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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Remembering Eileen Brennan 1932 - 2013

I adored actress Eileen Brennan, who died Sunday at age 80. She first became known for her work in the theater, including the 1959 Off-Broadway musical, Little Mary Sunshine (in the title role) - for which she won an Obie Award for Best Actress - and the original 1964 Broadway production of Hello, Dolly! (as Irene Molloy).

Her feature film debut was in Divorce American Style (1967) starring Dick Van Dyke and Debbie Reynolds. And below you can enjoy some of her many movie and television appearances.

Brennan was a semi-regular on NBC's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In during its first season in 1968.

She was a guest star on ABC's The Ghost & Mrs. Muir on January 1, 1970.

At Long Last Love (1975)

Murder by Death (1976)

The Cheap Detective (1978) as Betty DeBoop

ABC's 13 Queens Boulevard (1979)

Brennan received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Captain Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin (1980). She later won an Emmy and a Golden Globe when she reprised the role on the 1981-83 CBS sitcom based on the film.

Pandemonium (1982)

ABC's Off the Rack (1984-85)

Brennan's other television credits include Norman Lear's All That Glitters (1977) and ABC's A New Kind of Family (1979-80) as well as Emmy-nominated guest appearances on Taxi (1981), Newhart (1989), thirtysomthing (1991) and Will & Grace (2001-06), in which she played Jack's acting teacher, Zandra, in six episodes.

Clue (1985) as Mrs. Peacock

Her other film credits include The Last Picture Show (1971), The Sting (1973), Daisy Miller (1974), FM (1978), Stella (1990) and White Palace (1990) as Susan Sarandon's sister (she also appeared opposite Sarandon in a 1980 Off-Broadway production of A Couple White Chicks Sitting Around Talking).


dmappin said...

I loved her in "Private Benjamin" with Goldie Hawn! She will be missed.

joel65913 said...

A great character actress. So distinctive, once you saw her in a part you usually couldn't imagine anyone else in it.

Loved her as Mrs. Peacock in Clue, never was crazy about Private Benjamin, at least once it passed the half way mark but she was terrific. One of the roles I remember her for the most is more obscure. The world weary DJ Mother in FM, few people did world weary as well as Eileen Brennan. Plus she was one of the very few people that the curly perm of the 70's actually worked on.

Marc said...

Hey, Joel, I liked her in "FM" as well - and I agree with you about her curly perm. :)