Cocoon star Brian Dennehy dies aged 81

Cocoon star Brian Dennehy dies aged 81

Hollywood actor Brian Dennehy has died at the age of 81, his daughter said.

The actor, known for film roles including First Blood and Cocoon, died on Wednesday due to natural causes.

He was a two-time Tony Award winner whose portrayal of Willy Loman in Death Of A Salesman also earned him a Golden Globe.

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LOS ANGELES - OCTOBER 2: The movie "First Blood", directed by Ted Kotcheff. (Alternatively referred to as Rambo: First Blood). Based on David Morrell's novel of the same name. Seen here from left, Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, and Brian Dennehy as Sheriff Will Teasle. He confronts Rambo. Initial theatrical release October 2, 1982. Screen capture. Paramount Pictures. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Brian Dennehy during the Broadway opening night performance curtain call of 'Love Letters' at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on September 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Walter McBride/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 03: Brian Dennehy visits SiriusXM Studios on March 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
FILE - In this June 6, 1999 file photo, actor Brian Dennehy, left, applauds playwright, Arthur Miller, before awarding him the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Tony Awards in New York. Dennehy, the burly actor who started in films and later in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays, died of natural causes on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in New Haven, Conn. He was 81. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
FILE - This June 8, 2003 file photo shows actor Brian Dennehy accepting the Tony award for best actor in a play for "Long Day's Journey into Night" during the 57th Annual Tony Awards in New York. Dennehy, the burly actor who started in films and later in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays, died of natural causes on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 in New Haven, Conn. He was 81. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 31: The movie "Tommy Boy", directed by Peter Segal. Seen here, Brian Dennehy as Big Tom Callahan. Initial theatrical release March 31, 1995. Screen capture. Paramount Pictures. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: Actor Brian Dennehy attend the premiere of "The Seagull" during the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca PAC on April 21, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
Brian Dennehy in a publicity portrait from the television series 'Big Shamus, Little Shamus', 1979. (Photo by CBS/Getty Images)
DYNASTY - "Enter Alexis" - Airdate November 4, 1981. (Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images) BRIAN DENNEHY
Sally Struthers and Brian Dennehy during 50th Anniversary of "King Kong" at Mann's Chinese Theater in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 10: Actor Brian Dennehy attending "HBO Screening" on October 10, 1989 at the Director's Guild Theater in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - JUNE 6: Actor Brian Dennehy attending 53rd Annual Tony Awards on June 6, 1999 at the Gershwin Theater in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY - APRIL 22: Actor Brian Dennehy attending "Drama Desk Nominations Gala" on April 22, 1999 at the New York Friar's Club in New York City, New York. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 25: Brian Dennehy attends the Arthur Miller - One Night 100 Years Benefit at Lyceum Theatre on January 25, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 28: Brian Dennehy stars in the hit new play "White Rabbit Red Rabbit" (which a different actor stars in each week) at The Westside Theatre on March 28, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Brian Dennehy attends "Present Laughter" opening night at St. James Theatre on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Krista Kennell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
THE BLACKLIST -- "Rassvet" Episode 619 -- Pictured: Brian Dennehy as Dom -- (Photo by: Will Hart/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images)
Brian Dennehy, Tony and Golden Globe Winning Actor, Dies at 81
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His daughter Elizabeth announced his death on Twitter.

She said: "It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father Brian passed away last night from natural causes, not Covid-related.

"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."

Dennehy was known for his bulky build and no-nonsense approach to acting.

He played the sheriff pursuing Sylvester Stallone's Vietnam veteran John Rambo in 1982's First Blood, and the friendly alien leader Walter in 1985's Cocoon.

Dennehy also played Chris Farley's father in 1995 comedy Tommy Boy.

His TV roles included Dynasty and Miami Vice.

In 2000, Dennehy won the Golden Globe for best actor in a miniseries or television film for the TV adaptation of Death Of A Salesman.

The role of Willy Loman had won him the first of two Tony Awards in 1999, with the second, for Long Day's Journey Into Night, coming in 2003.

Star Trek actor William Shatner was among those paying tribute.

He tweeted: "Condolences to the family of Brian Dennehy. A wonderfully talented actor."

Mia Farrow starred alongside Dennehy in Broadway play Love Letters.

She said she is "just devastated" by his death.

She tweeted: "They is no one i enjoyed working with more. And there are few friends as valued in my life. I took this photo backstage when we were in Love Letters. He loved my pup Bowie."

James Woods starred alongside Dennehy in Split Image and Best Seller.

Writing on Twitter, Woods said despite his bulky frame, Dennehy was a "sweetheart".

He said: "I'm just devastated to hear we lost my beloved friend and colleague, #BrianDennehy. We were partners on two of my favourite films, Split Image and Best Seller. I've never laughed so hard as we did every day on the set or off. For a big 'tough guy,' he was a sweetheart. #RIPBrian."

Better Call Saul star Michael McKean also paid tribute.

He said: "RIP Brian Dennehy. Brilliant and versatile, a powerhouse actor and a very nice man as well."

Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin tweeted: "He was truly a tremendous actor and his passing is such a terrible loss. Sending condolences to his daughter Elizabeth and the entire family. RIP."

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