Julie Benz

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Julie Benz
Julie Benz cropped 2010.jpg
Benz at PaleyFest2010's Dexter night at the Saban Theatre on March 4, 2010
Born Julie M. Benz
(1972-05-01) May 1, 1972 (age 42)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater New York University
Occupation Actress
Years active 1990–present
Spouse(s) John Kassir (m. 1998–2007)
Rich Orosco (m. 2012)
Website
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialJulieBenz

Julie M. Benz (born May 1, 1972) is an American actress, known for her roles as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (1997–2004) and Rita Bennett on Dexter (2006–2010), for which she won the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Early life[edit]

Benz was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[1] Her mother, Joanne Marie (Seemiller), was a figure skater, and her father, George Benz, Jr., is a surgeon in Pittsburgh.[2] The family settled in nearby Murrysville when Benz was two, and she started ice skating when she was three.[3] She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her skating partner David Schilling, finishing in 13th place.[4][5] Her older brother and sister, Jeffrey and Jennifer, were the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally. When Benz was 14, she suffered a stress fracture in her right leg and had to take time off. She grew up in Murrysville, graduating from Franklin Regional High School.[6]

Career[edit]

At age 15, Benz was told by an acting coach that she would never succeed as an actress. According to Benz, "I remember the teacher telling me I should not even try acting. I still have the report card where she was like, 'You will never be an actor. Your voice is horrible.' That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I was like, 'I'll show you'."[7] By 1989, with her figure skating career over, Benz became involved in local theater, where she was cast in the play Street Law. Her first movie role was a small speaking part in "The Black Cat" segment of the Dario Argento/George A. Romero horror movie Two Evil Eyes (1990).[8] A year later, she was cast in the TV show Hi Honey, I'm Home (1991),[5] which was canceled after two seasons.

After graduating from high school, Benz studied acting at New York University. After graduating from NYU in 1993,[6] she moved to Los Angeles. Two weeks after her move, she obtained a bit part in a 1994 episode of Married... with Children, playing a girl who wanted to lose her virginity to Bud Bundy.[7] Her subsequent roles include an unaired Aaron Spelling television pilot Crosstown Traffic. She starred in another unaired TV pilot called Empire in 1995. Her other TV shows included Hang Time, High Tide, Step by Step and Boy Meets World, plus a small role in the TV movie The Barefoot Executive. She had an uncredited role in Black Sheep and appearances in Diagnosis: Murder, Sliders and The Single Guy. She played Christy in the TV movie Hearts Adrift and a lead role as Julie Falcon in Darkdrive.

In 1996, Benz auditioned for the role of Buffy Summers for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but lost the role to Sarah Michelle Gellar. However, she was offered the small role of the vampire Darla in the pilot episode. Her performance was so well-received that her part was expanded to a few more episodes. The role helped launch her career. She appeared in more TV shows such as The Big Easy and Fame L.A. along with a small role as a receptionist in the movie As Good as It Gets (1997). She starred in the short spoof film Eating Las Vegas and the unaired TV pilot Veronica's Video, had a small uncredited role in the TV movie A Walton Easter and a small role in Inventing the Abbotts. In 1998, she had a recurring role as Joplin Russell in the TV show Ask Harriet (though the show was canceled and only two of her appearances aired), then guest-starred on Conrad Bloom and The King of Queens. She made two movies, the dark comedy Jawbreaker and Dirt Merchant, before landing a lead role in another TV show called Payne. She played undercover FBI Special Unit agent Kathleen Topolsky on Roswell during its first season, starred in the TV movie Satan's School for Girls, the unaired TV pilot Good Guys/Bad Guys and had a lead role in the horror movie parody Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth.

Benz at the 2012 Comic-Con in San Diego

She reprised her role as Darla in 2000 for the Buffy spin-off series Angel, appearing in every season for at least one episode. She was the only white actor featured in the principal cast of the romantic comedy The Brothers. She was a guest host for the TV show Rendez-View. She was cast as Ellie Sparks in Glory Days and appeared in the unaired pilot; however, she left the show. She guest starred on She Spies and was in the featured cast for the mini-series Taken.[9] She did various voices for the video game Hot Shots Golf Fore!, appeared in the short film The Midget Stays in the Picture and took over the role of Ursula for George of the Jungle 2.

