- This article is about the American actor. For the Australian Idol contestant, see Ben McKenzie (Australian Idol).
McKenzie at the Paley Center for Media in New York, May 31, 2011
|Born||Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan
September 12, 1978
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Other names||Ben McKenzie|
|Education||University of Virginia, B.A., Economics and Foreign Relations, 2001|
Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan (born September 12, 1978), known professionally as Benjamin McKenzie or Ben McKenzie, is an American actor and producer. He is known for playing Ryan Atwood in the television series The O.C. and for playing Ben Sherman in Southland. He appeared in the films Junebug and 88 Minutes which earned him a Sarasota Film Festival nomination. His first starring role in a feature film was in the 2008 indie release Johnny Got His Gun which garnered excellent reviews for his solo performance. He is currently set to play James Gordon in television series Gotham.
McKenzie was born Benjamin McKenzie Schenkkan, in Austin, Texas, to Mary Frances (Victory), a prize-winning poet, and Pieter Meade Schenkkan. He is a nephew of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, and a second cousin of actress Sarah Drew. His younger brother Nate is a Yale graduate working in avant-garde theater in New York. His youngest brother Zack is the current Editor-in-Chief of the UCLA Law Review. He changed his name for screen-credit purposes because there is an actor named Ben Schenkken registered with the Screen Actors Guild.
For middle school, he attended St. Andrew's Episcopal School, where he was friends and teammates with future Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. He then attended Austin High School, and played wide receiver and defensive back for the school's football team. From 1997-2001, he attended the University of Virginia, where he majored in Foreign Affairs and Economics.
On August 5, 2003, Fox premiered the television series The O.C., about affluent teenagers with stormy personal lives who reside in scenic Orange County, California. The show became an overnight success and it put McKenzie on the map as Ryan Atwood. McKenzie's performance in The O.C. earned him a "Choice Breakout TV Star - Male" and "Choice TV Chemistry" nominations in The Teen Choice Awards and a "Choice TV Actor - Drama/Action Adventure" and "Choice TV Actor: Drama" wins. McKenzie reportedly earned about $15,000 and $25,000 per episode throughout the show's run.
As a result of the show's success, McKenzie appeared in magazines including People, In Touch Weekly and Us Weekly. McKenzie was ranked No. 5 in Independent Online's "100 Sexiest Men Alive", was twice placed on Teen People magazine's annual list of "25 Sexiest Stars under 25". He was also voted one of InStyle's "10 Hottest Bachelors Of Summer" in July 2005. The O.C. dropped in ratings dramatically during its third and fourth seasons, and ended in early 2007.
While appearing in The O.C., McKenzie made his feature film debut in Junebug alongside Amy Adams and Embeth Davidtz. The film was nominated for "Best International Film" and "Outstanding Ensemble Acting" in the Amanda Awards and won the Sarasota Film Festival award for "Outstanding Ensemble Acting". It also received high praise at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. According to Production Weekly, McKenzie was set to star in the thriller Snakes On A Plane, formerly known as Pacific Air 121, but later dropped out to film 88 Minutes, which starred Al Pacino.
In 2008, McKenzie earned critical acclaim for his solo performance in the "live on stage, on film" version of Dalton Trumbo's 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gun, his first starring role in a feature film. He stars as Joe Bonham, a role previously played by James Cagney, Jeff Daniels, and Timothy Bottoms. The movie premiered at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX, McKenzie's hometown, while he was filming the pilot for Southland.
In 2009, he appeared on the short movie, The Eight Percent. The movie won the Delta Air Lines Fly-in Movie Contest and entered as an official selection on the Tribeca Film Festival's Short film category.
He stars as rookie police officer Ben Sherman on the NBC drama Southland, which premiered on April 9, 2009. The show was canceled while in production on its second season.TNT bought the rights for the show and showed the 7 episodes that had been produced. The show was subsequently renewed. However, the show was once again cancelled after the fifth season. McKenzie is cast to portray James Gordon as a young rookie cop in the Batman prequel Gotham.
