Eileen Brennan dies at 80

Star of Private Benjamin loses cancer fight.

by Amber Wilkinson

Eileen Brennan as Captain Doreen Lewis in Warner Bros film Private Benjamin
Eileen Brennan as Captain Doreen Lewis in Warner Bros film Private Benjamin Photo: Warner Bros
Actress Eileen Brennan has died, aged 80. The star, who was Oscar nominated for her role as the sadistic Captain Doreen Lewis in Goldie Hawn's 1980 comedy Private Benjamin, passed away at her home in Burbank, Los Angeles, after suffering from bladder cancer.

Brennan had a long and varied career in film and on stage, with her film roles also including the BAFTA-nominated worn-down waitress Genevieve in The Last Picture Show, brothel madam Billie in The Sting and as Mrs Peacock in murder spoof Clue.

On stage, she found success Little Mary Sunshine, Hello Dolly and The King And I.

Following a serious accident in 1982, when she was hit by a car, she became addicted to painkillers and went into rehab at the Betty Ford clinic in 1984. But she bounced back with Clue and went on in her later years to put in memorable supporting turns in films including Jeepers Creepers and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed And Fabulous.

Hawn paid tribute to her on Twitter, saying: "We have lost my old friend Eileen Brennan. No one ever made me laugh more! Now I cry. Please keep singing darling from on high. Rest."

The actress, who was divorced from David John Lampson, is survived by their two sons, Patrick Brennan and Sam Lampson.

In a statement, her family said: "She was funny and caring and truly one of a kind. Her strength and love will never be forgotten. She will be greatly missed by all of us."

Share this with others on...
News

Lost and found Nick Prueher on the VHS phenomena behind the Found Footage Festival.

Best friends forever Naomi Foner and Maggie Gyllenhaal on the growing pains of Very Good Girls.

A touch of magic, part 2 At the Magic In The Moonlight after party with Jacki Weaver, Danny Strong, Alex Karpovsky, Dana Delany and Mia Moretti.

Denzel Washington's The Equalizer to open San Sebastian US actor will receive Donostia Lifetime Achievement award.

GLAAD annual LGBT film survey released Film needs to catch up with TV, say campaigners.

A bear's guide to London Hitting the trail with Paddington.

More news and features

We're bringing you all the latest direct from the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.



We're looking forward to Frightfest

We still have reviews coming in from the Edinburgh International Film Festival and the East End Film Festival in London.



Read our full for other recent coverage.


Visit our festivals section.

Interact

More coming soon.