Benz appeared in Peacemakers, Coupling, NCIS and Oliver Beene. She landed the lead role of Annie Garrett in the Hallmark TV movie The Long Shot.[10] Benz also provided the voice of Miranda Keyes for the video game Halo 2, though she did not return to the role in the sequel Halo 3 as Bungie wanted to try a new direction with the Miranda Keyes voice by giving the character an accent, replaced by Justis Bolding. She played the lead role of Danielle in Bad Girls From Valley High (a film shot in 2000 under the title A Fate Totally Worse Than Death) which was released on DVD in 2005. She had a small role in the critically acclaimed TV movie Lackawanna Blues. In the Sci-Fi Channel original film Locusts: The 8th Plague, she played the lead female role Vicky. She also appeared in the straight-to-DVD movie 8mm 2 as Lynn. The film was originally called The Velvet Side of Hell and was not supposed to be a sequel to 8MM. Benz appeared in episodes of Supernatural, CSI: Miami, Law & Order and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She had a supporting role in a Swedish independent movie called Kill Your Darlings, a lead role in the Lifetime movie Circle of Friends and joined the cast of TV show Dexter as Rita Bennett.[11] Benz played a lead role in the fifth film of the popular horror franchise, Saw V, as Brit, a real-estate developer who is one of Jigsaw's five victims. She had a supporting role in Punisher: War Zone as Angela. Benz co-starred with Sylvester Stallone in 2008's Rambo, the fourth film of that series.

She plays the title role in the short film Kidnapping Caitlynn, written by her close friend Jenny Mollen, premiered at the Vail Film Festival 2009 and was released online April 6, 2009.[12] She starred in the Lifetime movie Held Hostage as Michelle Estey.[13] in July. She also starred in the Hallmark Channel movie Uncorked[14] as Johnny Prentiss[15] which premiered in the UK in July 2009. She is the lead female character Special Agent Eunice Bloom in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day which had a limited release on October 30, 2009, and was released on DVD March 9, 2010. She has been cast in another indie film called Bedrooms as Anna.[16] She played Frankie in the 2011 film Answers to Nothing.

Benz appeared on The Soup with Joel McHale. Benz next took a recurring role on Desperate Housewives as Robin Gallagher, a stripper with a heart of gold and a Masters degree in education who gets offered the chance to transition into a more legitimate career.[17] The character of Robin is further developed when the audience discovers she is a lesbian and begins an affair with housewife Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany).[18] After the Season 4 finale of Dexter, she returned for the Season 5 premiere.[19]

In early 2010, ABC announced that Benz had landed a lead role as Stephanie Powell, in the network's drama pilot No Ordinary Family.[20] Production of the series commenced the following May and it premiered on September 28, 2010,[21] as part of the 2010–11 season.[22] On May 13, 2011, No Ordinary Family was canceled after one season with only twenty episodes filmed. In 2011, she was cast in the new CBS TV show A Gifted Man. She was originally a co-star[23] but was downgraded to recurring. A Gifted Man was canceled by CBS in May 2012 after one season of 16 episodes. She will also be starring in TV movie Ricochet as Elise Laird.[24] Benz plays the lead female role, Mayor Amanda Rosewater, in the new science fiction series Defiance[25] and also stars in the upcoming indie movie Supremacy.[26] and the unaired TV pilot Middle Ages.[27]

Personal life[edit]

Benz married actor John Kassir on May 30, 1998. She filed for divorce in December 2007.[28][29] In 2011, she became engaged to Rich Orosco, a partner at B360 Studios,[30] and they married on May 5, 2012.[31]

Filmography[edit]

Film
Year Title Role Notes
1990 Two Evil Eyes Betty Segment: "The Black Cat"
1996 Black Sheep Woman Uncredited
1996 Darkdrive Julie Falcon
1997 Eating Las Vegas Sheila Short film
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Co-ed
1997 As Good as It Gets Receptionist
1999 Jawbreaker Marcie Fox
2000 Satan's School for Girls Alison Kingsley
2000 Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth Barbara
2000 Bad Girls From Valley High Danielle
2001 Brothers, TheThe Brothers Jesse Caldwell
2003 Midget Stays in the Picture, TheThe Midget Stays in the Picture A-List Actress Short film
2002 George of the Jungle 2 Ursula, Queen of the Jungle
2005 8mm 2 Lynn
2005 Locusts: The 8th Plague Vicky
2006 Kill Your Darlings Katherine
2008 Rambo Sarah Miller
2008 Saw V Brit Steddison
2008 Punisher: War Zone Angela Donatelli
2009 Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, TheThe Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Eunice Bloom
2010 Bedrooms Anna
2011 Ricochet Elise Laird
2011 Answers to Nothing Frankie
2013 Supremacy
2013 Sole Custody Zoey
2013 Abducted
Television
Year Title Role Notes
1991–1992 Hi Honey, I'm Home! Babs Nielson 14 episodes
1994 Married... with Children Sascha Episode: "Field of Screams"
1995 Crosstown Traffic Unknown role Unaired TV series pilot
1995 Empire Christine Lambert Unaired TV series pilot
1995 Hang Time Linda Cantrell Episode: "Earl Makes the Grade"
1995 Barefoot Executive, TheThe Barefoot Executive Sexy Woman
1995 High Tide Joanna Craig Episode: "Sea No Evil"
1995 Step by Step Tawny Episode: "The Wall"
1996 Boy Meets World Bianca Episode: "City Slackers"
1996 Hearts Adrift Christy TV
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Julie Miller Episode: "Murder on Thin Ice"
1996 Sliders Jenny Michener Episode: "The Electric Twister Acid Test"
1996 Single Guy, TheThe Single Guy Cranberries Girl Episode: "Love Train"
1997 Veronica's Video Heidi Unaired TV series pilot
1997 Walton Easter A Walton Easter Jeannie Uncredited
1997 Big Easy, TheThe Big Easy Roxanne Episode: "BeGirled"
1997 Fame L.A. Vanessa Episode: "The Beat Goes On"
1997–2000 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Darla Recurring; 5 episodes
1998 Ask Harriet Joplin Russell Recurring; 7 episodes
1998 Conrad Bloom Julie Episode: "The Rebound Guy"
1999 Dirt Merchant Angie
1999 Payne Breeze O'Rourke 9 episodes
1999 King of Queens, TheThe King of Queens Julie Patterson Episode: "Train Wreck"
1999–2000 Roswell Kathleen Topolsky Recurring; 7 episodes
2000–2004 Angel Darla Recurring; 20 episodes
2000 Good Guys/Bad Guys Unknown role Unaired NBC TV series pilot
2002 Glory Days Ellie Sparks Unaired pilot
2002 Taken Kate Keyes 2 episodes
2002 She Spies Elaine Episode: "Spies vs. Spy"
2002 Peacemakers Miranda Blanchard Episode: "The Witness"
2002 Coupling Amanda Episode: "Decatur Guy"
2004 Long Shot: Believe in Courage, TheThe Long Shot: Believe in Courage Annie Garrett
2004 NCIS Denise Johnson Episode: "A Weak Link"
2004 Oliver Beene Cigarette Girl Episode: "Idol Chatter"
2005 Lackawanna Blues Laura
2006 Supernatural Layla Rourke Episode: "Faith"
2006 CSI: Miami Hayley Gordon Episode: "Deviant"
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Heidi Wolff Episode: "Time of Your Death"
2006 Circle of Friends Maggie
2006–2010 Dexter Rita Bennett 49 episodes
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress - Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2007 Law & Order Dawn Sterling Episode: "Church"
2009 Kidnapping Caitlynn Caitlynn
2009 Held Hostage Michelle Estey
2009 Uncorked Johnny Prentiss
2010 Desperate Housewives Robin Gallagher Recurring; 5 episodes
2010–2011 No Ordinary Family Stephanie Powell Main cast; 20 episodes
2011 Royal Pains Elyse Episode: "An Apple a Day"
2011–2012 Gifted Man, AA Gifted Man Christina Holt Recurring
2012 Middle Ages Unknown role Unaired TV pilot
2013 Taken: The Search for Sophie Parker Stevie Parker TV
2013–present Defiance Mayor Amanda Rosewater Main cast
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Everybody's Golf 4 (aka Hot Shots Golf Fore!) Various voices
2004 Halo 2 Miranda Keyes (voice)

