Thursday, September 3, 2009
Eileen Brennan is an extremely gifted & versatile actor who is able to produce dramatic depths, like her bone-tired, but amiable waitress in The Last Picture Show (1971), a role she reprised in the sequel Texasville, or comedy heights, such as her tough, masochistic drill captain in Private Benjamin (Oscar nomination 1980), Eileen Brennan managed to move from a lovely musical comedy ingénue (She played the title role in Little Mary Sunshine & was the original Irene Malloy in Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing) to a well respected film & TV character actress within a decade's time. In 1982, with her Hollywood career in full gear, after a dinner out with Goldie Hawn, she was struck by a car while crossing the street in Hollywood. With courage & spirit, she recovered from her extensive facial & leg injuries, & returned to performing. The unsinkable Ms Brennan survived a bout of alcoholism, an addiction to pain killers following the accident & she is a breast cancer survivor & activist. I love her singing voice (try the underrated At Long Last Love) & her trademark acid retorts perfectly demonstrated is her roles in The Sting & Murder By Death, a favorite of mine- as Zandra, the disparaging acting coach, on Will & Grace. She is a long time favorite of the Husband's.