Actor Brian Dennehy Dies at 81

Brian Dennehy in Rambo: First Blood on chris stokes blog
Brian Dennehy in Rambo: First Blood

The entertainment world has lost a treasure today. Brian Dennehy, star of movies like Rambo: First Blood and Tommy Boy passed today at the age of 81 from natural causes. His career spanned decades in which he became such a recognizable household face. Our prayers and condolences go out to his family.

More as reported by Variety.com:

Brian Dennehy, the winner of two Tonys in a career that also spanned films including “Tommy Boy,” “First Blood” and “Cocoon,” and television roles including “Dynasty” and “Death of a Salesman,” died on Wednesday night in New Haven, Conn. He was 81.

“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,” his daughter, actress Elizabeth Dennehy, tweeted on Thursday.

His agency ICM also confirmed the news.

In the 1995 comedy “Tommy Boy,” Dennehy was Big Tom, the father of Chris Farley’s character Tom, who takes over the family’s auto parts business with David Spade after his father dies. In Ron Howard’s 1995 hit “Cocoon,” Dennehy played the leader of the alien Antareans who leave lifeforce-giving cocoons in a a swimming pool near a retirement home.

The imposingly tall, barrel-chested Dennehy won his first Tony for his performance as Willy Loman in a revival of Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman” in 1999 and his second Tony for his turn as James Tyrone in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” in 2003.

The actor made his TV and feature debut in 1977 — a year in which he made appearances in at least 10 series or telepics, including “Kojak,” “MASH” and “”Lou Grant,” and the films “Looking for Mr. Goodbar” and “Semi-Tough.” From that point he maintained a heavy work load for decades.

In 1982 his profile increased significantly thanks to his effective performance in the role of Teasle, the sadistic small-town police chief who is Sylvester Stallone’s lead adversary in “First Blood.”

In addition to “Cocoon,” he had significant roles in the 1983 thriller “Gorky Park” and in “Silverado.” He was second-billed, after Bryan Brown, in the well-constructed 1986 thriller “F/X,” in which he played a cop not part of the conspiracy, and in the 1991 sequel. He was fourth-billed in “Legal Eagles,” after the star trio of Robert Redford, Debra Winger and Daryl Hannah.

In 1987, in the flawed thriller “Best Seller,” he sparred ably with James Woods, who played a conman who approaches Dennehy’s policeman-successful writer with a deal that ought not to be trusted. Dennehy also starred in the 1990 crime drama “The Last of the Finest.” Amid a sea of work in TV movies, Dennehy appeared in the 1995 indie “The Stars Fell on Henrietta,” starring Robert Duvall; the next year he played Ted Montague, leader of the clan, in Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet.”

One of Dennehy’s most memorable film roles came in Alan J. Pakula’s 1990 adaptation of Turow’s bestselling novel “Presumed Innocent,” starring Harrison Ford as the Chicago assistant district attorney on trial for the murder of a co-worker with whom he had an affair. Dennehy played his boss, who’s up for re-election and has multiple divided loyalties, with a subtlety that was absolutely necessary. Another signal moment was auteur Peter Greenaway’s 1987 film “The Belly of an Architect,” in which the actor starred as the title character.

The actor was perhaps the foremost living interpreter of O’Neill’s works. In 2009 Dennehy starred on Broadway as Ephraim Cabot in a revival of the playwright’s “Desire Under the Elms,” and in 2012 he played Larry Slade, the former lefty seeking to drink himself to death, in O’Neill’s “The Iceman Cometh” at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, reprising the role in 2015 when the production, also starring Nathan Lane, was revived at the BAM Harvey Theater in New York City.

Underscoring his adeptness with the physical business of being an actor, a scene in “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” in which a drunken Tyrone gets onto a table to unscrew many of the bulbs in a lit chandelier left many in the audience with the fear that the actor would tumble off the stage even though they knew Dennehy was not really drunk.

Dennehy had a decades-long association with the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where most of his explorations of O’Neill originated. He first appeared at the Goodman in 1986 in the title role of Brecht’s “Galileo” and first paired with the theater on O’Neill with a 1990 revival of “The Iceman Cometh” in which he played Hickey. In 1996 he starred there in O’Neill’s “A Touch of the Poet,” playing the tyrannical, Falstaff-like Con Melody.

