Local News

 

Memorial Planned for 'Clue' actress Eileen Brennan, Dead at 80

Memorial Planned for 'Clue' actress Eileen Brennan, Dead at 80

BURBANK (CNS) - Funeral services were pending today for Eileen Brennan, the husky-voiced actress known for her Oscar-nominated role as a tough-talking drill instructor opposite Goldie Hawn in “Private Benjamin.”

Brennan, 80, died Sunday in Burbank. Her publicist told The Hollywood Reporter the actress had been battling bladder cancer.

A Los Angeles native, Brennan was a regular on “Rowan & Martin's Laugh- In” in 1968 before moving on to a series of guest appearances on shows including “All in the Family” and “McMillan & Wife.”

In 1971, she appeared as Texas waitress Genevieve in “The Last Picture Show.” Director Peter Bogdanovich went on to cast her three more of his films, including “Texasville” and “Daisy Miller.”

Her other film credits included “The Sting,” “Murder By Death,”  “Clue” and “The Cheap Detective.”

In 1980, she portrayed Capt. Doreen Lewis, a hard-nosed drill instructor, opposite Hawn, who played an aloof society woman who joins the Army and finds it a more daunting challenge than she expected. Brennan earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress for her work in the film.   

She reprised the role in a television series that lasted three years.

Brennan continued making sporadic television and film appearances, showing up on shows such as “The Love Boat,” “Magnum P.I.,” “Newhart,” “Blossom,” “thirtysomething” and “Home Improvement.” She had recurring roles on “7th Heaven” and “Will & Grace.” She earned Emmy nominations for her guest appearances on “Will & Grace,” “thirtysomething” and “Newhart.”

Her only Emmy win was in 1981 for “Private Benjamin.”

Brennan was severely injured in 1982 when she was hit by a car in Venice after dining
with Hawn. She broke multiple bones, and wound up with an addition to prescription pain pills that led her to undergo treatment at the Betty Ford Center.

“We have lost my old friend Eileen Brennan,” Hawn wrote on her Twitter page today. “No one ever made me laugh more. Now I cry. Please keep singing darling from on high.”

 

More Articles