Dynasty actor Brian Dennehy dies aged 81

Dynasty actor Brian Dennehy has died at the age of 81, it has been confirmed.

The Golden Globe winning actor died on Wednesday (15 April) in Connecticut, law enforcement sources informed TMZ.

It’s said Brian died of natural causes therefore an autopsy will not be taking place. 

Brian rose to prominence with his role in Rambo movie First Blood in 1982, starring as Sheriff Teasle alongside Sylvester Stallone. But from the 70s, he had enjoyed small guest appearances in TV shows such as M*A*S*H, Kojak, Lou Grant and Dallas. 

In 1981, he landed a recurring role in hit US soap opera Dynasty in which he played Jake Dunham. 

The Hollywood star was also known for starring in Big Tom alongside David Spade and the late Chris Farley. The show has just celebrated its 25th anniversary.

Over the course of 50 years, Brian went on to appear in movies such as Romeo + Juliet, Silverado, Presumed Innocent, Best Seller, The Belly of an Architect and Cocoon. 


In recent years, he voiced Django in Ratatouille and appeared in hit TV series Blacklist. 

Brian was an award-winning actor and won a Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in the TV movie Death of a Salesman. 

His accolades extended to theatre with Brian winning two Tony Awards for best actor – the first for Death of a Salesman before his role in the TV movie, and the second for Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 2003. 

Recalling his early days in the movie industry, Brian told AV Club in 2018: ‘I was really just starting out, and I was doing other jobs. I drove a truck, and I worked as a bartender in a lot of different places.

‘But I was trying to be an actor. And then all of the sudden, after 10 years, somebody turned the switch some place. I had been available for a long time, but no one took advantage of that. Then all of the sudden, it got crowded. I started doing a lot of stuff. But better to work than not to work. I barely remember working on Kojak.’

Ironically despite his Golden Globe award win for Death of a Salesman, Brian admitted: ‘I don’t remember much about the movie.

‘I certainly remember doing the play, which I did about 500 times or more. It’s one of the most extraordinary plays… probably the great American play about our country, and the way we are in our personality.

‘I was lucky enough to hit it at the right time in my life.’

Brian is survived by his wife Jennifer Arnott and five children including actress Elizabeth Dennehy. 

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