Rest in peace. Brian Dennehy, who’s best known for his roles in First Blood and Tommy Boy, died on Wednesday, April 15, in New Haven, Connecticut, his rep confirmed in a statement to Closer Weekly. He was 81 years old and passed with his wife, Jennifer, and son Cormac by his side. According to his family, he died of natural causes.
Beyond being a family man, Dennehy had an incredible acting career. “Dennehy won two Tony Awards, a Laurence Olivia Award, Golden Globe, SAG Award and received six Primetime Emmy Award nominations and was inducted into American Theatre Hall of Fame,” his obituary reads. “Brian was loved by his family and friends and was an amazing support to his children and grandchildren, as anyone that came into his orbit knew.”
In 1982, Brian landed his breakout role as Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood. Although he’s starred in a number of great films since then like F/X and Ratatouille, Brian told Film School Rejects in October 2018 that nothing compares to the magic of old Hollywood.
“The old-fashioned movies were, there was very little serious stuff involved,” he said. “When people got killed it was kind of part of the fun, part of the gag and they were not essential to what the story was. It was just fun to be in it. Fast moving, funny [and] amusing.”
Shortly after the actor died, his daughter, Elizabeth Dennehy, paid tribute to her “devoted father” in a tweet she shared on Thursday, April 16. Elizabeth said the icon was “larger than life” and “generous to a fault.” He was a “proud” grandfather and “he will be missed by his wife, Jennifer, family and many friends.”
Brian’s memory lives on in his five kids, Elizabeth, Cormack, Sarah, Kathleen, and Deirdre, and his seven grandkids, Jack, William, Clementine, Hannah, Molly, Olivia and Lucy.