After majoring in history at Columbia University, brawny Brian Dennehy took a string of odd jobs to pay his way through Yale Drama School, and to afford private acting lessons. His first professional break came with the Broadway production Streamers. In films and TV from 1977, Dennehy is a most versatile actor, at home playing Western baddies (Silverado), ulcerated big-city cops (F/X), serial killers (John Wayne Gacy in the made-for-TV To Catch a Killer), by-the-book military types (General Groves in Day One, another TV movie), and vacillating politicos (Presumed Innocent). One of his most rewarding film assignments was as dying architectural genius Stourley Kracklite in Peter Greenaway's The Belly of an Architect (1987). In addition to his many TV-movie roles (one of which, good-old-boy Chuck Munson in 1993's Foreign Affairs, won him a Cable Ace Award), Dennehy has starred in the weekly series Big Shamus, Little Shamus (1977), Star of the Family (1981), and Birdland (1994), as well as the sporadically produced Jack Reed feature-length mysteries. It was in one of the last-mentioned projects, Jack Reed: A Search for Justice (1994), that Dennehy made his directorial debut. Aside from his work in film and television, Dennehy has also had considerable success on the stage, particularly with his Tony-winning portrayal of Willy Loman in the 1998 Broadway revival of Death of a Salesman.