Eileen Brennan, 'Private Benjamin' Star, Dies Aged 80

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US movie and TV actress Eileen Brennan sadly passed away at the age of 80 on Sunday (28th July) after battling with bladder cancer. The mother-of-two died at home in Burbank, Los Angeles, and is survived by her ex-husband, David John Lampson, and their two sons, Patrick and Sam.

Eileen Brennan
Eileen Brennan In 1965.

Born Verla Eileen Regina Brennen in 1932 to a silent film actress and a doctor, Brennan received an Oscar nomination for her role US Army Captain Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin; the 1980 comedy where she plays Goldie Hawn's disapproving tormentor. As a result of the movie's success it was turned into a TV series from 1981-1983 and there are reportedly current talks for a modern remake.

Watch A Clip Of Eileen Brennan In Private Benjamin Alongside Goldie Hawn:

A versatile performer; Brennan was immediately recognisable for her husky voice, permed hair and an ability to play mean characters with a spiky demeanour as well as portray those with a heart of gold. Speaking to the Associated Press in 1988, as reported by BBC News, Brennan explained "I love meanies... because they have no sense of humour," "If we can't laugh at ourselves and the human condition, we're going to be mean."

Eileen Brennan
Brennan In 1984 TV Series,
Off The Rack.

Her entry into acting came when she appeared in plays at Georgetown University where she was employed in Washington, D.C. She soon developed her talent for comedy and ability to sing soprano. She appeared on New York stages before she made her foray into Hollywood with 1967's Divorce American Style. Although she was never a huge name in Hollywood, directors would choose her as a favourite, such as Peter Bogdanovich who selected Eileen for his 1971 classic The Last Picture Show, for which she received a Best Supporting Actress BAFTA nomination.

Eileen Brennan
Brennan Starring In Private Benjamin In 1980.

As a result of a serious car collision in 1985, she became addicted to painkillers and had to enter the Betty Ford rehab clinic to be cured. The last films Ms. Brennan appeared in were 2009's drama Kings of Appletown alongside Dylan Sprouse and 2005's Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Private Benjamin co-star, Goldie Hawn tweeted her anguish at the loss of her co-star and friend, saying "We have lost my old friend Eileen Brennan. No one ever made me laugh more!  Now I cry.  Please keep singing darling from on high. Rest"



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Eileen Brennan, 'Private Benjamin' Star, Dies Aged 80

US movie and TV actress Eileen Brennan sadly passed away at the age of 80 on Sunday (28th July) after battling with bladder cancer. The...

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