Ben has remained a friend of fellow actors, and one time O.C. co-stars, Adam Brody and Paul Wesley. Ben adopted a rescue dog found by a friend in 2007, a brown and white pit bull named Oscar, after a character in The Odd Couple. McKenzie has dated various unidentified women, keeping very low-profile relationships.
|2005||Junebug||Johnny Johnsten||Amanda Award for Outstanding Performance In Feature Film|
|2007||88 Minutes||Mike Stempt||Sarasota Film Festival Award for Outstanding Ensemble Acting|
|2008||Johnny Got His Gun||Joe Bonham|
|2008||Every Monday Matters||Himself||Documentary film|
|2009||The Eight Percent||John Keller||Short film|
|2011||The Blisters: How Three Became Four||Dave||Also producer|
|2011||Batman: Year One||Bruce Wayne / Batman||DC Original Animated Movie (voice only)|
|2012||Decoding Annie Parker||Tom|
|2013||The Advocates||Henry Bird||TV film, filming|
|2014||How to Make Love Like an Englishman||Filming|
|2002||The District||Tim Ruskin||Episode 3.05: "Faith"|
|2003||JAG||Petty Officer Spencer||Episode 8.17: "Empty Quiver"|
|2003–2007||The O.C.||Ryan Atwood||Lead Role
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice Breakout TV Star Male (2004)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama/Action/Adventure (2004)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Actor: Drama (2005)
Nominated – Teen Choice Award for Choice TV Chemistry (2005; shared with Mischa Barton)
|2004||MADtv||Ryan Atwood||1 episode|
|2009–2013||Southland||Ben Sherman||Main Cast|
|2011||Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated||Odnarb||Episode 1.15: "The Wild Brood" (voice only)|
|2013||Men at Work||Bryan||Episode 2.06: "Tyler the Pioneer"|
|2014||Gotham||James Gordon||Main Cast|
|2004||Teen Choice Award||Choice TV Chemistry||Nominated||The O.C.|
|Choice Breakout TV Star - Male||Nominated|
|Choice TV Show: Drama/Action/Adventure||Won|
|Choice TV Actor: Drama||Nominated|
|Choice Breakout TV Show||Won|
|TCA Awards||Outstanding New Program||Nominated|
|2005||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Actor: Drama/Action/Adventure||Won|
|Choice Breakout TV Star - Male||Nominated|
|Choice TV Chemistry (with Mischa Barton)||Nominated|
|Logie Awards||Most Popular Overseas Program||Won|
|BMI Awards||Outstanding Performance in TV series||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV Show: Drama||Nominated|
|CMI Cable Awards||Breakthrough performance in TV series||Won|
|People's Choice Awards||Favorite Television Drama||Nominated|
|2006||Sarasota Film Festival||Outstanding Ensemble Acting||Won||88 Minutes|
|Teen Choice Awards||TV - Choice Drama/Action/Adventure Show||Nominated||The O.C.|
|2007||Amanda (award)||Outstanding Performance in Feature Film||Won||Junebug|
|Prism Awards||Performance in a Drama Series Episode||Nominated||The O.C.|
|BRAVO Gold Otto (Germany)||Best Male Actor||Won|
- Romano, Mary (2005). Benjamin McKenzie: Rising Star. Triumph. ISBN 1-57343-689-2 Check
- Junebug's Benjamin McKenzie Retrieved 2007-1-14. People Magazine.
- Benjamin McKenzie Variety Retrieved 2008-10-8. Variety (magazine)
- Benjamin McKenzie at the Internet Movie Database
- A brush with greatness - why I want Drew Brees to win tonight. Texascollegetennis Blog Retrieved 2010-03-08
- 'The O.C.' Cancelled Due to Poor Ratings. FoxNews.com.
- Benjamin McKenzie Us Weekly Magazine BiographyUs Weekly.
- "Benjamin McKenzie set to star in Pacific Air 121". WMovieWeb. Retrieved February 4, 2008.[dead link]
-  Johnny Got His Gun Info] Retrieved 2008-2-5.
- Andreea, Nellie (February 8, 2014). "Ben McKenzie To Star As Detective James Gordon In Fox’s Batman Series ‘Gotham’". Deadline. Retrieved February 8, 2014.