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Eileen Brennan (September 3, 1932 – July 28, 2013) was an American actress of film, television, and theater. Brennan was known for her role as Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin, for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She reprised the role for the TV adaptation, winning both a Golden Globe and Emmy for her performance. She received Emmy nominations for her guest starring roles on Newhart, Thirtysomething, Taxi and Will & Grace. Wikipedia

More about Verla Eileen Regina Brennen:

  • Filmography
  • Awards
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Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Naked Run2011Gram Malone
Adventures in Appletown2008VideoAunt Birdy
Peanut Butter2007ShortAgnes
Will & Grace2001-2006TV SeriesZandra
7th Heaven1996-2006TV SeriesGladys Bink
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous2005Carol Fields
The Amateurs2005Mrs. Cherkiss
The Hollow2004VideoJoan Van Etten
Cheaper by the Dozen2003Mrs. Drucker (DVD deleted scene) (uncredited)
Strong Medicine2003TV SeriesEvelyn Knightly
Dumb Luck2003Minnie Hitchcock
Lizzie McGuire2003TV SeriesMarge
Comic Book Villains2002VideoMrs. Cresswell
Arli$$2002TV Series
Jeepers Creepers2001The Cat Lady
The Fearing Mind2000TV SeriesIrene's Mother
Moonglow2000
The Last Great Ride1999Mimi
Touched by an Angel1999TV SeriesDolores
Pants on Fire1998Mom
Mad About You1998TV SeriesInspector #10
Nash Bridges1998TV SeriesLoretta Bettina
Veronica's Closet1997TV SeriesGrammy Anderson
Toothless1997TV MovieJoe #1
Changing Habits1997Mother Superior
Boys Life 21997Mrs. Randozza (segment "Nunzio's Second Cousin")
ER1996TV SeriesBetty
If These Walls Could Talk1996TV MovieTessie (segment "1996")
Trail of Tears1995TV MovieClara
Reckless1995Sister Margaret
Freaky Friday1995TV MoviePrincipal Handel
Thunder Alley1995TV SeriesIrma
Walker, Texas Ranger1995TV SeriesJoelle
Take Me Home Again1994TV MovieSada
In Search of Dr. Seuss1994TV MovieThe Who-Villain
Murder, She Wrote1987-1994TV SeriesLoretta Lee / Marian Simpson
Nunzio's Second Cousin1994ShortMrs. Randazzo
My Name Is Kate1994TV MovieBarbara Mannix
Recycle Rex1993ShortRose (voice)
All-New Dennis the Menace1993TV Series
Tales from the Crypt1993TV SeriesRuth Sanderson
Bonkers1993TV SeriesLilith DuPrave
Precious Victims1993TV MovieMinnie Gray
Jack's Place1993TV SeriesDina
Tribeca1993TV SeriesClaudia
Poisoned by Love: The Kern County Murders1993TV MovieMartha Catlin
Home Improvement1992TV SeriesWanda
I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore1992Frieda
Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story1992TV MovieVicky Martin
American Dreamer1991TV Series
Joey Takes a Cab1991
Deadly Intentions... Again?1991TV MovieCharlotte
Thirtysomething1991TV SeriesMargaret Weston
Blossom1991TV SeriesAgnes
White Palace1990Judy
Texasville1990Genevieve Morgan
The Ray Bradbury Theatre1990TV SeriesMrs. Annabelle Shrike
Stella1990Mrs. Wilkerson
Gravedale High1990TV SeriesMiss Dirge
It Had to Be You1989Judith
Newhart1988-1989TV SeriesCorinne Denby
Going to the Chapel1988Maude
CBS Summer Playhouse1988TV SeriesSiobhan Owens
Rented Lips1988Hotel Desk Clerk
Sticky Fingers1988Stella
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking1988Miss Bannister
Magnum, P.I.1987TV SeriesBrenda Babcock
Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife1987TV MovieSylvia
The History of White People in America: Volume II1986TV Movie
Babes in Toyland1986TV MovieMrs. Piper / Widow Hubbard
The History of White People in America1985TV Movie
Clue1985Mrs. Peacock
Off the Rack1984-1985TV SeriesKate Halloran
The Fourth Wise Man1985TV MovieJudith
Answers1985TV MovieAmanda Jackson (Segment "Twinkle, Twinkle")
The Love Boat1984TV SeriesHelen Foster
The Funny Farm1983Gail Corbin
Private Benjamin1981-1983TV SeriesCapt. Doreen Lewis
American Playhouse1982TV SeriesMillworker
Pandemonium1982Candy's Mom (as A Friend)
Incident at Crestridge1981TV MovieSara Davis
Taxi1981TV SeriesMrs. McKenzie
When the Circus Came to Town1981TV MovieJessy
Private Benjamin1980Capt. Doreen Lewis
A New Kind of Family1979-1980TV SeriesKit Flanagan
My Old Man1979TV MovieMarie
When She Was Bad...1979TV MovieMary Jensen
13 Queens Boulevard1979TV SeriesFelicia Winters
Visions1978TV Series
The Cheap Detective1978Betty DeBoop
FM1978Mother
Black Beauty1978TV Mini-SeriesAnnie Gray
The Great Smokey Roadblock1977Penelope Pearson
All That Glitters1977TV SeriesMa Packer
The Death of Richie1977TV MovieCarol Werner
Murder by Death1976Tess Skeffington
Hustle1975Paula Hollinger
Kojak1975TV SeriesJulie Loring
Barnaby Jones1975TV SeriesAnita Willson
The Night That Panicked America1975TV MovieAnn Muldoon
Knuckle1975TV MovieDelafield's Mistress
My Father's House1975TV MovieMrs. Lindholm Sr.
At Long Last Love1975Elizabeth
Insight1975TV SeriesCarol Harris
Daisy Miller1974Mrs. Walker
The Wide World of Mystery1974TV SeriesMary
Nourish the Beast1974TV MovieBaba Goya
The Sting1973Billie
The Blue Knight1973TV MovieGlenda
Scarecrow1973Darlene
Jigsaw1973TV Series
Playmates1972TV MovieAmy
McMillan & Wife1972TV SeriesDora
All in the Family1972TV SeriesAngelique McCarthy
The Last Picture Show1971Genevieve
The Most Deadly Game1970TV SeriesAlice
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir1970TV SeriesPaula Tardy
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In1968TV SeriesRegular Performer
NET Playhouse1967TV Series
Divorce American Style1967Eunice Tase
The Star Wagon1966TV MovieHallie

