RIP, Brian Dennehy

I was surfing Twitter today when I read that actor Brian Dennehy has died.

Veteran actor Brian Dennehy, known for roles in “Rambo: First Blood,” “Tommy Boy” and “To Catch A Killer,” died Wednesday at age 81.

The burly actor started in films as a macho heavy and later in his career won plaudits for his stage work in plays by William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, Eugene O’Neill and Arthur Miller. He died of natural causes in New Haven, Conn., according to Kate Cafaro of ICM Partners, the actor’s representatives.

Known for his broad frame, booming voice and ability to play good guys and bad guys with equal aplomb, Dennehy won two Tony Awards, a Golden Globe and was nominated for six Emmys. He was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame in 2010.

Among his 40-odd films, he played a sheriff who jailed Rambo in “First Blood,” a serial killer in “To Catch a Killer,” and a corrupt sheriff gunned down by Kevin Kline in “Silverado.” He also had some benign roles: the bartender who consoles Dudley Moore in “10” and the levelheaded leader of aliens in “Cocoon” and its sequel.

Well that’s sad news. I’ve been a big fan of his since he played Sheriff Buford Pusser in a 1978 TV movie.

My favorite of Dennehy’s movies are the 1986 crime thriller F/X, which co-starred Bryan Brown, and the 1987 crime thriller Best Seller, with James Woods. I’m giving serious thought to re-watching both of those films this weekend.

Here’s the trailer for F/X.

And here’s the Best Seller trailer.

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