Eileen Brennan: 1932-2013

So that unforgettable nicotine-strained voice is silent: Eileen Brennan, whose career in film and TV spanned more than 40 years, has died, age 80.

Among Brennan’s best-known roles were Genevieve in The Last Picture Show and Capt. Lewis in Private Benjamin, as well as innumerable guest-starring stints on TV shows that ranged from All in the Family, Kojak, Magnum PI, and my particular fave: her Emmy-nominated role as illustrator Corrine Denby on Newhart.

But I will always remember her for turns as the late great Peter Falk’s love interest in Murder by Death and The Cheap Detective. Falk doing Bogie and Brennan doing…well…Brennan.

In a more genteel age, she would have been regarded as a tough broad who could hold her own in any room she stepped into.

Watch a clip from The Cheap Detective, then the famous episode from Newhart.

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