An accomplished actor of both stage and screen, Paul Benedict is best remembered as Harry Bentley, the long-winded British neighbor on "The Jeffersons." Born in New Mexico and raised in Massachusetts, Benedict first acted regularly with the Theatre Company of Boston before moving to New York and finding his first supporting roles in film. While already playing his distinctly elongated facial features to comic effect, a doctor from the audience of one of his plays diagnosed him with acromegaly, a pituitary disorder that might have led to premature death if he hadn't sought treatment. After a notable early appearance as a reverend in "Jeremiah Johnson," the Western directed by Sydney Pollack featuring Robert Redford in the title role, he found some small screen attention as The Mad Painter on "Sesame Street." He achieved his greatest recognition, however, for his part on the hit sitcom "The Jeffersons," playing Bentley so convincingly that many presume him to be a British actor. While finding further quirky parts in shows and features, Benedict continued to perform (and occasionally direct) for the stage, including a Broadway run of Eugene O'Neill's "Hughie" opposite Al Pacino. Other memorable big screen turns included spots in several of Christopher Guest's films including "Waiting for Guffman," and an overly critical film school professor opposite Matthew Broderick in "The Freshman."
Cast (Feature Film)
Editing (Feature Film)
Sound (Feature Film)
Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Hired as the janitor at the Charles Playhouse in Boston, Massachusetts
Appeared as an itinerant preacher in the Western "Jeremiah Johnson"
Played British neighbor Mr. Bentley on "The Jeffersons" (CBS)
Cast as the stage director who has Richard Dreyfuss play Richard III as the "queen who would be king" in "The Goodbye Girl"
Played a featured role in "This Is Spinal Tap"
Acted opposite Al Pacino in "Hughie"
Cast as Mayor Shinn in a Broadway revival of "The Music Man"