Eileen Brennan

D.O.B: Sep 03, 1932 |  Los Angeles, California, USA

24Credit Score

A supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in The Last Picture Show (1971), or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in Private Benjamin (1980), Eileen Brennan managed to transition from lovely Broadway singing ingénue to respected film and television character actress within a decades time. Her Hollywood career was hustling and bustling at the time of her near-fatal car accident in 1982.

Biography

A supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in The Last Picture Show (1971), or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in Private Benjamin (1980), Eileen Brennan managed to transition from lovely Broadway singing ingénue to respected film and television character actress within a decades time. Her Hollywood career was hustling and bustling at the time of her near-fatal car accident in 1982. With courage and spirit, she recovered from her extensive facial and leg injuries, and returned to performing... slower but wiser. On top of all this, the indomitable Eileen survived a bout of alcoholism and became recognized as a breast cancer survivor, having had a mastectomy in 1990. On camera, she still tosses out those trademark barbs to the delight of all her fans, as demonstrated by her more-recent recurring roles as the prying Mrs. Bink on 7th Heaven (1996) and as Zandra, the disparaging acting coach, on Will & Grace (1998). She was born with the highly unlikely marquee name of Verla Eileen Regina Brennan in Los Angeles, California, the child of Irish-Catholic parents Regina (Jeanne) Manahan (or Menehan), a minor silent film player, and John Gerald Brennan, a doctor. Following grade school education, she attended Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and appeared in plays with the Mask and Bauble Society during that time. She then went on to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.