Passage: Eileen Brennan

Eileen Brennan as Genevieve in "The Last Picture Show" (1971).
Columbia Pictures

(CBS News) It happened this week . . . the loss of one tough-talking actress.

Eileen Brennan died last Sunday of cancer at her home in Burbank, Calif.

She'd started her career on Broadway, and had a brief run on TV's "Laugh-In," before her first significant film role: as a long-suffering waitress in "The Last Picture Show."

"I've got $4,000 worth of doctors bills. I'll probably be making cheeseburgers for your grandkids."

Other film roles quickly followed, including "The Sting" in 1973, in which she played a madam with no time for a snooping detective:

Detective: "Which way to the rooms?"
Billie (Brennan): "Through there, but I wouldn't go in there if I were you."
Detective: "What're you gonna do, call a cop?"
Billie: "I don't have to. You'd be bustin' in on the chief of police just up the hall."

And in what was probably her most beloved role, she played Army Captain Doreen Lewis opposite Goldie Hawn in the 1980 film, "Private Benjamin.

Eileen Brennan as Capt. Doreen Lewis faces a very green recruit (Goldie Hawn) in the 1981 comedy, "Private Benjamin." Warner Brothers

Brennan's performance as a no-nonsense officer won her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

And she went on to win an Emmy when she repeated the very same role the very next year in the CBS-TV series based on the show.

Critically injured when a car struck her in 1983, Eileen Brennan struggled for years with an addiction to pain medication, but she made occasional guest appearances on television.

"I will miss my old friend," Goldie Hawn said in a statement.

Eileen Brennan was 80.