After his Tony-winning performance in 2003 in O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” he took on the playwright’s obscure, posthumously published one-act “Hughie” at the Goodman in 2004, revisiting the show again in 2010 in repertory with Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape.”

Dennehy headlined the Goodman’s 2009 “A Global Exploration: Eugene O’Neill in the 21st Century” festival in the revival of “Desire Under the Elms” that subsequently transferred to Broadway.

The production of “Death of a Salesman” that won Dennehy his first Tony originated at the Goodman, later went to the West End and was brought to the small screen on Showtime in 2000, resulting in an Emmy nomination for Dennehy as well as a SAG Award and a Golden Globe. The New York Times called it “the performance of his career.”

In the early to mid-’90s Dennehy starred as a Chicago police detective in the “Jack Reed” series of TV movies, several of which he also wrote and directed.

Brian Manion Dennehy was born in Bridgeport, Conn. He served in the Marines from 1959-63, after which he studied history at Columbia, attending the university on a football scholarship. He subsequently earned his MFA in dramatic arts from Yale.

Dennehy made his Broadway debut in 1995 in Brian Friel’s “Translations” opposite Dana Delany. After “Death of a Salesman” and “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” the actor played Matthew Harrison Brady in a 2007 revival of “Inherit the Wind” opposite Christopher Plummer as Henry Drummond. And in 2014 he starred opposite Carol Burnett and Mia Farrow in a revival of A.R. Gurney’s “Love Letters.”

Dennehy also received Emmy nominations in 1990 for his role as a defense attorney in the telepic “A Killing in a Small Town”; in 1992 both for his role in the Scott Turow-based miniseries “The Burden of Proof” and for his role as serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the TV movie “To Catch a Killer”; in 1993 for his role in the miniseries “Murder in the Heartland”; and in 2005 for his role in Showtime’s “Our Fathers,” about the Catholic church’s conspiracy, centering on Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, to conceal sexual abuse.

Reviewing “Our Fathers,” Variety lauded “the ever-brilliant Brian Dennehy in a knockout perf as an outspoken priest who uses the pulpit to denounce Law’s leadership.”

In 1981 he recurred on “Dynasty” as D.A. Jake Dunham; the next year Dennehy starred as a fire chief in the brief-running ABC sitcom “Star of the Family.” He tried series television again in 1994 with ABC’s brief-running “Birdland,” in which he played a hospital’s chief of psychiatry, and in NBC’s 2001 sitcom “The Fighting Fitzgeralds,” in which he starred as the reluctant paterfamilias of an unruly Irish clan.

In the highly regarded 1989 TV movie “Day One,” the actor played Gen. Leslie Groves, who oversaw the development of the atomic bomb. In 2000 he starred as Gen. Bogan in the Stephen Frears-directed TV adaptation of nuclear armageddon thriller “Fail Safe.”

Denney was married twice, the first time to Judith Scheff. He is survived by second wife Jennifer Arnott, a costume designer, whom he married in 1988; three daughters by Scheff, actresses Elizabeth and Kathleen, and Deirdre; as well as son Cormac and daughter Sarah with Arnott.

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The Real Reason Justin Timberlake Left ‘N Sync

Everyone has his own version of the truth.

Ask Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone or Chris Kirkpatrick why Justin Timberlake left ‘N Sync at the height of the boy band’s success and you’re likely to get different answers. Timberlake’s truth is revealed in The Hollywood Reporter‘s Feb. 17 issue. “We were on a stadium tour, and I just felt like the whole thing was too big. It started as a fun snowball fight that was becoming an avalanche,” the “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” singer remembers. “And, also, I was growing out of it.”

“I felt like I cared more about the music than some of the other people in the group,” he explains. “I felt like I had other music I wanted to make and that I needed to follow my heart.”

