Brian Dennehy, whose roles in movies like First Blood and Presumed Innocent made him a well-known name, has died at the age of 81 years, his daughter has confirmed. In tributes, Dennehy was remembered for his versatility and memorable roles in iconic films and television programs.
Many fans also remembered him as Big Tom Callahan in the Chris Farley comedy classic Tommy Boy.
Dennehy died during the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has a lot of people wondering about his cause of death. How did Dennehy die? His daughter says that his death was due to natural causes, and, although she was not more specific about those, she took great pains to point out that Dennehy did not die of COVID-19 or any complications relating to it.
She revealed that Dennehy died on the evening of April 15, 2020. TMZ reports that there won’t be an autopsy because it’s believed Dennehy simply died of natural causes.
Here’s what you need to know:
Dennehy’s Daughter Says His Death Was Not Related to COVID-19
News of the actor’s death came via his daughter’s Twitter page, and she also gave a window into his cause of death.
Elizabeth Dennehy wrote on Twitter on April 16, “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.”
Dennehy was known as a character actor who also played a variety of roles on television, from cops to basketball coach Bobby Knight. According to The Hollywood Reporter, his roles included the sheriff who was after Sylvester Stallone’s John Rambo in First Blood and the district attorney who was after Harrison Ford’s character in Presumed Innocent.
He often ended up in the role of law enforcers, THR noted, playing a Chicago detective named Jack Reed on television and portraying cops in everything from Gorky Park to Silverado. Dennehy was also highly regarded for his roles in theater productions.
He died in Connecticut.
Tributes Flowed in for Brian Dennehy
Celebrities and fans alike took to social media to offer tributes to Dennehy. “Just devastated to learn that the magnificent Brian Dennehy has died. They 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,” wrote actress Mia Farrow.
“RIP Brian Dennehy. Brilliant and versatile, a powerhouse actor and a very nice man as well,” read another tribute.
To many people, Dennehy’s name brought back thoughts of Rambo.
To others, it was his role in Tommy Boy that stands out.
“I know he was in way more distinguished stuff, but I always loved Brian Dennehy as Chris Farley’s dad in Tommy Boy. He gave that movie a heart that none of those other 90s SNL movies had,” wrote a fan.
Actress Dana Delaney wrote, “I met Brian in a bar, acted in a movie with him but the stage was what he loved. In rehearsal he said, “This is it, kid.” He was a fellow nutmegger, mick and a Marine. They don’t make his kind anymore..”