The burly actor began in movies as a macho heavy and later in his profession gained plaudits for his stage work in performs by William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller. He died of pure causes in New Haven, Conn., in keeping with Kate Cafaro of ICM Companions, the actor’s representatives.
Recognized for his broad body, booming voice and skill to play good guys and unhealthy guys with equal aplomb, Dennehy gained two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe and was nominated for six Emmys. He was inducted into the American Theater Corridor of Fame in 2010.
Amongst his 40-odd movies, he performed a sheriff who jailed Rambo in “First Blood,” a serial killer in “To Catch a Killer,” and a corrupt sheriff gunned down by Kevin Kline in “Silverado.” He additionally had some benign roles: the bartender who consoles Dudley Moore in “10” and the levelheaded chief of aliens in “Cocoon” and its sequel.
Ultimately, Dennehy wearied of the studio life. “Movies used to be fun,” he noticed in an interview. “They took care of you, first-class. Those days are gone.”
Dennehy had a protracted reference to Chicago’s Goodman Theater, which had a repute for heavy drama. He appeared in Bertolt Brecht’s “Galileo” in 1986 and later Chekhov’s “Cherry Orchard” at far decrease salaries than he earned in Hollywood. In 1990 he performed the function of Hickey in Eugene O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh,” a play he reprised on the Goodman with Nathan Lane in 2012 and in Brooklyn in 2013.
In 1998, Dennehy appeared on Broadway within the traditional function of Willy Loman, the worn-out hustler in Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” and gained the Tony for his efficiency.
“What this actor goes for is close to an everyman quality, with a grand emotional expansiveness that matches his monumental physique,” wrote Ben Brantley in his evaluation of the play for The New York Occasions. “Yet these emotions ring so unerringly true that Mr. Dennehy seems to kidnap you by force, trapping you inside Willy’s psyche.”
He was awarded one other Tony in 2003 for his function in O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night.” On the podium, after thanking his household, co-stars and producers and complementing his opponents, he stated: “The words of Eugene O’Neill — they’ve got to be heard. They’ve got to be heard, and heard and heard. And thank you so much for giving us the chance to enunciate them.”
Dennehy was born July 9, 1938, in Bridgeport, Conn., the primary of three sons. His enterprise into performing started when he was 14 in New York City and a pupil at a Brooklyn highschool. He acted the title function in “Macbeth.” He performed soccer on a scholarship at Columbia College, and he served 5 years within the U.S. Marines.
Again in New York Metropolis in 1965, he pursued performing whereas working at facet jobs. “I learned first-hand how a truck driver lives, what a bartender does, how a salesman thinks,” he informed The New York Occasions in 1989. “I had to make a life inside those jobs, not just pretend.”
His dad and mom — Ed Dennehy, an editor for The Related Press in New York, and Hannah Dennehy, a nurse — may by no means perceive why his son selected to behave. “Anyone raised in a first- or second-generation immigrant family knows that you are expected to advance the ball down the field,” Dennehy informed Columbia Faculty As we speak in 1999. “Acting didn’t qualify in any way.”
The 6-foot-3-inch Dennehy went to Hollywood for his first film, “Semi-Tough” starring Burt Reynolds and Kris Kristofferson. Dennehy was paid $10,000 every week for 10 week’s work, which he thought “looked like it was all the money in the world.”
Amongst his movies: “Looking for Mr. Goodbar,” “Foul Play,” “Little Miss Marker,” “Split Image,” “Gorky Park,” “Legal Eagles,” “Miles from Home,” “Return to Snowy River,” “Presumed Innocent,” “Romeo and Juliet” and “Assault on Precinct 13.”
He performed serial assassin John Wayne Gacy within the 1991 TV film “To Catch a Killer” and union chief Jackie Presser within the HBO particular “Teamster Boss” a yr later. “I try to play villains as if they’re good guys and good guys as if they’re villains,” he stated in 1992
He labored deep into his 70s, in such tasks as SundanceTV’s “Hap and Leonard,” the movie “The Seagull” with Elisabeth Moss and Annette Bening and the play “Endgame” by Samuel Beckett on the Lengthy Wharf Theatre. His final foray on Broadway was in “Love Letters” reverse Mia Farrow in 2014.
He’s survived by his second spouse, costume designer Jennifer Arnott and their two kids, Cormac and Sarah. He is also survived by three daughters — Elizabeth, Kathleen and Deirdre — from a earlier marriage to Judith Scheff.
The Related Press contributed to this report.