In addition to becoming a solo artist, Timberlake found success in Hollywood with Alpha Dog, The Social Network, Friends With Benefits, Runner Runner and other films. But he doesn’t prefer one form of expression to the other. “I want to do both things. I really do idolize the golden era of Hollywood, when actors were required to sing and move. But I’m just following my gut in the decisions that I make about what I’m going to do next. I’m mostly just glad this is all working out because I really can’t do anything else,” Timberlake confesses. “I’m not gifted at anything else.”

At the moment, Timberlake is unsure whether he wants to focus on acting or music. “Going on tour is a circus. You set up the tents, you play the show, you tear the tents down and go on to the next place. It’s like Groundhog Day,” he says. “After the 125th show, you feel debilitated.”

Even so, Timberlake is excited about his new music. “It sounds more like where I’ve come from than any other music I’ve ever made,” he tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s Memphis. It’s Southern American music. I want to make it sound modern—at least that’s the idea right now.”

The most important thing to consider, though, is how his career will affect his family.

“Everything feels divisive to me right now,” he says. “Everything.”

Chris Hemsworth Talks Fame, Party Days and his little brother’s bad relationships in new GQ article

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The blue-eyed 31-year-old is featured on the January cover of GQ just weeks after being named the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine.

The studly star opened up about starting over and when he turned into a family man.

“The fame, the parties, the women — I did that stuff back home,” the Australian actor told the mag.

“I got away with a lot more over there,” he continued. “Then I came here” — to film 2010’s ‘Ca$h’ — “and sort of started over.”

Chris Hemsworth said he ‘had no empathy’ for brother Liam Hemsworth ‘being in relationships he shouldn’t be in.’

Hemsworth is now married to Spanish actress Elsa Pataky and the two share three children together.

“Depends on how messy it is,” he said of how speedy he can be when changing their kids’ diapers. “Sometimes you gotta give ’em a hose-down.”

The “Thor” star also dished to the glossy about his famous brother, Liam.

The younger Hemsworth, now 24, was previously engaged to Disney star turned wild child Miley Cyrus before the couple split up last year.

“I’ve watched Liam do things I did at his age, like being in relationships he shouldn’t be in, or being reckless just to prove a point. And I had no empathy. My mom had to remind me I was the same way,” Hemsworth said.

“Back when I was still on the soap, I became incredibly insecure and full of anxiety because I didn’t know if I was any good. I spent years being angsty, constantly telling people I wasn’t just part of a soap opera, that I was a real artist. And I remember Luke sort of snapping, telling me to shut up, that he was sick of hearing it,” he added of his older sibling.

Hemsworth went on to tell GQ that he gives fellow actor Matt Damon a lot of credit for how he manages life in the spotlight.

“We became friends around the time I started to work, and I’ve really benefited from watching how he handles himself,” he explained.

“Matt’s just a normal guy who has the movie-star thing figured out.”

Columbus Short Comes “Clean” About Scandal

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Last April, ABC confirmed that Columbus Short would not return to “Scandal” for Season 4. He had been charged with misdemeanor spousal battery against his wife, Tuere Short, who filed for divorce soon after. Now, in a new interview with Access Hollywood, Short revealed that he had been abusing drugs — specifically cocaine — during that time.

“I had a lot on my plate, and you know, I was using unhealthy ways to kind of self-medicate and deal with a lot of heavy duty stuff in my life,” he said in the interview. “I was doing cocaine and drinking a lot.”

Short confirmed that his “Scandal” co-stars and showrunner Shonda Rhimes were aware of his activities. “If we’re going to be fully transparent, they protected me and they held me down. And that was one of the real reasons — they just wanted me to get my stuff together. Sometimes the bottom has to be dropped out for you to really get it.”

Since getting fired, Short has moved to Atlanta and has been working on an album, though he’s live tweeted the show — including the episode in which the Gladiators mourn his character’s death — and even held a season premiere party for its return in September. “I would love nothing more to go back to ‘Scandal,'” he said. “It’s my family.”

Watch the full interview:

B2K Founder Chris Stokes Lands Horror Film Partner

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The money trail is leading Chris Stokes further into the film industry. Recently, he secured a partnership with Grinstone Entertainment Group to release “The Helpers” movie. The forthcoming horror film stars Dallas Lovato, sister of pop singer Demi Lovato.

