Brian Dennehy, Celebrated Actor and Six-Time Emmy Nominee, Dead at 81

Brian Dennehy Dead

Veteran actor Brian Dennehy, whose long career in film and TV included six Emmy nominations, has died at the age of 81.

Dennehy passed away on Wednesday night, according to our sister site Variety. “It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father Brian passed away last night from natural causes, not [coronavirus]-related,” his daughter Elizabeth confirmed on Twitter. “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.”

Best known for his big-screen roles in films like First Blood, Presumed Innocent and Tommy Boy, Dennehy also had a regular presence on television in a career that spanned five decades. After guest roles on Kojak and M*A*S*H, he played district attorney Jake Dunham on the hit ABC soap Dynasty in 1981. He went on to appear on shows like Miami Vice, Just Shoot Me and The Good Wife.

His work in TV movies resulted in a total of six Emmy nominations, including one in 1992 for playing serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the Fox movie To Catch a Killer. He also earned a nod in 2000 for his starring role as Willy Loman in the broadcast production of Death of a Salesman, a role that won him a Tony and a Golden Globe. Dennehy’s most recent TV role was as Elizabeth Keen’s grandfather on NBC’s The Blacklist.