Brian Dennehy, veteran actor known for roles in 'Cocoon' and 'First Blood,' dies at 81

"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," his daughter said.

Actor Brian Dennehy died Wednesday night from natural causes that were not coronavirus-related, his daughter announced Thursday. He was 81.

"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," Elizabeth Dennehy posted in a statement on Twitter.

The barrel-chested, prolific actor had many movie roles, including in “Tommy Boy,” “First Blood” and “Cocoon,” but won acclaim on stage, particularly for “Death of a Salesman” on Broadway in 1999.

He won another best actor Tony in 2003 for "Long Day's Journey into Night."

In addition to those two Tony Awards, Dennehy took life’s final bow with one Golden Globe win, a SAG Award and five Emmy nominations.

Broadway giant Lin-Manuel Miranda said he'll always remember Dennehy's "heartbreaking" portrayal of Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman."

"Was lucky enough to see Brian Dennehy twice on stage, masterful in Love Letters, and monumentally heartbreaking in Death Of A Salesman. A colossus. What a loss," the "Hamilton" writer and actor tweeted.

Dennehy, who stood 6-foot-3, often played figures of authority with a stubborn streak.

He skillfully played small-town sheriff Will Teasle in "Rambo," showing no sensitivity to a troubled veteran played by Sylvester Stallone.

The larger-than-life actor also captured the intense, single-mindedness of Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight in the movie adaptation of "A Season on the Brink."

Tributes to him included a post from screenwriter and TV producer Dan Fogelman, who wrote: "A writing question I commonly get is 'do you picture an actor as you are writing a character?' Even though I never worked with him, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve imagined Brian Dennehy in my mind’s eye as I write something. A true powerhouse actor."

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