The Helpers synopsis:
Seven friends on a road trip to Las Vegas break down near a rest-stop motel, where they encounter a seemingly helpful group of people. Convinced to stay overnight, the friends wake up in their rooms to a gruesome and bloody terror.

Stokes became known for discovering and shaping the careers of IMx/Immature, B2K, Marques Houston, Omarion in the 90’s.

His first foray in the film business was a writer and director for House Party 4 in 2001. Then he went on to direct the #1 Box Office hit You Got Served.

Charlie Sheen Tells Ashton Kutcher to “Quit Barfing” on Two and a Half Men

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The tiger claws are coming out! Charlie Sheen took a jab at Ashton Kutcher — his replacement on CBS’ hit sitcom Two and a Half Men — on Monday, Jan. 6 via Twitter. “Hey Ashton,” wrote the Anger Management star. “Sorry bro all good now quit barfing on my old brilliant show.”

48-year-old Sheen continued, “Remember Punk’d? how duz it feel?” (Punk’d was a hidden-camera, prank show that aired on MTV from 2003-2012, which Kutcher, 35, created, produced and hosted.)

The unpredictable actor’s insult followed an initial tweet just one day before, where he gave a warm shout-out to his former Two and a Half Men colleague, Jon Cryer. “Hey Jon!!! u r a GENIUS!!! I effin love and MISS YOU old pal!” said the social media-happy star. His tweet was a drastic improvement from 2011, when Sheen called Cryer a “troll” and a “traitor” in an interview.

He completed his tweet Sunday with a jab at Kutcher and wrote, “Q; who’s your lame sidekick? c #NiceTryCanonBoy.” The FX star’s hashtag was in reference to Kutcher’s endorsement deal with camera company Nikon — not Canon.

Kutcher has yet to respond to the tweets.

Catherine Zeta-Jones & Michael Douglas Reunited After Four Month Separation

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Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones stepped out in together with their two children for a cute family outing on Dec. 22. It was the first time the couple had been spotted in public after they announced their separation four months ago.

Micheal, 69, and Catherine, 44, were surprisingly photographed together on Dec. 22 with their two children, Dylan, 13 and Carys, 10. The coupled hadn’t been seen together since August.

The group had an easy day. They ate lunch at Orso in Manhattan and from there saw the Broadway musical Motown and then caught a showing of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

The actor and actress have been together since 1999. They celebrated (likely separately) their 13th wedding anniversary in November.

Earlier this year, Catherine had stated she and Michael were “taking some time apart to evaluate and work on their marriage.” Michael, however, was hoping they’d stay together and in October told Jay Leno he’s hopeful that he and Catherine could work things out and stay together.

“I’ve been away for a while, but everything should hopefully be on the up and up,” Michael said. “Sometimes people take a little bit of a break, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the end. So I’m very hopeful.”

The proud couple reportedly believes in marriage and aren’t ready to pull the plug on their marriage by divorcing one another.

“This is a separation, not a split. Not a divorce,” a source told People magazine of their situation. “They’re not giving up.”

And now it looks like that fortitude paid off!

Paul Walker’s Dad Mourns Son’s Tragic Death: “I Was Proud of Him Every Day”

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As tributes and memories continue to pour in for Paul Walker — who died tragically at age 40 in a car crash on Saturday, Nov. 30 — one thing is clear: The Fast and Furious actor was very, very loved. Speaking with CBS2 one day after the star’s death, his father, Paul Walker III, broke down in tears as he spoke about his son’s big heart and lasting legacy.

“I’m just glad that every time I saw him, I told him I loved him,” Walker Sr. said, choking back sobs. “And he would say the same thing to me.”

In addition to his father, Walker is survived by his mother, Cheryl Walker; his brothers, Cody and Caleb; his sister, Ashley; and his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow. He also leaves behind many grief-stricken costars and friends, some of whom gathered at the Walker family’s home this weekend.

“You can’t beat friends at a time like this,” Walker Sr. told CBS2. “His brothers are all taking it pretty hard.”

