Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated actress Eileen Brennan has died at the age of 80. She passed away Sunday from bladder cancer.
Brennan may be best known as the tough Captain Doreen Lewis from Private Benjamin. She earned an Academy Award nomination for the film. She also appeared in the CBS sitcom based on the film in the same role, winning an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
The Emmy win came from one of her seven nominations during her career. She earned recognition for her guest performances on Newhart, thirtysomething and Will and Grace, where she played Jack’s acting teacher, Zandra.
Brennan was equally at home in film and television, with notable roles in The Last Picture Show and The Sting.
On TV, Brennan first came to prominence 45 years ago as a performer on Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. She has had guest roles on shows from All in the Family to ER. Her most notable TV work, other than Private Benjamin, is as Jack’s eccentric acting teacher on Will and Grace and as the wacky old churchgoer Mrs. Bink from 7th Heaven.
But for me, Brennan’s most famous role will always be as Mrs. Peacock, the talkative senator’s wife with an appetite for monkey’s brain soup in the movie Clue.
Brennan is survived by her two sons, daughter-in-law, sister and two grandchildren.
(Image courtesy of Warner Bros)