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Eileen Brennan

Eileen Brennan was an American actress known for her versatile performances in film, television, and theater. She was born on September 3, 1932, in Los Angeles, California, USA, and she passed away on July 28, 2013.

Early Life and Education:

1. Eileen Brennan grew up in a show business family, with her father being a doctor to Hollywood stars, and her mother was a silent film actress.

2. She attended Georgetown University but later transferred to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City to pursue her passion for acting.


1. Brennan began her acting career on stage, performing in various theater productions and earning critical acclaim for her performances.

2. She made her Broadway debut in the play "Little Mary Sunshine" in 1959 and received a Theatre World Award for her role.

3. Eileen Brennan gained wider recognition in the film industry when she reprised her stage role as Irene Molloy in the film adaptation of the musical "Hello, Dolly!" (1969), starring Barbra Streisand.

4. One of her most iconic roles came in 1970 when she portrayed the tough Army Captain Doreen Lewis in the satirical war comedy film "MASH." Her performance earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

5. Brennan received an Emmy Award nomination for her guest appearance on the comedy series "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In."

6. She starred in several successful films, including "The Last Picture Show" (1971), "The Sting" (1973), "The Cheap Detective" (1978), and "Private Benjamin" (1980), for which she received another Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

7. In 1981, Brennan won an Emmy Award for her role as Goldie Hawn's drill instructor in the television series "Private Benjamin," a role she had originated in the film version.

8. She continued to work in film, television, and theater throughout the 1980s and 1990s, appearing in various shows and movies.

Personal Life:

1. Eileen Brennan struggled with addiction and had a serious car accident in 1982, which left her severely injured. She later discussed her experiences in her one-woman show, "Over the Limit."

2. She was married to British-born poet and photographer David Lampson from 1968 until his death in 1975. They had two sons together.


Eileen Brennan passed away on July 28, 2013, at the age of 80, in Burbank, California, from complications of bladder cancer.


Eileen Brennan's talent and contributions to the entertainment industry have left a lasting impact. Her memorable performances, particularly in "MASH" and "Private Benjamin," continue to be celebrated by fans and fellow actors alike.

Please note that the information provided here is based on the data available up until September 2021, and there may have been new developments or additional details about Eileen Brennan's life and career since then.

Personal Information

Certainly! Here are some trivia facts about Eileen Brennan:

1. Eileen Brennan's role as Captain Doreen Lewis in "MASH" (1970) was initially written for a male character. Director Robert Altman decided to cast Brennan in the role, making her the only female member of the film's main cast.

2. She received critical acclaim and an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her performance as Captain Doreen Lewis in "MASH."

3. Eileen Brennan was involved in a serious car accident in 1982, which left her with permanent injuries, including a broken leg, smashed cheekbone, and a punctured eye socket. She went through a lengthy period of recovery and rehabilitation.

4. Despite her injuries, Brennan continued her acting career and appeared in various films and TV shows after the car accident.

5. She won both a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award for her portrayal of Captain Doreen Lewis in the TV adaptation of "Private Benjamin" (1981).

6. In 1985, Eileen Brennan starred as Mrs. Peacock in the cult classic film "Clue," based on the popular board game. Her comedic performance added to the film's success and enduring popularity.

7. Brennan had a recurring role on the TV series "Will & Grace," playing the character Zandra in several episodes.

8. She made guest appearances on popular TV shows such as "7th Heaven," "Murder, She Wrote," and "Touched by an Angel."

9. Brennan was a talented singer and appeared in various musical theater productions during her career.

10. She was known for her distinctive husky voice and unique comedic timing, which made her performances memorable and endearing to audiences.

11. Eileen Brennan was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for her guest appearance in "Newhart" and for her performance in the TV movie "The Last of Mrs. Lincoln."

12. She was posthumously honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2014, recognizing her contributions to the entertainment industry.

Please note that trivia facts may change over time, and it's always a good idea to check for the latest information to ensure accuracy.