Brian Dennehy

  1. Brian Cox, Manhunter, 1985.     Until he recommended Cox to director Michael Mann (“Go see his Rat in the Skull off-Bradway”), Dennehy was in the mix for the first Hannibal Lecter… Or, Lektor in this version. Gene Hackman was almost the second in Silence of the Lambs, 1990. As IMDb cleverly pointed out, when Cox played Lecter, Anthony Hopkins was King Lear at the UK’s National Theatre – and vice-versa.
  2. Danny Glover, Lethal Weapon, 1986.     As if anyone other than Glover could have been Mel Gibson’s cop partner. Anyway, Dennehy was done with cops. The scripted Roger Murtaugh had no stipulated ethnicity and heeding the 48 Hrs lesson of Eddie Murphy-Nick Nolte, casting icon Marion Dougherty suggested Glover (impressing her in The Colour Purple) and Gibson (there were 39 other possibilities for Martin Riggs!). She had Warners fly them in from Chicago and Sydney, and the rest, as they say, was… sequels galore.
  3. Bob Hoskins, Heart Condition, 1990.     Considered early for the bigot cop (therefore: big/burly/heavy) haunted by the ghost of his murdered black partner.
  4. Ed Asner, JFK, 1991.



 Birth year: 1938Death year: 2020Other name: Casting Calls:  4