Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Eileen Brennan, 1932-2013

Oscar-nominated actress Eileen Brennan on Sunday at the age of 80, but the news didn't become public until yesterday. I only saw the obituary yesterday evening, which i swhy I haven't gotten around to putting up an obituary here until this morning.

Brennan received that Oscar nomination for Private Benjamin, a movie we've been reminded of recently what with TCM airing as part of Carson on TCM the interview that Goldie Hawn did when Private Benjamin came out in late 1980. Brennan, however, lost to Mary Steenburgen in Melvin and Howard, a movie about Howard Hughes and Melvin Dunmar, who claimed Hughes wrote a will leaving him a substantial sum of money. It's a movie I know I've never seen, and besides, this post is about Brennan. Private Benjamin is a movie I saw at aome point quite a few years ago, although I tend to have better memories of the TV series that was made and ran for a couple of seasons, and on which Brennan reprised her role, at least until a serious car accident. I was a kid at the time of all this, of course, which would be why I didn't get to see the movie on original release but would remember the sanitized-for-TV series. The movie involves Goldie Hawn getting married, only for her husband to die on their wedding night. Needing a change, Goldie joins the military, where she becomes the titular Pvt. Benjamin. Brennan plays drill instructor Capt. Lewis.

Brennan also did well-received roles in The Last Picture Show where she played a café owner, and The Sting, in which she played a brother owner. She also played Mrs. Peacock in Clue, the movie based on the popular board game, which is rather an odd source for movie material. At least comic books have stories.

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