Brian Dennehy, 'Tommy Boy' and 'Dynasty' Actor, Dead at 81

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Brian Dennehy
Mike Piscitelli

Brian Dennehy has died at age 81. The veteran actor died of natural causes with his wife, Jennifer Arnott, and their son, Cormac, by his side, according to a statement from his family.

"We are saddened to report that legendary stage, film and television actor Brian Dennehy passed away last night in New Haven, Connecticut at the age of 81, with his wife Jennifer and son Cormac by his side," the statement read. "We have included a rather lengthy obit for you to work from."

Dennehy's daughter, Elizabeth, also tweeted about his death.

"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."

Dennehy gained initial recognition as Sheriff Will Teasle in 1982's First Blood. He went on to appear in movies including Romeo + JulietTommy Boy, and Righteous Kill. On the TV side, he starred in shows including Dynasty and Just Shoot Me! He was most recently seen on the NBC series The Blacklist.

He won both a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award in 2001 for his role in Death of a Salesman.  Dennehy is also a two-time Tony winner for Best Actor in a Play for roles in Death of a Salesman in 1999 and Long Day's Journey Into Night in 2003. Additionally, Dennehy received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations and was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame in 2010.

Dennehy is survived by his wife, Jennifer Arnott, their two children, Sarah, 25, and Cormac, 27. Dennehy is also survived by three children from his first marriage to Judith Scheff, Elizabeth, Kathleen, and Deirdre, and seven grandchildren.

Stars took to Twitter to remember Dennehy, with Marlee Matlin calling him "a truly tremendous actor" and Mia Farrow writing that he was "magnificent."

"Just devastated to learn that the magnificent Brian Dennehy has died," Farrow wrote. "They [sic] is no one i enjoyed working with more. And there are few friends as valued in my life. I took this photo backstage when we were in Love Letters. He loved my pup Bowie."

Keep reading for more celeb tributes to Dennehy.

 

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