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Eileen Brennan, ‘Private Benjamin’ Actress, Dies At 80

Eileen Brennan, ‘Private Benjamin’ Actress, Dies At 80

07/30/2013

Eileen Brennan, the Oscar-nominated character actress, died on Sunday in her Burbank, Calif., home after a lengthy battle with bladder cancer. She was 80.

Brennan is perhaps best known for playing Capt. Doreen Lewis opposite Goldie Hawn in Private Benjamin, for which she received an Oscar nod. She starred in a string of movies throughout the 70s, including At Long Last Love, The Sting and The Last Picture Show. Brennan also appeared in a number of TV shows, such as ER, Mad About You and Will & Grace, in which she had a six-episode arc.

While exiting a restaurant with Hawn in 1982, Brennan was involved in an accident that left her severely injured. She broke her legs, multiple bones in her face and suffered a traumatic eye injury. She then developed a painkiller addiction, which she addressed with a stint at the Betty Ford Clinic.

Ever the survivor, Brennan also fought and won a battle with breast cancer in 1990.

"Our family is so grateful for the outpouring of love and respect for Eileen," Brennan’s family said in a statement. "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."

Brennan is survived by her sons – Patrick Brennan and Sam Lampson.

– Chelsea Regan

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Read more: Eileen Brennan, Deaths

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