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Arts and Entertainment

Eileen Brennan, Star of 'Private Benjamin' And 'The Sting,' Dies At 80

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Actress Eileen Brennan, who was Oscar-nominated for her role as Goldie Hawn's tough Army captain in 1980's Private Benjamin, died at her home in Burbank on Sunday.

Her manager, Kim Vasilakis, confirmed the death today to the New York Times, saying the cause was bladder cancer.

Brennans other films include The Last Picture Show and The Sting.

She received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Golden Hawn's Army nemesis in Private Benjamin, then reprised the role in a 1981 TV series, for which she won an Emmy.

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Unfortunately, a car accident left her critically injured and she had to leave the show, which folded without her. While recovering, Brennan became addicted to pain medication and underwent treatment and later developed breast cancer, according to the Times.

Her film debut was in the comedy Divorce American Style opposite Debbie Reynolds and Dick Van Dyke.

She also appeared in two Neil SImon comedies, Murder by Death and The Cheap Detective, and in Clue as Mrs. Peacock.

Most recently, she had roles in 2001's Jeepers Creepers and 2005's Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous as William Shatner's mother, even though she was a year younger than him.

She received seven Emmy nominations in her lifetime, including for appearances on Taxi, Newhart, Thirtysomething, and Will & Grace, in which she had a recurring role as Zandra, Sean Hayes's acting teacher. She also had a recurring role on 7th Heaven.

Donal Logue, her co-star in 2002's Comic Book Villains praised her "great spark, laugh" on Twitter.

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