“First Blood” and “Cocoon” Actor Brian Dennehy Dead at 81


Brian Dennehy, who starred in movies such as Cocoon and First Blood, died from natural causes at the age of 81.

The Tony winning actor, whose career spanned five decades, passed away on Wednesday April 15. His daughter, Elizabeth Dennehy, shared the news on Twitter.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father, Brian passed away last night from natural causes, not Covid-related,” his daughter, actress Elizabeth Dennehy, wrote 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.”

Born in Connecticut in 1938, Brian began his career as a stockbroker in New York before studying acting. He made appearances in television roles such as  Kojak, M*A*S*H,  Lou Grant and Dynasty. before making the move to film. His breakout role came as sheriff Will Teasle in 1982’s First Blood starring Sylvester Stallone.

He went on to star in many films including Cocoon (1985), Legal Eagles (1986), Presumed Innocent (1990), F/X2 (1991) Gladiator (1992) and Tommy Boy (1995).

Additionally, Brian had an affinity for Broadway starred in many theatrical productions. He won two Tony Awards for Best Lead Actor in a Play for his roles  Death of a Salesman in 1999, and for Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night in 2003.

Brian is survived by his wife Jennifer and his five children.