Brian Dennehy’s family is coming to Hope this fall for the Rambo 40th anniversary celebration, and the call is out to locals for Dennehy memories.
Dennehy, who passed away in 2020, played the memorable role of Sheriff Will Teasle in the 1982 action movie, serving as the main antagonist for Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo. Dennehy was in Hope for six to eight weeks in 1981 when the movie was being shot, and interacted with many people while he was here.
His grandson, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, is putting together a project on the 40th anniversary and wants to talk to people who met his grandpa.
“We can all recall how classy of a man Brian was engaging with the locals while he wasn’t working on set,” said Brian McKinney, one of the event organizers, in a Facebook post. “Perhaps you were a server at the Gateway Restaurant, where Brian went for coffee a lot. Did you work at Freddie’s Restaurant? Brian dressed as Santa for a surprise Christmas luncheon for the seniors group one day. Did you work or volunteer for the Tillicum workshop? Brian did projects there with some of our local folks. Maybe you worked at the Kettle Valley Restaurant? The crew went there a lot when they weren’t filming. Did you see him on the street and talk with him? Maybe you were an extra on set and had interaction with him. Anything at all, we’d like to hear from you.”
There are people who remember Dennehy, like Sandra Kipp, who responded to McKinney’s post.
“I chatted with Brian many times,” she wrote. “He would come into the book store in the strip mall where I worked. Such a down to earth guy, super friendly. He was very comfortable just being around the residents, and I loved that about him.”
“I worked at Slumberlodge where Brian stayed,” Bonnie Reichelt added. “He was an awesome man and we chatted many (times) a day.”
The 40th anniversary celebration is taking place over the Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend, Oct. 7-10.
The documentary film crew will be in town before, during and afterward, and anyone who has a memory of Dennehy can reach out to McKinney on Facebook or get him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.