Eugene O’Neill Theater Center
Brian Dennehy is an iconic American actor. With over 30 years experience on stage and screen, the now silver-haired force is as prolific as he is respected. Born in 1938 in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Dennehy graduated from Chaminade High School in Long Island and went on to receive a B.A. in History from Columbia University. From there, he worked to pay his way through Yale Drama School. He began his acting career off-Broadway, including performances in Eugene O’Neill’s sea plays in the late 1960s with American actor Bill Hickey. Dennehy’s breakthrough role was as Sheriff Will Teasle in the film First Blood (1982). Besides his extensive film career, Dennehy has starred in numerous TV movies and in roles on popular shows, such as the sitcom Just Shoot Me. He has received six Emmys for his work in television, including for the 2000 TV movie version of Death of a Salesman, which he co-produced, and for which he also received a Screen Actors’ Guild Award. Dennehy received a Tony Award in 1999 for his stage performance of Willy Loman and another in 2003 for his portrayal of James Tyrone in O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night. Dennehy obtained some of the best reviews of his career for his 2008 staging of Hughie at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada and subsequent performances in New Haven and on Broadway in 2010. Over his extensive career, he also starred multiple times in O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms, The Iceman Cometh, and A Touch of the Poet. Dennehy sits on the Board of Trustees of the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, which won the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2010, and he is the 2010 recipient of the Irish American Writers and Artists’ Eugene O’Neill Lifetime Achievement Award.
[Biography by Erin Sullivan]