What Was Brian Dennehy's Net Worth At The Time Of His Death?

Veteran actor Brian Dennehy, 81, died in Connecticut of natural causes on April 15, 2020, his talent agency, ICM Partners, confirmed to CNN

Dennehy, who leaves behind his wife, Jennifer Arnott, and five children, starred in many classic movies, TV shows, and plays throughout his five-decade career in Hollywood. Most notably, the former marine had roles in Silverado, First Blood, and he played actor Chris Farley's dad in Tommy Boy. Dennehy was "often called on to play an everyman or an authority figure: athletes and sheriffs, bartenders, salesmen and fathers," as The New York Times noted.

The accomplished actor also won two Tony Awards, including a 1999 win for best actor in Death of a Salesman, and he earned his second in 2003 for best actor in Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey into Night.

It's obvious Dennehy led a very successful life, and now some fans are curious to know where his triumphs landed him financially.

Money wasn't everything for Brian Dennehy

As a Tony and Golden Globe winner who was inducted into the American Theatre Hall of Fame, it's fair to reason Brian Dennehy made a lot of money during his life. When you also consider Dennehy once worked as a Merril Lynch stockbroker before he made it big, it's not surprising his reported net worth is $12 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. Fame and business acumen is one heck of a combo.

However, despite his riches, Dennehy realized money wasn't everything. "Three or four years ago I had an ashen taste in my mouth," he explained to The New York Times in 1988. "I had done a lot of movies, made a lot of money, and it didn't really mean a hell of a lot." 

The actor's dissatisfaction inspired him to pursue meatier roles, continuing, "I mean, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye. But when I started doing theater again, I realized that what is interesting to me is the work – not celebrity or getting tables at restaurants, but new challenges. I'll do the movies and hope some of them will be good, but an increasing amount of my time is going to be spent doing things I'm not sure I can do. Otherwise, what's the point?”

The wealthy star came from a working-class family

Brian Dennehy may have been a millionaire at the time of his death, but that was quite a change from how he had grown up. The star came from a working-class family that immigrated to the United States. The star once claimed that the strength and bravery of those around him helped him become the man that he was. "My grandfather was a really, really tough no-nonsense factory worker who emigrated from Ireland in about 1900 to Bridgeport, Conn.," the actor told the Daily News in 2010, referring to the town where he was born. "He had a big effect on me."

Dennehy continued to explain the influence that his grandfather and the elder man's peers had on him, saying, "Those guys who took a great leap out into what they knew not were the ones who were the real stars, the real heroes. Not just the Irish, of course, but all the immigrants who came and still come with nothing and build American lives."

The actor certainly seemed to be an example of how the American dream can come true and thanks to his success, the actor was able to support others.

Brian Dennehy was 'generous to a fault'

Thanks to the fact that Brian Dennehy made millions of dollars over the course of his career, he was able to turn around and help others who were perhaps less fortunate than he was. 

His daughter, Elizabeth Dennehy, addressed that side of his nature when she posted a tribute to Twitter following her father's death. "It is with heavy hearts we announce that our father, Brian passed away last night from natural causes, not Covid-related," she explained before adding that he was someone who was "[l]arger than life, generous to a fault, a proud and devoted father and grandfather," which is why "he will be missed by his wife, Jennifer, family, and many friends."

Dennehy's generous ways were exemplified back in 2012 when he stepped up to represent The Fred Gabler Fund alongside former Sex in the City and Law & Order star Chris Noth. The fund raises money to send "underprivileged children to summer sleep-away camps," according to Broadway WorldDennehy helped raise money by using his skills as an ex-stockbroker during the charity event to "join ... licensed brokers to ... complete real telephone trades with customers."

We're sure that everyone who was helped by Dennehy's generosity is remembering the actor warmly following his passing.