring roles in “Loss of life of a Salesman” and “Lengthy Day’s Journey Into Night time” in a profession that additionally spanned movies together with “Presumed Harmless” and tv, died on Wednesday night time in Connecticut. He was 81.

“It’s with heavy hearts we announce that our father, Brian handed away final night time from pure causes, not Covid-related. Bigger than life, beneficiant to a fault, a proud and devoted father and grandfather, he can be missed by his spouse Jennifer, household  and lots of pals,” his daughter tweeted on Thursday. TMZ was was first to report the information.

The imposingly tall, barrel-chested Dennehy received his first Tony for his efficiency as Willy Loman in a revival of Arthur Miller’s “Loss of life of a Salesman” in 1999 and his second Tony for his flip as James Tyrone in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Lengthy Day’s Journey Into Night time” in 2003.

The actor was maybe the foremost residing interpreter of O’Neill’s works. In 2009 Dennehy starred on Broadway as Ephraim Cabot in a revival of the playwright’s “Need Underneath the Elms,” and in 2012 he performed Larry Slade, the previous lefty searching for to drink himself to demise, in O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” on the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, reprising the position in 2015 when the manufacturing, additionally starring Nathan Lane, was revived on the BAM Harvey Theater in New York Metropolis.

The New York Occasions’ Charles Isherwood, who confessed to being floored by the manufacturing of “The Iceman Cometh,” stated of the actor: “Whilst Mr. Dennehy anatomizes his fellow patrons’ distress (‘They handle to get drunk, someway, and preserve their pipe desires, and that’s all they ask of life’), his slab-like face barely registers any hint of feeling on the squalor effervescent into life round him. Larry’s slit eyes stay fastened virtually all through the play on the candy horizon of nonexistence, though we are able to inform he, greater than anybody else, understands the darkish recreation that Hickey will come to play.”

Underscoring his adeptness with the bodily enterprise of being an actor, a scene in “Lengthy Day’s Journey Into Night time” in which a drunken Tyrone will get onto a desk to unscrew lots of the bulbs in a lit chandelier left many within the viewers with the concern that the actor would tumble off the stage despite the fact that they knew Dennehy was not likely drunk.

Dennehy had a decades-long affiliation with the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, the place most of his explorations of O’Neill originated. He first appeared on the Goodman in 1986 within the title position of Brecht’s “Galileo” and first paired with the theater on O’Neill with a 1990 revival of “The Iceman Cometh” wherein he performed Hickey. In 1996 he starred there in O’Neill’s “A Contact of the Poet,” taking part in the tyrannical, Falstaff-like Con Melody.

After his Tony-winning efficiency in 2003 in O’Neill’s “Lengthy Day’s Journey Into Night time,” he took on the playwright’s obscure, posthumously printed one-act “Hughie” on the Goodman in 2004, revisiting the present once more in 2010 in repertory with Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Final Tape.”

Dennehy headlined the Goodman’s 2009 “A International Exploration: Eugene O’Neill within the 21st Century” competition within the revival of “Need Underneath the Elms” that subsequently transferred to Broadway.

The manufacturing of “Loss of life of a Salesman” that received Dennehy his first Tony originated on the Goodman, later went to the West Finish and was dropped at the smallsceen on Showtime in 2000, leading to an Emmy nomination for Dennehy in addition to a SAG Award and a Golden Globe. The New York Occasions referred to as it “the efficiency of his profession.”

Dennehy additionally obtained Emmy nominations in 1990 for his position as a protection legal professional within the telepic “A Killing in a Small City”; in 1992 each for his position within the Scott Turow-based miniseries “The Burden of Proof” and for his position as serial killer John Wayne Gacy within the telepic “To Catch a Killer”; in 1993 for his position within the miniseries “Homicide within the Heartland”; and in 2005 for his position in Showtime’s “Our Fathers,” concerning the Catholic church’s conspiracy, centering on Boston Cardinal Bernard Legislation, to hide sexual abuse.

Reviewing “Our Fathers,” Selection lauded “the ever-brilliant Brian Dennehy in a knockout perf as an outspoken priest who makes use of the pulpit to denounce Legislation’s management.”

