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Private Benjamin (CBS 1981-1983, Lorna Patterson, Eileen Brennan)

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Private Benjamin was a sitcom based on the 1980 movie of the same name and on the characters created by Nancy Meyers, Charles Shyer, and Harvey Miller.

The movie starred Goldie Hawn as Pvt. Judy Benjamin, a fish out of water. After her husband dies, the unhappy Judy joins the army to get away from it all, not realizing that the army’s regimentation and her previous carefree lifestyle where she was always taken care of did not mesh. In the movie, Judy learns to become self-sufficient and independent.

The TV series takes Judy back to boot camp, always the funniest part of any military comedy (e.g., “Stripes”). Eileen Brennan and Hal Williams reprised their movie roles for the series, while Damita Jo Freeman appeared in both, though as different characters.

Early into the second season, Eileen Brennan was seriously injured in an automobile accident and was replaced by Polly Holliday. Brennan suffered from addiction to painkillers (as a result of the accident) for a period of time after her recovery.

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production details
USA / CBS / x25 minute episodes / 1981-1983

cast
Lorna Patterson as Pvt. Judy Benjamin
Eileen Brennan as Capt. Doreen Lewis
Hal Williams as Sgt. Ted Ross
Ann Ryerson as Pvt. Carol Winter (1981-82)
Joel Brooks as Lt. Billy Dean (1982 only)
Damita Jo Freeman as Pvt. Jackie Sims (1981-83)
Polly Holliday as Capt. Allan (final episode only)
Joyce Little as Pvt. Rayleen White (1981 only)
Robert Mandan as Col. Lawrence Fielding (1982-83)
Lisa Raggio as Pvt. Maria Gianelli (1981 only)
Francesca Roberts as Pvt. Harriet Dorsey (1981 only)
Joan Roberts as Pvt. Barbara Ann Glass (1981 only)
Wendie Jo Sperber as Pvt. Stacy Kouchalakas (1982-83)
Lucy Webb as Pvt. Luanne Hubble (1981-82)


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

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