Actress Eileen Brennan, known for a husky voice and sweet demeanor, has died.
In a statement, Brennan’s family remembered her as “funny and caring and truly one of a kind,” according to news from BBC, which also quoted her managers as stating that actress Brennan, 80, passed away on Sunday at her home in Burbank after suffering from bladder cancer.
Fellow actress Goldie Hawn, who played dippy “Private Benjamin” to her tough-talking fellow actor Brennan’s “Captain Doreen Lewis,” stated:
“Our world has lost a rare human. Eileen was a brilliant comedian, a powerful dramatic actress and had the voice of an angel.”
Brennan earned a best supporting actress Oscar nomination for her role as US Army Captain Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin, but she began life as Verla Eileen Regina Brennan in September 1932, according to information from the BBC, and actually started her career on the stages of New York before moving out to Hollywood in the late 1960s.
She reprised the role of Doreen Lewis in Private Benjamin in an adapted TV series from 1981 to 1983, and won both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for those efforts.
From the Hollywood Reporter comes the statement that early in Brennan’s career she had “her comic chops” as a regular on the Rowan & Martin Laugh-In during the late 60s and also as a guest on the All in the Family television show. In that sit-com, Brennan played a lady who was trapped in an elevator with Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), a snooty black guy (Roscoe Lee Browne) and a Puerto Rican janitor (Hector Elizondo) with his pregnant wife (Serafina Mendoza).
From the realm of Twitter, actors said goodbye.
Michael McKean wrote:
“Eileen Brennan was a brilliant actress, a tough & tender woman and a comic angel; RIP, pal.”
Others tweeted, according to Heavy.com:
“So sad to hear of Eileen Brennan’s death. She was hilarious to work with on W&G. She always made me laugh during my scenes with her.”
“Rest in peace Eileen Brennan, you were a great Mrs. Bink, we were lucky to have you as an influence on our young camden souls… #7thHeaven”
“So blessed to have worked with Eileen Brennan. She was incredible as Mrs. Bink. #7thHeaven she will be missed! Thank you for the memories!”
Surviving are Brennan’s sons Sam and Patrick (an actor in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2), daughter-in-law Jessica (a documentary writer-producer), sister Kate and grandchildren Liam and Maggie.