Brian Dennehy

Brian Dennehy

Jul. 9th, 1938
Born in
Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA
6' 2"

Brian Dennehy's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Dynasty TV Show
Masters of Science Fiction TV Show
Masters of Science Fiction
Category 6: Day of Destruction TV Show
Category 6: Day of Destruction
Big Shamus, Little Shamus TV Show
Big Shamus, Little Shamus
Birdland TV Show
Lanigan's Rabbi TV Show
Lanigan's Rabbi
Star of the Family TV Show
Star of the Family
The Fighting Fitzgeralds TV Show
The Fighting Fitzgeralds

Main Movie Roles

2013 - Knight of Cups
2011 - Meet Monica Velour
2010 - Every Day
2010 - The Next Three Days
2008 - Righteous Kill
2008 - Trumbo
2007 - Ratatouille
2006 - The Ultimate Gift
2006 - Everyone's Hero
2005 - Assault on Precinct 13
2004 - She Hate Me
2001 - Summer Catch
1996 - Romeo + Juliet
1995 - Tommy Boy
1992 - Gladiator
1991 - F/X2
1990 - Presumed Innocent
1988 - Miles from Home
1988 - Cocoon: The Return
1987 - Best Seller
1986 - FX
1986 - Legal Eagles
1985 - Cocoon
1985 - Silverado
1984 - Finders Keepers
1984 - The River Rat
1983 - Never Cry Wolf
1983 - Gorky Park
1982 - Rambo: First Blood
1980 - Little Miss Marker
1979 - 10
1979 - Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
1978 - F.I.S.T
1978 - Foul Play
1977 - Looking for Mr. Goodbar
1977 - Semi-Tough

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Himself - Host
Joe Patton
Sheriff Valentine Otis
Red Finch
Bucky Stabler
Dr. Bolin
Camper Ben (segment "Quiet Please")
King Neptune (Narrator) (Voiced)
[Complete List]


Imposing, barrel-chested and now silver-haired Brian Dennehy is a prolific US actor, well respected on both screen and stage for the best part of 25 years. He was born in July 1938 in Bridgeport, CT, and attended Columbia University in New York City on a football scholarship. He majored in history, before moving onto to Yale to study dramatic arts. He first appeared in minor screen roles in such fare as Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977), Semi-Tough (1977) and Foul Play (1978) and proved popular with casting directors, leading to regular work. However, he really got himself noticed by movie audiences in the box-office hit First Blood (1982) as the bigoted sheriff determined to run Vietnam veteran John Rambo (played by Sylvester Stallone) out of his town. Dennehy quickly escalated to stronger supporting or co-starring roles in films including the Cold War thriller Gorky Park (1983), as a benevolent alien in Cocoon (1985), a corrupt sheriff in the western Silverado (1985), a tough but smart cop in F/X (1986) and a cop turned writer alongside hitman James Woods (I) in Best Seller (1987). In 1987 Dennehy turned in one of his finest performances as cancer-ridden architect Stourley Kracklite in Peter Greenaway's superb The Belly of an Architect (1987), for which he won the Best Actor Award at the 1987 Chicago Film Festival. More strong performances followed. He reprised prior roles for Cocoon: The Return (1988) and F/X2 (1991), and turned in gripping performances in three made-for-TV films: a sadistic small-town bully who gets his grisly comeuppance in In Broad Daylight (1991) (TV), real-life serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the chilling To Catch a Killer (1992) (TV) and a corrupt union boss in Teamster Boss: The Jackie Presser Story (1992) (TV). In 1993 Dennehy appeared in the role of police Sgt. Jack Reed in the telemovie Jack Reed: Badge of Honor (1993) (TV), and reprised the role in four sequels, which saw him for the first time become involved in co-producing, directing and writing screen productions! Demand for his services showed no signs of abating, and he has put in further memorable performances in Romeo + Juliet (1996), as bad-luck-ridden Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman (2000) (TV) (which earned him a Golden Globe Award), he popped up in the uneven Spike Lee film She Hate Me (2004) and appears in the remake Assault on Precinct 13 (2005). The multi-talented Dennehy has also had a rich theatrical career and has appeared both in the United States and internationally in dynamic stage productions including "Death of a Salesman" (for which he picked up the 1999 Best Actor Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award), "A Touch of the Poet", "Long Day's Journey into Night" (for which he picked up another Tony Award in 2003) and in Eugene O'Neill (I)'s heart-wrenching "The Iceman Cometh".

  • Daughter is actress 'Elizabeth Dennehy' (qv).
  • Began his stage career performing in both summer stock and Off-Broadway productions.
  • Has stated that _On the Waterfront (1954)_ (qv) is his favorite movie.
  • (2008) Lives in Woodstock, Connecticut.
  • He was nominated for a 1987 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Galileo" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
  • He served in the US Marine Corps, but contrary to previous press releases never saw any combat nor was he wounded.
  • Member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
  • He was awarded the 1999 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Death of a Salesman" at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.

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