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Eileen Brennan

Biography

American actress Eileen Brennan was the daughter of Jean Manahan, a moderately effective silent screen actress. Brennan examined at both Georgetown School as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Artwork prior to making her tag as star from the 1959 off-Broadway musical Small Mary Sunlight. On the top, it would appear that this creation was from personality for the earthy, sardonic Brennan most familiar to filmgoers. Not. A lampoon of insipid 1920s operettas, Small Mary Sunshine is at its lah-dee-dah way among the dirtiest musicals ever created (a thing that doesn’t appear to dawn on the countless high schools which have since created it). Brennan was one of the first-season celebrities of TV’s Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, essentially performing hilarious variants of her simpering “Mary Sunlight” persona. With her 1970s film looks within the last Picture Display (1971), The Sting (1972) and Hustle (1974) arrived the world-weary, hard-bitten characterizations with which she constructed her movie pursuing. She was nominated for an Oscar on her behalf expert interpretation of the military sergeant in Goldie Hawn’s Personal Benjamin (1980), after that recreated the part for the 1981 Television sitcom version of the film (which received her an Emmy). While filming it Benjamin, Brennan was significantly injured in a vehicle accident. The recovery was lengthy and unpleasant, but by 1985 she was back again at the job, as caustic as ever in latest films as White colored Palace (1991) as well as the Last Picture Display sequel Texasville (1990).

Quick Facts


Full Name Eileen Brennan
Date Of Birth September 3, 1932
Died July 28, 2013, Burbank, California, United States
Height 1.67 m
Profession Singer, Voice Actor
Education Georgetown University
Nationality American
Spouse David John Lampson
Children Patrick Brennan, Samuel John Lampson
Parents John Gerald Brennan, Regina Manahan
Siblings Kathleen Howard
Awards Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy, Obie Award for Best Actress, Grammy Hall of Fame
Music Songs It Only Takes a Moment, Motherhood, Elegance, Ribbons Down My Back, Dancing, Hello Dolly!: It Only Takes a Moment, Colorado Love Call, Coo Coo, Every Little Nothing, Little Mary Sunshine, Naughty Naughty Nancy, Look For A Sky Of Blue
Nominations Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress - Comedy Series, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Movies Private Benjamin, Clue, The Sting, Murder by Death, The Last Picture Show, Jeepers Creepers, The Cheap Detective, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, White Palace, At Long Last Love, Daisy Miller, Divorce American Style, Texasville, Scarecrow, Babes in Toyland, FM, Rented Lips, The Great Smokey Roadblock, Sticky Fingers, The Hollow, Stella, Boys Life 2, Last Great Ride, Comic Book Villains, Pandemonium, The Star Wagon, Changing Habits, The Death of Richie, Hustle, The Blue Knight, My Old Man, The Fourth Wise Man, If These Walls Could Talk, Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife, The Kings of Appletown, Dumb Luck, Toothless, When She Was Bad, When the Circus Came to Town, The Amateurs, In Search of Dr. Seuss, The History of White People in America, Take Me Home Again, Freaky Friday, Reckless, Poisoned by Love: The Kern County Murders, The Night That Panicked America, Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story, I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore, My Father's House
TV Shows Bonkers, Gravedale High, Taxi, Private Benjamin, A New Kind of Family, 13 Queens Boulevard, All That Glitters, Off the Rack


  • Facts
  • Filmography
  • Awards
  • Salaries
  • Quotes
  • Trademarks
  • Pictures

#Fact
1 In 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".
2 It 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".
3 Eileen Brennan made her Hollywood film debut in the 1967 comedy "Divorce American Style" starring Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Reynolds and Jason Robards.
4 Acting mentor and friend of Lorna Patterson.
5 Two 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.
6 She was cremated upon her death.
7 Prior to "Hello Dolly!", she had also created the title role in the long-running Off-Broadway musical "Little Mary Sunshine" (1960).
8 Best known for her role as the spiteful Captain Doreen Lewis in the comedy film Private Benjamin (1980) and the situation comedy Private Benjamin (1981).
9 Has appeared with Cybill Shepherd in four films: The Last Picture Show (1971), Daisy Miller (1974), At Long Last Love (1975) and Texasville (1990).
10 Mother-in-law of Jessica Moresco.
11 While playing Miss Hannigan in a production of "Annie", she broke her leg after falling from the stage into the orchestra pit (1989).
12 Recovering member of Alcoholics Anonymous since 1976.
13 While studying at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Eileen shared an apartment with The Golden Girls (1985) star, Rue McClanahan.
14 Has two sons: actor Patrick Brennan (born on Christmas Day, 1972), a former college basketball player; and singer Sam Lampson.
15 In 1982, she was seriously injured in a car crash by a drunk driver.
16 Daughter of John Gerald Brennan and Regina "Jeanne" Menehan.


