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

Washington D.C.: American veteran actor Brian Dennehy, known for his roles in ‘Rambo: First Blood,’ ‘Tommy Boy’ and ‘To Catch A Killer,’ died age 81 on Wednesday (local time).

Dennehy’s daughter, Elizabeth Dennehy, announced the news on Twitter Thursday, telling fans that it was due to natural causes and not related to COVID-19.

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

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According to People magazine, Dennehy, who was born in Connecticut, began his career doing comedy films, although he later became known primarily as a dramatic actor.

Dennehy had roles in ‘Semi-Tough’ (1977) with Burt Reynolds, ‘Foul Play’ (1978) with Chevy Chase and 10 (1979) with Dudley Moore. In 1982, he had his breakthrough role as the overzealous sheriff, Will Teasle in ‘First Blood’ with Sylvester Stallone as Rambo.

He had several memorable parts in films such as ‘Split Image’ (1982), ‘Legal Eagles’ (1986), ‘F/X: Murder By Illusion’ (1986) and ‘Prophet of Evil (1993).

In the 1995 popular comedy ‘Tommy Boy’ he worked opposite the late Chris Farley. Brian also starred in ‘Presumed Innocent’ (1990), starring opposite Harrison Ford.

The actor won two Tony Awards for his starring Broadway roles as Willy Loman in ‘Death of a Salesman’ (1999) and Tyrone in Long ‘Day’s Journey Into Night’ (2003).

During the 1970s and 80s, Dennehy worked on several TV series such as ‘Kojak’, ‘Lou Grant’, ‘Dallas and Dynasty’. He also appeared in an episode of ‘Miami Vice’ in the 1980s.

He was nominated six times in Emmys for his television movies.

Recently, the actor had recurring roles as a KGB agent on NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’, as well as an Irish mob boss on the 2015 crime drama ‘Public Moral’s and a sheriff on Sundance TV’s ‘Hap and Leonard’.

Last year, Brian also worked on a number of films including ‘Driveways’, ‘3 Days with Dad’ and the short, ‘Master Maggie’.

Dennehy is survived by his second wife, Jennifer, and his children, actors Elizabeth, Kathleen, Dierdre, Cormac and Sarah.

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