Eileen Brennan, a veteran actress best known for an Oscar-nominated turn in the 1980 comedy “Private Benjamin,” one of her many tough-talking, soft-hearted roles, has died. She was 80.
Brennan died of bladder cancer Sunday at her home in Burbank, according to her manager, Jessica Moresco.
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.
It was in her role as the growling Capt. Doreen Lewis in “Private Benjamin,” who oversaw the unlikely Army enlistee played by Goldie Hawn, that Brennan found her biggest success. 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.
-- Mark Olson, Los Angeles Times