American actress Eileen Brennan was the daughter of Jean Manahan, a moderately successful silent screen actress. Brennan studied at both Georgetown University and the American Academy of Dramatic Art before making her mark as star of the 1959 off-Broadway musical Little Mary Sunshine.
Brennan was among the first-season stars of TV's [[Feature~V96660~Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In~inionomansland]], essentially doing hilarious variations of her simpering "Mary Sunshine" persona. With her 1970s film appearances in [[Feature~V28358~The Last Picture Show~thelastpictureshow]] (1971), [[Feature~V46920~The Sting~thesting]] (1972) and [[Feature~V23960~Hustle~hustle]] (1974) came the world-weary, hard-bitten characterizations with which she built her movie following. She was nominated for an Oscar for her expert interpretation of an army sergeant in Goldie Hawn's [[Feature~V39294~Private Benjamin~privatebenjamin]] (1980), then recreated the role for the 1981 TV sitcom version of this film (which won her an Emmy). While filming the TV Benjamin, Brennan was seriously injured in a car accident. The recovery was long and painful, but by 1985 she was back at work, as caustic as ever in recent films as Clue (1985), [[Feature~V54325~White Palace~whitepalace]] (1991) and the [[Feature~V28358~Last Picture Show~thelastpictureshow]] sequel [[Feature~V49237~Texasville~texasville]] (1990). She continued to work steadily in a variety of projects including Murder So Sweet and 1995's Freaky Friday. She also made guest appearances on various T shows including Murder, She Wrote, E/R, Mad About You, and Touched By an Angel. In the 21st century she could be seen in Jeepers Creepers and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous. Brennan passed away in 2013. She was 80 years old. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi