Eileen began her professional career in Chicago, her home town. She got her Equtiy card and worked in summer stock all through her high school years. After attending the University of Iowa, she went to New York, where she started working almost immediately. Her first job was in Stephen Sondheim's COMPANY. She was a pit singer in that award winning musical, and even though she was under the stage in the orchestra pit—it was a start. From there she appeared off-Broadway in a Kurt Weill revue and toured in several productions of JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WILL AND LIVING IN PARIS.
Hollywood was a logical next step. She started doing guest starring roles on television and soon became a contract player on the daytime drama DAYS OF OUR LIVES as one of its resident villains.
Some of Eileen's television credits include CRIMINAL MINDS, BLACKISH, MAD MEN, HARRY'S LAW, WORKAHOLICS, ER, BROTHERS AND SISTERS and THE GILMORE GIRLS. When shoulder pads were in fashion Eileen had a recurring role on KNOTS LANDING opposite Michael York. A more complete list of her credits can be found on imbd.
Eileen returned to New York to star in Tommy Tune's Tony Award winning musical, NINE. She played opposite Sergio Franchi as his wife, Louisa Contini. She also starred as Vi Moore in the national tour of FOOTLOOSE.
In Los Angeles theatre she played the mother in the Havok Theatre Company's production of KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, which won an Ovation Award for best musical. She also appeared in Horton Foote's THE YOUNG MAN FROM ATLANTA. At the Colony Theatre Eileen appeared in the Los Angeles premier of PUTTING IT TOGETHER, and in JACQUES BREL.... At the Rubicon Theatre she was in yet another production of JACQUES BREL followed by the role of Golde in their production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. She appeared in RADIO GALS at the Pasadena Playhouse and won a Drama- Logue Award for her role in that production as well as for her role in THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS. Other California appearances include Billy Barnes' MOVIE STAR, QUEEN OF THE STARDUST BALLROOM with Tyne Daly, and Judith Viorst's LOVE AND SHRIMP, which also played at The Ballroom in New York with Bonnie Franklin and Mariette Hartley. She enjoyed a long run of Neil Simon's RUMORS opposite Bernie Kopel.
As a member of the Musical Theatre Guild, Eileen performed the role of Fosca in MTG's West Coast premiere of Stephen Sondheim's PASSION, for which she won a Robby Award. She has had leading roles in many of this amazing company, most recently as "Big Edie" Bouvier Beals in GREY GARDENS. Other leading roles include LADY IN THE DARK, A NEW BRAIN, LITTLE WOMEN and RAGS. She also has produced several of MTG's productions and sits on their Board.
Eileen has performed her cabaret act on both coasts. She has recorded two CD's—EILEEN BARNETT LIVE AT THE CINEGRILL and a childrens' recording BROADWAY WITH A BEAT.
She lives in Los Angeles with her three dogs, and wonderful husband, actor Bruce French.