No doubt Meadow — Walkers’ daughter with an ex-girlfriend — is distraught, too. The teen lived with her mother in Hawaii for most of her life but had recently moved in with her famous dad. “[He told me], ‘I want to take a hiatus, she’s just 15, and I don’t have much more time to be with her,'” Walker Sr. recalled. “And then boom, he got another movie. He would say, ‘I don’t know what to do.'”

Just prior to his death, the actor had been co-hosting a charity event with his non-profit organization, Reach Out Worldwide, to raise money for victims affected by the typhoon in the Philippines. After attending the toy drive, he and pal Roger Rodas went for a ride in a Porsche Carrera GT. Both died when the car crashed and burst into flames.

“His heart was so big,” Walker Sr. said through his tears. “I was proud of him every day of his life.”

Selena Gomez & Jaden Smith Dinner Date In London

chris stokes

The 20-year-old “Come & Get It” singer was photographed going to dinner with her on-again, off-again boyfriend’s good friend, Jaden Smith, in London on Thursday, May 23.

Gomez, and Smith, 14, had smiles on their faces while grabbing a bite to eat at Hakkasan restaurant. The After Earth actor, who is in London promoting his new film with dad Will Smith, looked handsome in a long black suit coat as he escorted Gomez out of the restaurant. The former Wizards of Waverly Place actress also dressed up in a long black coat and and sheer black dress.

Gomez appeared to be in a good spirits after having tweeted Wednesday that she was feeling under the weather. “Sorry to everyone for having to cancel today. I am not sure if I am sick or ate some bad food but, I feel horrible,” she wrote. “I am going to take the rest of the day and try and get better for tomorrow. So Sorry Love you guys.”

Smith is currently dating Kim Kardashian’s younger sister Kylie Jenner, 15. Gomez’s relationship status with Bieber, 19, however, remains unclear.

The couple broke up in January, but have reunited multiple times since then. They recently shared a kiss at the Billboard Music Awards on May 19, which did not go over well with Gomez’s friend Taylor Swift. The “We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together” was caught on camera sticking out her tongue when she saw them smooch.

Read more: http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/selena-gomez-jaden-smith-go-to-dinner-together-in-london-2013245#ixzz2UFU5UXrU
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Brad Pitt Opens Up About ‘Wasted’ Years & Damaging Himself With Drugs

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Brad Pitt is happier than he has ever been with Angelina Jolie and their close knit family and in a candid new interview he opens up about his drug-damaged life.

The World War Z star talks about his life in the June/July 2013 issue of Esquire, admitting that he damaged himself with drugs and lived a drifter life until about a decade ago, when he found true happiness with Jolie.

Yes, this interview may remind you of the time Jennifer Aniston — sick of Brad’s post-divorce comments — said her ex husband was missing a sensitivity chip!

“For a long time I thought I did too much damage – drug damage. I was a bit of a drifter,” he admitted to the men’s magazine. “A guy who felt he grew up in something of a vacuum and wanted to see things, wanted to be inspired. I followed that other thing. I spent years [expletive] off. But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity.”

We’re guessing some people will think Brad is referring to those wasted years as part of the time he was with Jen.

Pitt, who announced he was divorcing Aniston in January 2005, managed to turn things around.

“It was a conscious change. This was about a decade ago. It was an epiphany – a decision not to squander my opportunities. It was a feeling of get up. Because otherwise, what’s the point?”

Though his friends and family circle is small, he claims his life is better than ever.

“I have very few friends. I have a handful of close friends and I have my family and I haven’t known life to be any happier. I’m making things. I just haven’t known life to be any happier.”

Pitt, who met Jolie on the 2004 set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith and started a family with her shortly after they were first snapped together on vacation in Kenya in April 2005, gushes over his brood.

“I always thought that if I wanted to do a family, I wanted to do it big. I wanted there to be chaos in the house… there’s constant chatter in our house, whether it’s giggling or screaming or crying or banging,” he exclaimed.

“I love it. I love it. I love it. I hate it when they’re gone. I hate it. Maybe it’s nice to be in a hotel room for a day – ‘Oh, nice, I can finally read a paper.’ But then, by the next day, I miss that cacophony, all that life.”