July 30, 2013 at 1:35 pm #106860
RIP Oscar nominee Eileen Brennan. Brennan was known for her roles in the films “The Last Picture Show,” “Private Benjamin (Oscar Nomination),” and “Clue.” She won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for the TV Series “Private Benjamin.” She also appeared in the tv shows “Laugh In,” “Taxi,” “Newhart,” “7th Heaven” and “Will and Grace.” Brennan died of bladder cancer at the age of 80.July 30, 2013 at 1:40 pm #106862
Actress Eileen Brennan Dies at 80
10:58 AM PDT 7/30/2013 by Mike Barnes
Courtesy of Everett Collection
UPDATE: She starred in such films as “The Last Picture Show” and “Private Benjamin,” for which she earned an Oscar nomination.
Eileen Brennan, the veteran actress perhaps best known for her role as the good-hearted Texas waitress in Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show, has died. She was 80.
Brennan died early Sunday at her home in Burbank of bladder cancer, her publicist told The Hollywood Reporter.
Brennan also received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress playing tough captain Doreen Lewis opposite Goldie Hawn in the fish-out-of-water comedy Private Benjamin (1980).
Brennan also memorably appeared as brothel madam Billie, a confidant of con man Paul Newman, in the Oscar best-picture winner The Sting (1973); as Peter Falk’s long-suffering secretary Tess in the Agatha Christie classic spoof Murder by Death (1976); and as Mrs. Peacock in Clue (1985).
Early in her career, the raven-haired star showed her comic chops as a regular on the dafty Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In in the late 1960s and in a memorable guest stint on All in the Family in which she’s trapped in an elevator with Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), a snooty black man, a Puerto Rican janitor and his pregnant wife.
In October 1982, Brennan had just finished dining with Hawn in Venice, Calif., when she stepped into the path of an oncoming car. She suffered severe injuries to her legs and jaw, had an eyeball wrenched from its socket and broke multiple bones in her face. That led to an addiction to prescription pain pills, followed by a dependence on antidepressants and antianxiety medication.
She made her return with a role in the ABC comedy Off the Rack in January 1984, still without feeling on the left side of her face and a steel plate in her left leg, then entered the Betty Ford Center for a six-week treatment a few months later.
“It was my only hope,” she told People magazine in 1985. “I had reached the stage where I was taking anything I could get my hands on.”
On TV, she also was a regular on such series as 13 Queens Boulevard, A New Kind of Family, Blossom and The All-New Dennis the Menace.
Survivors include her sons Sam and Patrick (an actor in Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2), daughter-in-law Jessica, sister Kate and grandchildren Liam and Maggie.
She was married to British-born poet-photographer David Lampson; they divorced in 1975.
More to come …July 30, 2013 at 1:53 pm #106863
Amazing actress, one of the best Hollywood’s character actors period. Ms. Brennan elevated every project she’s been a part of.
Terrible loss. R.I.P.July 30, 2013 at 2:33 pm #106864
RIP. The Last Picture Show is one of my favorites. She was MVP in that movie in my opinion. loved her performance.July 30, 2013 at 2:34 pm #106865
May she rest in peace.
Eileen was my pick for the 1980 Best Supporting Actress for her role in Private Benjamin.
She was also hilarious as Zandra the acting teacher on Will & Grace.July 30, 2013 at 2:44 pm #106866
I just watched “Private Benjamin” two months ago, she was so amazing in it!
R.I.P Eileen!July 30, 2013 at 2:47 pm #106867
Well, someone’s got to break the ice, and it might as well be me. I mean, I’m used to being a hostess, it’s part of my husband’s work. And it’s always difficult when a group of new friends meet together for the first time, to get acquainted. So I’m perfectly prepared to start the ball rolling. I mean, I-I have absolutely no idea what we’re doing here. Or what I’m doing here, or what this place is about, but I am determined to enjoy myself. And I’m very intrigued, and, oh my, this soup’s delicious.July 30, 2013 at 3:35 pm #106869
She was nominated for Oscar and Emmy (also won) for playing the same role. That was quite an achievement.
I remember her the most in Will & Grace. She was a hoot!
RIPJuly 30, 2013 at 3:41 pm #106870
I had the chance to see Eileen Brennan filming a scene in Pvt Benjamin (was on a private backlot tour at Warners in early 1980). She, Hawn and others were filming the scene in the swamp – as I recall a particularly funny one. What I remember is that they all seemed to be having fun, laughing between takes, with Brennan leading the way. Very relaxed, unlike a lot of movie sets.July 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm #106871
Well, someone’s got to break the ice, and it might as well be me. I mean, I’m used to being a hostess, it’s part of my husband’s work. And it’s always difficult when a group of new friends meet together for the first time, to get acquainted. So I’m perfectly prepared to start the ball rolling. I mean, I-I have absolutely no idea what we’re doing here. Or what I’m doing here, or what this place is about, but I am determined to enjoy myself. And I’m very intrigued, and, oh my, this soup’s delicious.
Loved her as Mrs. Peacock!!!!!July 30, 2013 at 3:58 pm #106872
“Actors are crazy or we wouldn’t be doing this”: Eileen Brennan
Thanks for all of your good works. RIP.July 30, 2013 at 4:27 pm #106873
Sigh, Clue was and still is one of my favorite movies. I can watch it over and over again. The entire sensemble was great but Madeline Kahn and Eileen Brennan were simply divine. Better than some of the supporting actress nominees that year.
I think Eileen should have won the Oscar for Private Benjamin. Thankfully she won an Emmy and Golden Globe for the role.July 30, 2013 at 7:06 pm #106874
She was my favorite guest star on Will & Grace along with Leslie Jordan. Both of them were incredible. She was amazing as Zondra.
And of course Mrs Peacock in Clue…