A graduate of the American Film Institute Conservatory’s first class, alongside the likes of directors David Lynch and Terrence Mallick, Dennis co-wrote the screenplay for James Mangold's 2005 Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line and beloved 1985 film Return to Oz.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, he spent three weeks interviewing Cash as he worked on the script for Walk The Line.

He also wrote and directed Angelina Jolie's 1995 film Without Evidence.

Dennis' life was tinged with tragedy - his ex-wife, actress Elizabeth Hartman, committed suicide in 1987. She starred in the 1973 film Intermission, which Dennis wrote and directed.

Survivors include his wife, Kristen - movie icon Sam Peckinpah's daughter.