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
American Playhouse1982TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Cheap Detective1978performer: "La vie en rose", "Deep Purple" - uncredited
At Long Last Love1975performer: "Most Gentleman Dont Like Love", "But In The Morning No", "Friendship", "Etiquette"

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2014TV SpecialHerself - In Memoriam (credit only)
The Art of 'The Sting'2005Video documentaryHerself
Behind the Peepers: The Making of 'Jeepers Creepers'2002Video documentaryHerself
The Last Picture Show: A Look Back1999Video documentaryHerself
Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas1991DocumentaryHerself
Justiceville1987TV Short documentaryNarrator
The New Hollywood Squares1987TV SeriesHerself - Guest Appearance
The 38th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1986TV SpecialHerself - Audience Member
The 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards1985TV SpecialHerself - Presenter
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1983TV SeriesHerself - Guest
The 35th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1983TV SpecialHerself - Nominated: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series
The 34th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1982TV SpecialHerself - Nominee
Lily for President?1982TV SpecialMaggie
The Shape of Things1982TV SeriesHerself
The 8th Annual People's Choice Awards1982TV SpecialHerself - Accepting Award for Favourite New Comedy TV Program
Kraft Salutes Walt Disney World's 10th Anniversary1982TV SpecialAunt Angelique Lane
The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1981TV SpecialHerself - Winner: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series & Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
The 53rd Annual Academy Awards1981TV SpecialHerself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role
The Hollywood Squares1978TV SeriesHerself - Guest Appearance
Dinah!1975-1977TV SeriesHerself - Guest
At Long Last Cole1975TV MovieHerself
The Ed Sullivan Show1960-1963TV SeriesHerself / Singer
The Merv Griffin Show1963TV SeriesHerself - Guest

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Oscars2014TV SpecialHimself - Actress (In Memoriam)
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards2013TV SpecialHerself - Actor (In Memoriam)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryCapt. Doreen Lewis (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1982Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/MusicalPrivate Benjamin (1981)
1981Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music SeriesPrivate Benjamin (1981)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2004Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy SeriesWill & Grace (1998)
1991Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Guest Actress in a Drama SeriesThirtysomething (1987)
1989Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy SeriesNewhart (1982)
1989Razzie AwardRazzie AwardsWorst Supporting ActressThe New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
1985ACECableACE AwardsActress in a Theatrical or Dramatic SpecialAnswers (1985)
1983Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/MusicalPrivate Benjamin (1981)
1983Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music SeriesPrivate Benjamin (1981)
1982Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music SeriesPrivate Benjamin (1981)
1981OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actress in a Supporting RolePrivate Benjamin (1980)
1981Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy SeriesTaxi (1978)
1973BAFTA Film AwardBAFTA AwardsBest Supporting ActressThe Last Picture Show (1971)


