Brian Dennehy

© Justin Hoch
Wikimedia / CC BY 2.0 ]
Born
Brian Mannion Dennehy
July 09, 1938 (age 75)
Profession
Actor, Screenwriter, Television Director, Voice Actor, Television Producer, Stockbroker, Soldier
Spouse
Jennifer Arnott
Parents
Hannah Dennehy, Edward Dennehy
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Brian Mannion Dennehy (born July 9, 1938) is an American actor of film, stage, and screen.

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Dennehy was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the son of Hannah and Edward Dennehy, who was a wire service editor for the Associated Press; he has two brothers, Michael and Edward. Dennehy is of Irish ancestry and was raised Roman Catholic. The family relocated to Long Island, New York, where Dennehy attended Chaminade High School in the town of Mineola.

Rather than immediately chase his dreams of stage and screen, Dennehy enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1959, actively serving until 1963. Although he said in numerous interviews that he had spent five years fighting in Vietnam during the Vietnam War, even telling harrowing tales of being hit by shrapnel, it was revealed in the 1998 book Stolen Valor by B.G. Burkett that Dennehy had never served overseas at all during his time in the military. Later that year, Dennehy admitted to the tabloid The Globe "I lied about serving in Vietnam and I'm sorry. That was very wrong of me. There is no real excuse for that. I was a peace-time Marine, and I got out in 1963 without ever serving in Vietnam. I started the story that I had been in 'Nam, and I got stuck with it. Then I didn't know how to set the record straight." Nonetheless, in 2007 Dennehy once again told a reporter that he had served in Vietnam, this time Joanne Kaufman of the Wall Street Journal.

He went on to attend Columbia on a football scholarship to major in history, where he also became a member of the Sigma Chi fraternity, before moving on to Yale to study dramatic arts. He played rugby union for Old Blue RFC.

Dennehy is primarily known as a dramatic actor. His breakthrough role was as the overzealous Sheriff Will Teasle in First Blood (1982) opposite Sylvester Stallone as Rambo.

His earlier films did include several comedies like Semi-Tough with Burt Reynolds (in which he portrayed a pro football player), 10 with Dudley Moore (as an Acapulco bartender) and Foul Play with Chevy Chase. He later portrayed a corrupt sheriff in the western Silverado and an alien in Cocoon, both released in 1985.

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He is the father of actresses Elizabeth Dennehy and Kathleen Dennehy. He resides in Woodstock, Connecticut. His son Cormac Dennehy graduated from Pomfret School in 2011, while his daughter, Sarah, attends Woodstock Academy. He gave a commencement address at Pomfret School on May 29, 2011, when Cormac graduated. He and his wife, Jennifer, adopted a child.

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Filmography

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