Brian Dennehy, the prolific character actor who could easily jump between comedy and drama on stage and screen, died Wednesday from natural causes in Connecticut. He was 81.
Dennehy’s daughter, Elizabeth Dennehy, confirmed his death Thursday on Twitter, writing, “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.”
For more than 40 years, Dennehy took on an array of roles in film, television, and the theater. He was widely known for playing Big Tom Callahan in Chris Farley and David Spade’s 1995 comedy classic, Tommy Boy, while he also won a Golden Globe for his starring turn as Willy Loman in the 2000 television-film adaptation of Arthur Miller’s Death a Salesman — a partial adaptation of the 1999 Broadway revival Dennehy also starred in and for which he won his first Tony Award for Best Actor. He nabbed his second trophy in that same category for playing James Tyrone in the 2003 revival of Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night.
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