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Julie Benz: Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  2. ^ http://www.post-gazette.com/ae/tv-radio/2010/09/27/Murrysville-native-Benz-enjoys-lighter-comedic-role-in-Family/stories/201009270138
  3. ^ Debnam, Betty (April 2, 2004). "Meet Julie Benz". The Bryan Times. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ "SMGFAN.com's Exclusive Interview with Julie Benz". SMGFan.com. November 11, 2003. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Hi Honey, Julie Benz is Back Home!". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 3, 1991. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Owen, Rob (February 20, 1999). "Gaining recognition". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Rizzo, Carita (January 3, 2011). "Before They Were Stars". TV Guide: 24. 
  8. ^ Fritz, Steve (May 29, 2008). "Julie Benz One Tough Lady; Three Tough Jobs". Newsarama. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  9. ^ Spelling, Ian (November 23, 2002). "Actress sinks her teeth into non-vampire role in 'Taken'". Reading Eagle. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  10. ^ Pace, Terry (April 16, 2004). "Benz gets to play new kind of character". TimesDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  11. ^ "SCREAM '09: Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter on ‘Dexter’, More!". Bloody-disgusting.com. October 18, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  12. ^ [1][dead link]
  13. ^ "Michelle Renee: Breaking The Chains of Domestic Violence". Huffingtonpost.com. October 7, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  14. ^ "Julie Benz | Your source for Julie @". Julie-benz.info. March 26, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  15. ^ Bierly, Mandi (March 26, 2009). "Hallmark Channel to produce 35 original movies with stars like Andrew McCarthy, Lori Loughlin, and Julie Benz. Pinch. Me.". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Benz Happy for 'Dexter' Castmates Marriage — Netscape Celebrity". Channels.isp.netscape.com. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  17. ^ DiNunno, Gina (January 3, 2010). "Dexter's Julie Benz to Pay a Visit to Wisteria Lane". TV Guide. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  18. ^ Heller, Dana (June 15, 2013). Loving The L Word: The Complete Series in Focus. I.B.Tauris. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-78076-424-5. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  19. ^ Abrams, Natalie (May 25, 2010). "Julie Benz Returning to Dexter". TV Guide. Retrieved February 26, 2014. 
  20. ^ Eng, Joyce (March 2, 2010). "Julie Benz Joins ABC's New Super Family". TV Guide. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  21. ^ Ram, Archana (September 28, 2010). "EW.com, September 28, 2010". Popwatch.ew.com. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  22. ^ Rice, Lynette (May 12, 2010). "Breaking: ABC picks up 'No Ordinary Family' starring Michael Chikilis". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 12, 2010. 
  23. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 16, 2011). "CBS Picks Up Susannah Grant Medical Drama To Series, Neal Baer To Run It". deadline.com. Retrieved May 31, 2011. 
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 28, 2011). "John Corbett And Julie Benz To Star In TNT Film; Benz Changes Status On ‘Gifted Man’ –". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Julie Benz To Star in New Syfy Series Defiance". SFX. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  26. ^ E Entertainment. "Supremacy becomes more Supreme.". PRLog. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  27. ^ Middle Ages at the Internet Movie Database
  28. ^ "Angel – Interviews – Julie Benz and John Kassir". BBC Online. 
  29. ^ "IMDB bio". 
  30. ^ Kim Kardashian (June 27, 2011). "Julie Benz Is Getting Married! (Congrats, Lady!)". E! Online. Retrieved November 4, 2011. 
  31. ^ Corneau, Allison (May 5, 2012). "Dexter's Julie Benz Gets Married!". UsMagazine.com. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 

External links[edit]