Actress

Actress

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Naked Run 2011 Gram Malone
Adventures in Appletown 2008 Video Aunt Birdy
Peanut Butter 2007 Short Agnes
Will & Grace 2001-2006 TV Series Zandra
7th Heaven 1996-2006 TV Series Gladys Bink
Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous 2005 Carol Fields
The Amateurs 2005 Mrs. Cherkiss
The Hollow 2004 Video Joan Van Etten
Cheaper by the Dozen 2003 Mrs. Drucker (DVD deleted scene) (uncredited)
Strong Medicine 2003 TV Series Evelyn Knightly
Dumb Luck 2003 Minnie Hitchcock
Lizzie McGuire 2003 TV Series Marge
Comic Book Villains 2002 Video Mrs. Cresswell
Arli$$ 2002 TV Series
Jeepers Creepers 2001 The Cat Lady
The Fearing Mind 2000 TV Series Irene's Mother
Moonglow 2000
The Last Great Ride 1999 Pamela Mimi Mackensie
Touched by an Angel 1999 TV Series Dolores Freeman
Pants on Fire 1998 Mom
Mad About You 1998 TV Series Inspector #10
Nash Bridges 1998 TV Series Loretta Bettina
Veronica's Closet 1997 TV Series Grammy Anderson
Toothless 1997 TV Movie Joe #1
Changing Habits 1997 Mother Superior
Boys Life 2 1997 Mrs. Randozza (segment "Nunzio's Second Cousin")
ER 1996 TV Series Betty
If These Walls Could Talk 1996 TV Movie Tessie (segment "1996")
Trail of Tears 1995 TV Movie Clara
Reckless 1995 Sister Margaret
Freaky Friday 1995 TV Movie Principal Handel
Thunder Alley 1995 TV Series Irma
Walker, Texas Ranger 1995 TV Series Joelle
Take Me Home Again 1994 TV Movie Sada
In Search of Dr. Seuss 1994 TV Movie The Who-Villian
Murder, She Wrote 1987-1994 TV Series Loretta Lee / Marian Simpson
Nunzio's Second Cousin 1994 Short Mrs. Randazzo
Winnetka Road 1994 TV Series Sister Bernadette
My Name Is Kate 1994 TV Movie Barbara Mannix
Recycle Rex 1993 Short Rose (voice)
All-New Dennis the Menace 1993 TV Series
Tales from the Crypt 1993 TV Series Ruth Sanderson
Bonkers 1993 TV Series Lilith DuPrave
Precious Victims 1993 TV Movie Minnie Gray
Jack's Place 1993 TV Series Dina
Tribeca 1993 TV Series Claudia
Poisoned by Love: The Kern County Murders 1993 TV Movie Martha Catlin
Home Improvement 1992 TV Series Wanda
I Don't Buy Kisses Anymore 1992 Frieda
Taking Back My Life: The Nancy Ziegenmeyer Story 1992 TV Movie Vicky Martin
American Dreamer 1991 TV Series
Joey Takes a Cab 1991
Deadly Intentions... Again? 1991 TV Movie Charlotte
Thirtysomething 1991 TV Series Margaret Weston
Blossom 1991 TV Series Agnes
White Palace 1990 Judy
Texasville 1990 Genevieve Morgan
The Ray Bradbury Theater 1990 TV Series Mrs. Annabelle Shrike
Stella 1990 Mrs. Wilkerson
Gravedale High 1990 TV Series Miss Dirge
It Had to Be You 1989 Judith
Newhart 1988-1989 TV Series Corinne Denby
Going to the Chapel 1988 Maude
CBS Summer Playhouse 1988 TV Series Siobhan Owens
Rented Lips 1988 Hotel Desk Clerk
Sticky Fingers 1988 Stella
The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking 1988 Miss Bannister
Magnum, P.I. 1987 TV Series Brenda Babcock
Blood Vows: The Story of a Mafia Wife 1987 TV Movie Sylvia
The History of White People in America: Volume II 1986 TV Movie
Babes in Toyland 1986 TV Movie Mrs. Piper / Widow Hubbard
The History of White People in America 1985 TV Movie
Clue 1985 Mrs. Peacock
Off the Rack 1984-1985 TV Series Kate Halloran
The Fourth Wise Man 1985 TV Movie Judith
Answers 1985 TV Movie Amanda Jackson (Segment "Twinkle, Twinkle")
The Love Boat 1984 TV Series Helen Foster
The Funny Farm 1983 Gail Corbin
Private Benjamin 1981-1983 TV Series Capt. Doreen Lewis
American Playhouse 1982 TV Series Millworker
Pandemonium 1982 Candy's Mom (as A Friend)
Incident at Crestridge 1981 TV Movie Sara Davis
Taxi 1981 TV Series Mrs. McKenzie
When the Circus Came to Town 1981 TV Movie Jessy
Private Benjamin 1980 Capt. Doreen Lewis
A New Kind of Family 1979-1980 TV Series Kit Flanagan
My Old Man 1979 TV Movie Marie
When She Was Bad... 1979 TV Movie Mary Jensen
13 Queens Boulevard 1979 TV Series Felicia Winters
Visions 1978 TV Series
The Cheap Detective 1978 Betty DeBoop
FM 1978 Mother
Black Beauty 1978 TV Mini-Series Annie Gray
The Last of the Cowboys 1977 Penelope Pearson
All That Glitters 1977 TV Series Ma Packer
The Death of Richie 1977 TV Movie Carol Werner
Murder by Death 1976 Tess Skeffington
Hustle 1975 Paula Hollinger
Kojak 1975 TV Series Julie Loring
Barnaby Jones 1975 TV Series Anita Willson
The Night That Panicked America 1975 TV Movie Ann Muldoon
Knuckle 1975 TV Movie Delafield's Mistress
My Father's House 1975 TV Movie Mrs. Lindholm Sr.
At Long Last Love 1975 Elizabeth
Insight 1975 TV Series Carol Harris
Nourish the Beast 1974 TV Movie Baba Goya
Daisy Miller 1974 Mrs. Walker
The Wide World of Mystery 1974 TV Series Mary
The Sting 1973 Billie
The Blue Knight 1973 TV Movie Glenda
Scarecrow 1973 Darlene
Jigsaw 1973 TV Series
Playmates 1972 TV Movie Amy
McMillan & Wife 1972 TV Series Nora Dane
All in the Family 1972 TV Series Angelique McCarthy
The Last Picture Show 1971 Genevieve
The Most Deadly Game 1970 TV Series Alice
The Ghost & Mrs. Muir 1970 TV Series Paula Tardy
Laugh-In 1968 TV Series Regular Performer
NET Playhouse 1967 TV Series
Divorce American Style 1967 Eunice Tase
The Star Wagon 1966 TV Movie Hallie
Frontiers of Faith 1961 TV Series