Maybe Dennehy’s most memorable movie position got here in Alan J. Pakula’s 1990 adaptation of Scott Turow’s bestselling novel “Presumed Harmless,” starring Harrison Ford because the Chicago assistant district legal professional on trial for the homicide of a co-worker with whom he had an affair; Dennehy performed his boss, who’s up for re-election and has a number of divided loyalties, with a subtlety that was completely vital. One other sign second was auteur Peter Greenaway’s 1987 movie “The Stomach of an Architect,” wherein the actor starred because the title character; the New York Occasions stated the movie “does have a humanizing ingredient within the type of Mr. Dennehy, who brings a sturdy physicality to Kracklite with out lacking the basically cerebral nature of the position; this is among the finest issues he has accomplished.”

Within the early to mid-’90s Dennehy starred as a Chicago police detective within the “Jack Reed” collection of TV motion pictures, a number of of which he additionally wrote and directed.

Brian Manion Dennehy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He served within the Marines from 1959-63, after which he studied historical past at Columbia, attending the college on a soccer scholarship. He subsequently earned his MFA in dramatic arts from Yale.

Dennehy made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Brian Friel’s “Translations” reverse Dana Delany. After “Loss of life of a Salesman” and “Lengthy Day’s Journey Into Night time,” the actor performed Matthew Harrison Brady in a 2007 revival of “Inherit the Wind” reverse Christopher Plummer as Henry Drummond. And in 2014 he starred reverse Carol Burnett and Mia Farrow in a revival of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters.”

The actor made his TV and have debut in 1977 — a 12 months wherein he made appearances in at the very least 10 collection or telepics, together with “Kojak,” “MASH” and “”Lou Grant,” and the movies “Searching for Mr. Goodbar” and “Semi-Robust.” From that time he maintained a heavy work load for many years.

In 1982 his profile elevated considerably because of his efficient efficiency within the position of Teasle, the sadistic small-town police chief who’s Sylvester Stallone’s lead adversary in “Rambo.”

He had vital roles within the 1983 thriller “Gorky Park” and in 1985’s “Cocoon,” from Ron Howard, and “Silverado.” He was second-billed, after Bryan Brown, within the well-constructed 1986 thriller “F/X,” wherein he performed a cop not a part of the conspiracy, and within the 1991 sequel. He was fourth-billed in “Authorized Eagles,” after the star trio of Robert Redford, Debra Winger and Daryl Hannah. In 1987, within the flawed thriller “Finest Vendor,” he sparred ably with James Woods, who performed a conman who approaches Dennehy’s policeman-successful author with a deal that ought to not be trusted. Dennehy additionally starred within the 1990 crime drama “The Final of the Most interesting.” Amidst a sea of labor in TV motion pictures, Dennehy appeared within the 1995 indie “The Stars Fell on Henrietta,” starring Robert Duvall; the following 12 months he performed Ted Montague, chief of the clan, in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet.”

In 1981 he recurred on “Dynasty” as D.A. Jake Dunham; the following 12 months Dennehy starred as a hearth chief within the brief-running ABC sitcom “Star of the Household.”He tried collection tv once more in 1994 with ABC’s brief-running “Birdland,” wherein he performed a hospital’s chief of psychiatry, and in NBC’s 2001 sitcom “The Preventing Fitzgeralds,” wherein he starred because the reluctant paterfamilias of an unruly Irish clan.

Within the extremely regarded 1989 TV film “Day One,” the actor performed Gen. Leslie Groves, who oversaw the event of the atomic bomb. In 2000 he starred as Gen. Bogan within the Stephen Frears-directed TV adaptation of nuclear armageddon thriller “Fail Protected.”

Denney was married twice, the primary time to Judith Scheff.

He’s survived by second spouse Jennifer Arnott, a dressing up designer, whom he married in 1988; three daughters by Scheff, actresses Elizabeth Dennehy and Kathleen Dennehy and Deirdre; in addition to son Cormac and daughter Sarah with Arnott.

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