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Golden Globe Winning Actor Brian Dennehy Dead At 81

Brian DennehyBrian Dennehy

Brian Dennehy, a Golden Globe winner for his role as Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman, has died. The actor was 81 years old.

Brian Dennehy Passes Away

Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Dennehy started his career doing guest spots on TV shows including Kojak, Serpico, and Policewoman. He had a memorable guest spot on an episode of Dallas as a man who held the Ewings at gunpoint; he also appeared in the first and second seasons of Dynasty as district attorney Jake Dunham, who prosecuted Blake (John Forsythe) for murder.

Dennehy’s daughter, actress Elizabeth Dennehy (ex-Blake, Guiding Light), confirmed the news on her Instagram account. “It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our father, Brian passed away last night from natural causes, not Covid-related,” Dennehy posted.

“Larger than life, generous to a fault, a proud and devoted father and grandfather, he will be missed by his wife Jennifer, his children, in-laws, nieces nephews, cousins and many many friends. We will celebrate his life as soon as we can. In the meantime, donations may be made in his name to Feeding America.”

While a recognizable guest star on many series, Dennehy also has series regular roles, often cast as a gruff, but loveable patriarch. He starred in the series Star of the Family, The Fighting Fitzgeralds, Birdland, Public Morals, and Hap and Leonard. Most recently, he played the part of Dominic Wilkinson on The Blacklist.

He recurred as Red Finch, the father of David Spade’s character, Dennis, on the sitcom Just Shoot Me. Dennehy also had a memorable turn on Law & Order: SVU as a dying ex-cop who needed Elliot (Chris Meloni) and Olivia’s (Mariska Hargitay) intervention to try to help a woman he considered to be his daughter. On the big screen, he appeared in Tommy Boy and First Blood, among other films.

In addition to his Golden Globe award, he also won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries for his performance as Willie Loman in Death of a Salesman. He was nominated for five Primetime Emmys over the course of his career.

Condolences from the Hollywood community have been forthcoming in light of the news breaking of Dennehy’s passing.

William Shatner (Star Trek) posted on Twitter: “Condolences to the family of Brian Dennehy…A wonderfully talented actor.”

Actress Dana Delany tweeted: “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. [Love] to his family.” Entertainment Hub sends deep condolences to Dennehy’s family, loved ones, and fans at this difficult time.

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