Two-Time Tony Winner Brian Dennehy Dies at 81

Dennehy died of natural causes.

Brian Dennehy
Brian Dennehy
(© David Gordon)

Two-time Tony winner Brian Dennehy died Wednesday, April 15, at the age of 81 from natural, non-Covid-related causes.

The imposing actor earned his Tonys for his towering performances as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman (1999) and James Tyrone in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (2003). Both productions were directed by Robert Falls, one of Dennehy's longtime artistic collaborators.

Falls also directed Dennehy in Desire Under the Elms and twice in The Iceman Cometh (Dennehy played Hickey at the Goodman in 1990 and Larry Slade there in 2012 and at BAM in 2015), among other productions.

Dennehy made his Broadway debut in Brian Friel's Translations in 1995. His other Broadway credits include Inherit the Wind opposite Christopher Plummer and Love Letters, opposite Mia Farrow and Carol Burnett.

A six-time Emmy nominee, Dennehy's many screen appearances include Tommy Boy, First Blood, Cocoon, F/X, Romeo Juliet, To Catch a Killer, among others. He won a Golden Globe for Showtime's filmed version of Death of a Salesman. Dennehy enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1958 and served on Okinawa until 1963.

He is survived by second wife Jennifer Arnott, whom he married in 1988, as well as his five children, Elizabeth, Kathleen, Deirdre, Cormack, and Sarah.