Soundtrack

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
American Playhouse 1982 TV Series performer - 1 episode
The Cheap Detective 1978 performer: "La Vie en Rose", "Deep Purple" uncredited
At Long Last Love 1975 performer: "Most Gentleman Don't Like Love" uncredited, "But In The Morning No" uncredited, "Friendship", "Etiquette" uncredited

Thanks

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Clue 2016/I in memory of filming

Self

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The Art of 'The Sting' 2005 Video documentary Herself
Behind the Peepers: The Making of 'Jeepers Creepers' 2002 Video documentary Herself
The Last Picture Show: A Look Back 1999 Video documentary Herself
Picture This: The Times of Peter Bogdanovich in Archer City, Texas 1991 Documentary Herself
Justiceville 1987 TV Short documentary Narrator
The New Hollywood Squares 1987 TV Series Herself - Guest Appearance
The 38th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1986 TV Special Herself - Audience Member
The 42nd Annual Golden Globe Awards 1985 TV Special Herself - Presenter
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 1983 TV Series Herself - Guest
The 35th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1983 TV Special Herself - Nominated: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series
The 34th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1982 TV Special Herself - Nominated: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series
Lily for President? 1982 TV Special Maggie
The Shape of Things 1982 TV Series Herself
The 8th Annual People's Choice Awards 1982 TV Special Herself - Accepting Award for Favourite New Comedy TV Program
The John Davidson Show 1982 TV Series Herself
The 39th Annual Golden Globe Awards 1982 TV Special documentary Herself
Kraft Salutes Walt Disney World's 10th Anniversary 1982 TV Special Aunt Angelique Lane
The 33rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1981 TV Special Herself - Winner: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series & Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
The 53rd Annual Academy Awards 1981 TV Special Herself - Nominee: Best Actress in a Supporting Role
The Hollywood Squares 1978 TV Series Herself - Guest Appearance
Dinah! 1975-1977 TV Series Herself - Guest
At Long Last Cole 1975 TV Movie Herself
The Ed Sullivan Show 1960-1963 TV Series Herself / Singer
The Merv Griffin Show 1963 TV Series Herself - Guest
Music for a Spring Night 1960 TV Series Herself

Archive Footage

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
The 86th Annual Academy Awards 2014 TV Special Himself - Actress (In Memoriam)
20th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2014 TV Special Herself - In Memoriam
The 65th Primetime Emmy Awards 2013 TV Special Herself - Actor (In Memoriam)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter 1982 TV Movie documentary Actress - 'Private Benjamin' (uncredited)

Won awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1982 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical Private Benjamin (1981)
1981 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series Private Benjamin (1981)

Nominated awards

Nominated awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
2004 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Will & Grace (1998)
1991 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Thirtysomething (1987)
1989 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Newhart (1982)
1989 Razzie Award Razzie Awards Worst Supporting Actress The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking (1988)
1985 ACE CableACE Awards Actress in a Theatrical or Dramatic Special Answers (1985)
1983 Golden Globe Golden Globes, USA Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical Private Benjamin (1981)
1983 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Variety or Music Series Private Benjamin (1981)
1982 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Variety or Music Series Private Benjamin (1981)
1981 Oscar Academy Awards, USA Best Actress in a Supporting Role Private Benjamin (1980)
1981 Primetime Emmy Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Taxi (1978)
1973 BAFTA Film Award BAFTA Awards Best Supporting Actress The Last Picture Show (1971)


Looks like we don't have salary information. Sorry!


#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.
2 Everyone 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.
4 Actors are crazy or we wouldn't be doing this.

#Trademark
1 Deep smoky voice

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