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Richard Benjamin

Richard Benjamin

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: May 22, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: director, actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Best known for his characterizations of two Philip Roth characters, in "Goodbye Columbus" (1969) and "Portnoy's Complaint" (1972), Benjamin had walk-on juvenile parts in some 1950s films and first earned adult recognition on Broadway, starring in Neil Simon's "Star-Spangled Girl" (1966). He had directed "Barefoot in the Park" in London the previous year. Other off-beat acting highlights include "Catch-22" (1970) and "The Sunshine Boys" (1975).

Best known for his characterizations of two Philip Roth characters, in "Goodbye Columbus" (1969) and "Portnoy's Complaint" (1972), Benjamin had walk-on juvenile parts in some 1950s films and first earned adult recognition on Broadway, starring in Neil Simon's "Star-Spangled Girl" (1966). He had directed "Barefoot in the Park" in London the previous year. Other off-beat acting highlights include "Catch-22" (1970) and "The Sunshine Boys" (1975).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

2.
3.
  Marci X (2003) Director
4.
5.
  Sports Pages, The (2001) Director
6.
  Tourist Trap (1998) Director
7.
  Pentagon Wars, The (1998) Director
8.
  Mrs. Winterbourne (1996) Director
9.
  Milk Money (1994) Director
10.
  Made In America (1993) Director

CAST: (feature film)

1.
3.
 Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl (2004) Oliver Frey
4.
 Marci X (2003) Ben Feld--Marci'S Father
5.
 Pentagon Wars, The (1998) Caspar Weinberger
6.
 Deconstructing Harry (1997) Ken
7.
 Lift (1991)
8.
 Packin' It In (1983) Gary Webber
9.
 Saturday the 14th (1981) John
10.
 How to Beat the High Cost of Living (1980) Albert Travis
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Played juvenile roles in "Thunder Over the Plains" (1953) and "Crime Wave" (1954)
1964:
Starred in national tour of "Barefoot in the Park"
1965:
Directed first major stage production, "Barefoot in the Park" (London)
1966:
Broadway debut as star of Neil Simon's "Star-Spangled Girl"
1967:
First regular role in TV series, as Dick Hollister in "He and She" (CBS), with wife Paula Prentiss
1969:
Adult screen acting debut, "Goodbye, Columbus", adapted from the novel by Philip Roth; had starring role
1970:
First screen pairing with wife Paula Prentiss, "Catch-22"
1971:
Starred in "The Marriage of a a Young Stockbroker", opposite Prentiss
1972:
Played leading role in second Philip Roth film adaptation "Portnoy's Complaint"
1975:
Played the agent-nephew of a vaudevillian (Walter Matthau) in "The Sunshine Boys"
1978:
Co-starred in "House Calls"
1981:
Had last feature acting role for over 15 years in; the horror spoof "Saturday the 14th"; also featured Prentiss
1982:
Feature directing debut, "My Favorite Year"
1984:
Helmed the coming of age tale "Racing with the Moon"
1986:
Had a directorial misfire with "The Money Pit"
1988:
Directed the intriguing spy thriller "Little Nikita"
1990:
Helmed "Mermaids", starring Cher
1993:
Paired Whoppi Goldberg and Ted Danson in the mildly comedic "Made in America"
1997:
Returned to film acting in a small role in Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry"
1998:
With wife Paula Prentiss, returned to stage acting in the off-Broadway comedy "Power Plays"
2003:
Directed and starred in "Marci X" with Lisa Kudrow
2004:
Directed the TV remake of Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl" starring Jeff Daniels and Patricia Heaton
2006:
Cast a the Rabbi opposite Jeremy Piven and Garry Marshall in the indie comedy "Keeping Up with the Steins" directed by Marshall's son Scott
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

The School of Performing Arts: New York , New York - 1956
Northwestern University: Evanston , Illinois - 1960

Notes

"Said critic Andrew Sarris, 'Mr. Benjamin is so ideally cast as Philip Roth [in "Goodbye, Columbus"] that it is almost frightening to think of his ever playing anything else. ... Whereas Dustin Hoffman is what clumsy intellectuals would like to be on a blind date, Richard Benjamin [alas!] is what they actually are.'" --From Premiere, November 1990.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Paula Prentiss. Actor. Italian-American Texan; co-star of TV series, "He and She"; married on October 26, 1961 in NYC.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Ross Thomas Benjamin. Born 1974; mother Paula Prentiss.
daughter:
Prentiss Benjamin. Ballerina. Mother Paula Prentiss; born c. 1978.

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