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 Posted:   Jul 30, 2013 - 1:27 PM   
 By:   manderley   (Member)

......Well, obviously I was composing this while msmith was posting his obit. Still, I'll let it stand. Brennan is worthy of two topic headings. smile

This is really shocking to me in a way. My partner and I had a long conversation about Eileen Brennan just last night---wondering how she was doing. In the early 1980s she'd had a terrible, terrible accident---having been run-down by a car in Santa Monica---and that recovery had set her back many years. But she finally recovered (though I believe in continuing pain and with some limited mobility) and performed for many more years.

Several years ago I came across a very disturbing online video where one of her close friends had taped her at home sitting in a chair, talking with him about very mundane things. She seemed to be somewhat disoriented and disturbed, almost bordering on elder dementia, and I was very upset that this had been posted. From the comments, it appeared that others were, too. I was always especially worried about her after that.

I had worked with Brennan in the early '90s, and she was absolutely delightful---very sarcastically quippy, but also wacky and off-the-wall.

While she had a script to follow, just moments before shooting began, the director told her to ad lib and create, however she felt it.

The result was that we worked and worked to get the script sequence put on film so everything would cut and match. But she could never get through a whole speech without going off on a tangent. The other performers in the scene didn't know what the hell was going on and how they should respond. What should have been several hours of shooting for the scene ended up being almost a whole day. All of it was very funny, but it just didn't seem like it could be cut together into something which worked, so we all went home at the end of the day with great disappointment and the feeling that nothing could be used.

But, amazingly, the editor was extremely clever, used the tangents and actions and speeches that didn't match and cut the whole thing into a very rollicking and unexpected sequence.

It was charming and great fun, and one of the best things in the show.

After that, I felt that perhaps her best performances and moments on screen were likely done in that manner: Let her loose, let her create, and then work at assembling it into a cohesive whole.

I think of that day with Eileen Brennan as one of the most fascinating and delightful ones of my life---despite---or because of---the effort that went into it.

She was a totally unique and very gifted performer---and I loved her and those moments I was able to share with her.

RIP - Eileen Brennan

 Posted:   Jul 30, 2013 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

 Posted:   Jul 31, 2013 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Gordon Reeves   (Member)

A most thoughtful and touching personally-professional and professionally-personal Appreciation, Sir M.

If it could've been included in an industry memorial commemorating Ms. Brennan, surely those who knew and loved her would've felt elevated by your eloquence. smile

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