Actress Eileen Brennan, who appeared in such films as The Last Picture Show and Murder by Death, died 28 July 2013 at the age of 80. The cause was bladder cancer.
Eileen Brennan was born on 3 September 1932 in Los Angeles, California. She attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and then trained in acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Her first major role was in the off-Broadway production Little Miss Sunshine in 1959. She made her Broadway debut in The Student Gypsy in 1963. Her television debut was a production of The Star Wagon that aired on NET in 1966. She made her film debut in Divorce American Style (1967). In the Sixties she was a regular on the television show Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. She made guest appearances on the TV shows The Ghost & Mrs. Muir and The Most Deadly Game. On Broadway she appeared in Hello, Dolly.
In the Seventies Miss Brennan appeared in such films as The Last Picture Show (1971), Scarecrow (1973), The Sting (1973), Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975), Hustle (1975), Murder by Death (1976), The Cheap Detective (1978), and Private Benjamin (1980). She was a regular on the television shows All That Glitters, 13 Queens Boulevard, and A New Kind of Family. She guest starred on the shows All in the Family, McMillan & Wife, Jigsaw, Insight, and Visions.
In the Eighties she appeared in the films Pandemonium (1982), The Funny Farm (1983), Clue (1985), The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988), Sticky Fingers (1988), Rented Lips (1988), Going to the Chapel (1988), It Had to Be You (1989), Stella (1990), Texasville (1990), and White Palace (1990). She was a regular on the shows Private Benjamin and Off the Rack. She guest starred on the shows Taxi, The Love Boat, Magnum P.I., Newhart, and The Ray Bradbury Theatre.
In the Nineties Eileen Brennan appeared in such films as Joey Takes a Cab (1991), I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore (1992), Nunzio's Second Cousin (1994), Reckless (1995), Boys Life 2 (1997), Changing Habits (1997), Pants on Fire (1998), and Moonglow (2000). She guest starred on the shows Blossom, thirtysomething, American Dreamer, Home Improvement, Murder She Wrote, Walker Texas Ranger, ER, Mad About You, and Touched by An Angel. From the Naughts into the Teens she appeared in the films Jeepers Creepers (2001), Dumb Luck (2003), Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005), Peanut Butter (2007), The Kings of Appletown (2009), and Naked Run (2011). She guest starred on such shows as Arli$$, Strong Medicine, 7th Heaven, and Will & Grace.
Eileen Brennan was an immensely talented actress with a gift for both comedy and drama. She could play almost anything, from the jaded waitress in The Last Picture Show to hard as nails Captain Lewis in Private Benjamin to grande dame Mrs. Peacock in Clue. Over the years she was nominated for an Oscar and for multiple Emmys, and with good reason. Few actresses of her time were as talented as Eileen Brennan.