Photo of Eileen Brennan Eileen Brennan

A veteran character actress with a penchant for playing brassy but bighearted working women, Eileen Brennan was born Sept. 3, 1932, in Los Angeles. After studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she began to make her mark with stage productions such as "Little Mary Sunshine" and the Broadway musical "Hello, Dolly!"

Brennan segued to films in 1967, debuting in Divorce American Style. She followed up with memorable performances as a Texas waitress in The Last Picture Show (1971) and a cathouse owner in The Sting (1973). But she's best known for her Oscar-nominated supporting turn as a gruff Army captain in 1980's Private Benjamin, a role that earned Brennan an Emmy when she reprised the character in the TV version (1981-83).

In ensuing years, Brennan worked steadily as a guest on shows such as "ER" and "Will & Grace," with occasional forays back to movies, including Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous (2005). She died July 28, 2013.

Eileen Brennan in The Sting

The Sting

1973 PG

After rookie grifter Johnny Hooker tracks down veteran flim-flam man Henry Gondorff in 1930s Chicago, the duo plans to fleece a homicidal racketeer through a phony racetrack scam involving a string of double- and triple-crosses.

  • Eileen Brennan in Clue Clue
  • Eileen Brennan in Murder by Death Murder by Death
  • Eileen Brennan in Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
  • Eileen Brennan in The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking
  • Eileen Brennan in The Last Picture Show The Last Picture Show
  • Eileen Brennan in Private Benjamin Private Benjamin
  • Eileen Brennan in Jeepers Creepers Jeepers Creepers
  • Eileen Brennan in White Palace White Palace
  • Eileen Brennan in In Search of Dr. Seuss In Search of Dr. Seuss
  • Eileen Brennan in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In
  • Eileen Brennan in The Great Smokey Roadblock The Great Smokey Roadblock
  • Eileen Brennan in My Old Man My Old Man
  • Eileen Brennan in The Fourth Wise Man The Fourth Wise Man
  • Eileen Brennan in Picture This Picture This
  • Eileen Brennan in Toothless Toothless
  • Eileen Brennan in Dumb Luck Dumb Luck
  • Eileen Brennan in The Hollow The Hollow
  • Eileen Brennan in The Star Wagon The Star Wagon
  • Eileen Brennan in Daisy Miller Daisy Miller
  • Eileen Brennan in Hustle Hustle
  • Eileen Brennan in Working Working