Veteran actress Eileen Brennan, who played captain Doreen Lewis in "Private Benjamin" alongside Goldie Hawn, has died. Brennan passed away at the age of 80 at her home in Burbank on Sunday, July 28. She suffered from bladder cancer prior to her death.
Brennan's family issued a statement in the wake of the sad news. "Our family is so grateful for the outpouring of love and respect for Eileen. She was funny and caring and truly one of a kind. Her strength and love will never be forgotten," the statement read, as quoted by Associated Press.
Brennan was born on September 3, 1932. She later attended Georgetown University and studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. She performed on stages and landed her first big stage role in "Little Mary Sunshine". She won an Obie award for the performance. In addition to "Little Mary Sunshine", she made notable appearances in "The King and I" and the original Broadway production of "Hello Dolly!" alongside Carol Channing.
The actress also appeared in 1970s films "The Last Picture Show" and "The Sting" before landing a role in "Private Benjamin" in 1980. She was nominated for Academy Awards' best supporting actress for her performance. Brennan reprised the role on CBS' sitcom and received an Emmy Award for best supporting actress in a comedy, variety or music series.
In October 1982, Brennan was seriously injured after being hit by a car. She was forced to leave the show because of the injuries. The show ended in 1983. She could not revive her popularity following the accident. In her later years, she made an appearance in a 2005 movie "Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous".
Brennan was married to David John Lampson from 1968 to 1974. She is survived by their two sons Patrick and Sam, sister Kathleen Howard and two grandchildren.