July 9, 1938 (age 77) (
Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States
Elizabeth Dennehy, Kathleen Dennehy, Cormack Dennehy, Sarah Dennehy, Deirdre Dennehy
Jennifer Arnott (m. 1988), Judith Scheff (m. 1959–1974)
The Fighting Fitzgeralds, Arrest & Trial, Star of the Family, Big Shamus, Little Shamus, Hunter, Birdland
First Blood, Tommy Boy, The Next Three Days, To Catch a Killer, Ratatouille
Brian dennehy interview with bill boggs
Brian Manion Dennehy (born July 9, 1938) is an American actor of film, stage, and television. A winner of one Golden Globe, two Tony Awards and a recipient of six Primetime Emmy Award nominations, he gained initial recognition for his role as the antagonistic Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood (1982). He has had numerous roles in films such as Gorky Park, Silverado, Cocoon, F/X, Romeo + Juliet, and Knight of Cups.
- Brian dennehy interview with bill boggs
- Brian dennehy on drinking
- Early life
- Influence in popular media
- Personal life
Brian dennehy on drinking
Dennehy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hannah (Mannion) and Edward Dennehy, a wire service editor for the Associated Press. He has two brothers, Michael and Edward. He is of Irish ancestry and was raised Roman Catholic. The family relocated to Long Island, New York, where Dennehy attended Chaminade High School in the town of Mineola.
Dennehy enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959, serving active duty on Okinawa until 1963. In numerous interviews, Dennehy has claimed to be a Vietnam veteran who served a 5-year tour in Vietnam and recounted harrowing tales of his combat there, but according to the book Stolen Valor, Dennehy never served in Vietnam at all and never saw active combat. The author of Stolen Valor wrote to Dennehy regarding the discrepancy, but received no reply from the actor, although Dennehy later admitted in an interview that he had lied about his service and apologized for it.
After his Marine Corps service, Dennehy went on to attend Columbia, where he played football and majored in history, where he also became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, before moving on to Yale to study dramatic arts. He played rugby union for Old Blue RFC. Prior to his pursuit of an acting career, Dennehy worked as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch in their main office in downtown New York in the mid 1970s.
His earlier films included several comedies, like Semi-Tough with Burt Reynolds (in which he portrayed a pro football player), Foul Play with Chevy Chase, and 10 with Dudley Moore (as an Acapulco bartender). He later portrayed a corrupt sheriff in the western Silverado and an alien in Cocoon, both released in 1985.
Memorable supporting parts featured Dennehy in such films as Split Image (1982), Legal Eagles (1986), F/X: Murder By Illusion (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990) and F/X2: The Deadly Art of Illusion (1991).Prophet of Evil (1993)
Dennehy gradually became a valuable character actor but also achieved leading-man status in the thriller Best Seller (1987) co-starring James Woods. He also starred in the Peter Greenaway film The Belly of an Architect, for which he won the Best Actor Award at the 1987 Chicago International Film Festival. Commenting upon this unusual venture, Dennehy said, "I've been in a lot of movies but this is the first film I've made."
He went on to star as Harrison in the Australian film The Man from Snowy River II in 1988.
One of his most well-known roles came in the 1995 Chris Farley-David Spade comedy Tommy Boy as Big Tom Callahan. He also was reunited with his 10 co-star Bo Derek in Tommy Boy, in which she played his wife.
Dennehy had a voice role in the animated movie Ratatouille as Django, the rat chef Remy's father. He appeared as the superior officer of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in the 2008 cop drama Righteous Kill and as the father of Russell Crowe in the 2010 suspense film The Next Three Days.
Dennehy starred as Clarence Darrow in Alleged, a film based on the Scopes Monkey Trial, the famous court battle over the teaching of evolution in American public schools.
Dennehy began his professional acting career in small guest roles in such 1970s and 1980s series as Kojak, Lou Grant, Dallas and Dynasty. He also appeared in an episode of Miami Vice during the 1987–88 season.
Dennehy portrayed Sergeant Ned T. "Frozen Chosen" Coleman in the television movie A Rumor of War (1980) opposite Brad Davis. He continued to appear in such high-profile television films as Skokie (1981), Split Image (1982), Day One, (1989), A Killing in a Small Town (1990) opposite Barbara Hershey. He also played the title role in HBO's Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story.
Dennehy was nominated for Emmy Awards six times for his television movies. He was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for his performance as John Wayne Gacy in To Catch a Killer, and he was nominated that same year in a different category, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie, for The Burden of Proof (1992). Other Emmy nominatations were for his work in A Killing in a Small Town, Murder in the Heartland (1993) and for the Showtime cable TV movie Our Fathers (2005), which was about the Roman Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. In 2000, Dennehy was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie for a television presentation of his performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman which he had performed on Broadway. The performance did, however, precipitate a Golden Globe Award.
Dennehy was parodied in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and an episode of The Simpsons.
In January 2007, he starred in the episode "Scheherazade" of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as a retired criminal who wants to reconnect with his daughter and admit his crimes before dying of a terminal disease thus eventually clearing a wrongfully imprisoned inmate. In April 2008, Dennehy guest-starred as a Teamster boss in an episode of 30 Rock.
Dennehy guest-starred in a 2009 episode of Rules of Engagement as the father of the main character, Jeff.
Dennehy has also narrated many television programs. He narrated Canadian-Irish docudrama Death or Canada.
Most recently Dennehy starred as Elizabeth Keen's grandfather on the NBC series The Blacklist.
Dennehy has won two Tony Awards, both times for Best Lead Actor in a Play. The first win was for Death of a Salesman (for which he also won a Laurence Olivier Award for the production's London run), in 1999, and the second was for Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night in 2003. Both productions were directed by Robert Falls and were originally produced at the Goodman Theatre company in Chicago.
On stage, Dennehy has made frequent performances in the Chicago theater world, and made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Brian Friel's Translations. In 1999, he was the first male performer to be voted the Sarah Siddons Award for his work in Chicago theater. He made a return to Broadway in 2007 as Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind opposite Christopher Plummer, then returned again opposite Carla Gugino in a 2009 revival of Eugene O'Neill's Desire Under the Elms.
In 2008, Dennehy appeared at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, appearing in All's Well That Ends Well as the King of France, and a double bill of plays, Samuel Beckett's Krapp's Last Tape and Eugene O'Neill's Hughie, where Dennehy reprised the role of Erie Smith.
In 2010, he was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame.
In 2011, Dennehy returned to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in the role of Sir Toby Belch in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. He also played Max in Harold Pinter's The Homecoming, which is the first Pinter work to be produced there.
In April through June 2012, he played the role of Larry Slade in the Eugene O'Neill play The Iceman Cometh at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, which he reprised in 2015 when the production, with most of the Goodman Theater production cast, was revived at the BAM Harvey Theater in New York City.
Influence in popular media
In the comic book series Ultimate Spider-Man, that series' version of the villain Norman Osborn was rendered by artist Mark Bagley to resemble actor Brian Dennehy, as per writer Brian Michael Bendis' instructions.
Dennehy is a 2006 album by the rapper Serengeti (real name David Cohn). The album's title track is performed from the point of view of "Kenny Dennis", a Chicago resident and avid sports fan in his 40s whose favorite actors are Brian Dennehy and Tom Berenger. Cohn, watching a broadcast of the Little League World Series in which the competitors were asked their favorite actors and athletes, imagined someone naming Dennehy as his favorite actor. He then used this as the starting point to develop the rest of the Kenny character, which has become a recurring alter ego for Serengeti.
He is the father of the actress Elizabeth Dennehy.