This week, the world lost an acting legend, as Brian Dennehy, who was best known for his roles in films like Tommy Boy and TV shows like NBC’s The Blacklist, passed away at the age of 81. But one performance Dennehy is arguably known for above the others is his role as First Blood’s antagonistic town sheriff, Will Teasle. It’s that connection that compelled Sylvester Stallone to pay tribute to his departed co-star through a sweet social media post.
Stallone took to Instagram yesterday to reflect on Brian Dennehy's career and of course, show reverence to the role that the late actor made iconic. Although Stallone's message was brief, it was sweet and provided a nice summation of his relationship with Dennehy and what actor meant to him:
The Rambo film series, which has seen John Rambo fight enemies domestic and foreign, wouldn’t be what it is today without First Blood’s resounding success. As Rambo was introduced to audiences as the embattled Vietnam War vet fighting a guerilla war against a small town police force that drew first blood, Dennehy’s Sheriff Teasle and his subordinates were the force that provoked his tortured character into a one-man war.
First Blood is credited as one of the breakout roles that made Brian Dennehy a fixture of ‘80s cinema, and his performance as the film’s big bad also helped the film become a huge sensation at the box office. As previously alluded to, John Rambo would be drafted into action for four more sequels, the most recent being the apparent finale, Rambo: Last Blood.
Sylvester Stallone has used his social media presence to show gratitude to his fans on several occasions in the past. However, it's hard to think of a better way to use the platform than to thank his former First Blood co-star for the experience of their pairing and for the gravitas that Brian Dennehy has been known to provide through his performances. You can get a taste of this in the clip from First Blood down below:
Sylvester Stallone has had the privilege of playing a number of iconic actors throughout they years but, in doing so, he's also worked with plenty of strong actors. Whether it be Brian Dennehy in Rambo or Talia Shire in Rocky, his performances have only been increased by those around him.
With both Sylvester Stallone and Brian Dennehy roughly at the same phase in their careers, watching their performances in First Blood is even more impressive, as they were both putting out amazing work very early one. Of the many roles that would propel Dennehy to being a legendary actor of stage, screen, and TV, Sheriff Will Teasle is still one of the highlights of the late performer’s body of work.
First Blood, as well as the rest of the Rambo series of films, are available for rental and purchase on Digital HD, Blu-ray, and DVD.