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#Fact
1In 1973 Eileen Brennan had supporting acting parts in "The Sting" with Robert Redford and Paul Newman and "Scarecrow" with Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. Brennan often excelled in roles as a wisecracking hard-bitten sidekick, such as the madam in "The Sting" and her turns in the Neil Simon scripted 1976 "Murder By Death" and 1978 "The Cheap Detective." As Eileen Brennan was launching the 1979 television comedy "13 Queens Boulevard," Brennan noted how often she was cast as comedic characters on the fringe when she said, "I've just about exhausted the market for madams. I love to pay them and I hope I have given each of the ladies a certain amount of individuality. But it's always a challenge to develop new types".
2It was in her role as the growling Captain Doreen Lewis in the film "Private Benjamin," who oversaw the unlikely Army enlistee played by Goldie Hawn, that Brennan found her biggest success. The actress was the epitome of the "gruff but lovable" type, often bringing comedic sparkle to workaday frustrations while playing figures worn weary by their lives but still able to laugh off the worst. The film was a box-office hit and earned three Oscar nominations, including one for Brennan as best supporting actress. She won an EMMY for her part in the television spin-off. Brennan was nominated seven times for EMMY Awards, including for appearances on "Taxi," "Thirtysomething," "Newhart" and "Will & Grace".
3Eileen Brennan made her Hollywood film debut in the 1967 comedy "Divorce American Style" starring Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds and Jason Robards.
4Acting mentor and friend of Lorna Patterson.
5Two featured characters in Norman Lear's "All That Glitters" television series were Eileen Brennan as Ma Packer and her lazy son, Sonny Packer, played by Tim Thomerson. Sonny's (Thomerson's) role idol and wannabe impersonation of an Elvis Presley character, always strumming his guitar, practicing swinging hips and rock movements was diligently encouraged by his Ma (Eileen Brennan) Packer. Their principal abode was a run down farm shack. In preparation for the first introduction of the outlandish pair, director Herb Kenwith and Eileen requested the littered straw and dirt studio set floor be inhabited with a small pot bellied pig and a dozen chickens. The first day to video-tape Ma and Sonny Packer's introduction in the series, Eileen picked up one of the hens, holding the chicken in her arms like a pet cat, petting and soothing the clucking hen while performing her character's motherly role. The entire week of staged scenes, Eileen carried the same hen in her arms, with the chickens pecking seeds from the straw on the ramshackle shack floor. The following week, the "All That Glitters" staff of women producers decided to cancel Eileen's on-set chicken wrangler and his livestock. Arriving early on the ramshackle set for rehearsal, Eileen and Herb confronted the dull witted lady producers. Where were the Chickens? Canceled to save money on a chicken wrangler and his flock of hens! The cast and crew waited for one hour while the wrangler and his flock of hens could arrive. Thereafter, Eileen, her chicken-hen co-star, with the floor flock of hens were featured until Ma moved uptown, with Sonny becoming a full fledged rock star on a local television station talent show, landing a gig at a local Western bar and stardom! Ma Packer, now a sexy glamorous theatrical agent, became a music-rock group phenomena.
6She was cremated upon her death.
7Prior to "Hello Dolly!", she had also created the title role in the long-running Off-Broadway musical "Little Mary Sunshine" (1960).
8Best known for her role as the spiteful Captain Doreen Lewis in the comedy film Private Benjamin (1980) and the situation comedy Private Benjamin (1981).
9Has appeared with Cybill Shepherd in four films: The Last Picture Show (1971), Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975) and Texasville (1990).
10Mother-in-law of Jessica Moresco.
11While playing Miss Hannigan in a production of "Annie", she broke her leg after falling from the stage into the orchestra pit (1989).
12Recovering member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1976.
13While studying at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Eileen shared an apartment with The Golden Girls (1985) star, Rue McClanahan.
14Has two sons: actor Patrick Brennan (born on Christmas Day, 1972), a former college basketball player; and singer Sam Lampson.
15In 1982, she was seriously injured in a car crash by a drunk driver.
16Daughter of John Gerald Brennan and Regina "Jeanne" Menehan.

#Quote
1[1988] I love meanies, and this goes back to Captain Lewis in Private Benjamin (1980). You know why? Because they have no sense of humor. People who are mean or unkind or rigid - think about it - cannot laugh at themselves. If we can't laugh at ourselves and the human condition, we're going to be mean.
2Everyone hits bottom their own way. Mine came through my accident, which led to my pill addiction, which led to my birth. I say birth rather than rebirth because I feel born new. I reestablished a spiritual connection that is lost when you are taking any kind of drug. Strangely enough, I wouldn't have missed my accident. It just knocks me out to say that, but I mean it.
3[on alcohol/drug medication addiction] It's so horrible and it can be so disastrous, yet there's something about the sensitivity of the human being that has to face it. We're very sensitive people with a lot of introspection, and you get saved or you don't get saved.
4Actors are crazy or we wouldn't be doing this.

#Trademark
1Deep smoky voice

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