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Ashley Benson

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Ashley Benson
Benson in 2019
Ashley Victoria Benson

(1989-12-18) December 18, 1989 (age 34)[1]
  • Actress
  • singer
Years active2002–present
Brandon Davis
(m. 2023)
AwardsFull list

Ashley Victoria Benson (born December 18, 1989) is an American actress and singer. She is known for her role as Hanna Marin in the teen mystery-drama series Pretty Little Liars (2010–2017). Benson has starred in films, including Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), Christmas Cupid (2010), Spring Breakers (2012), Ratter (2015), Chronically Metropolitan (2016), Her Smell (2018), and Private Property (2022). She has received various accolades, including four Teen Choice Awards, a Young Hollywood Award, as well as three People's Choice Award nominations.

Early life[edit]

Ashley Victoria Benson was born on December 18, 1989, in Anaheim Hills, California to parents Shannon and Jeff Benson. She has an older sister, Shaylene.[2]


2000s: Early work and recognition[edit]

Benson began dancing competitively at age three, studying ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop. She began singing in choirs and musicals at a young age, performing a solo at her church at age four. When she was eight years old she signed with Ford Models, and appeared in a number of print ads.[3]

Benson appeared on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives as Abigail Deveraux from 2004 to 2007.[3]

Benson made her big screen debut with a bit part in the 2004 comedy 13 Going on 30. She starred as Carson in Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), the fourth installment of the Bring It On franchise. The role required her to both overcome her fear of heights to perform the cheerleading stunts,[3] and to end her contract with Days of our Lives:

I got off it, I mean I had talked with the producers about doing this film, and they weren't going to let me do it... I had just passed up so many opportunities where I could have done a film. So this big thing just came up, and I ended up getting to do this. I'm happier that I got off the soap though. I mean I give all my credit to them, because I have learned so much from being on soap operas and working with amazing actors who've been on there for like thirty, forty years. It was an honor to work with them. It's definitely given me all my background. But getting off the soap opera helped me a lot too, because I can move on to bigger and better things. So I am definitely thankful I got to be on a soap opera though.[4]

She recalled working on a film set instead of a soap opera set "definitely weird", because she would spend days working on one or two scenes, whereas on the Days of Our Lives set, she filmed two or three episodes a day. For Bring It On: In It to Win It, she had to attend cheerleading practice, which was "hard for [her], because [she is] afraid of heights."[5] Nonetheless, she was "glad" to do her own stunts, even though she "wasn't expecting it to be so hard."[4]

In 2008, she appeared in the Lifetime original film Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal, where she played head cheerleader Brooke Tippit, a character loosely inspired by Karrissa Theret of the Fab Five. The film is based on a true story which took place at McKinney North High School in Texas. She became good friends with her onscreen mother Tatum O'Neal, from whom she learned about acting.[6] Furthermore, she was excited to land a supporting role in Bart Got a Room, which aired mainly on film festivals in 2008 before having a limited release in 2009, because it allowed her to work with William H. Macy.[5] She also played a witch disguised as a cheerleader in a 2008 episode of The CW series Supernatural.[7]

In 2009, Benson starred in ABC's short-lived supernatural comedy television series Eastwick.[3][8][9] The show was based on John Updike's novel, The Witches of Eastwick, and the 1987 film adaption of the same name. The series only lasted 11 episodes before ABC cancelled the series due to low ratings but has since gained a cult following.

2010s: Transition to drama and breakthrough[edit]

Benson in 2012

In December 2009, Benson was cast as Hanna Marin in the ABC Family mystery-thriller teen drama series Pretty Little Liars, based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. Hanna is the "diva" and "It girl" of the group, having taken Alison DiLaurentis' place as the most popular girl at Rosewood High in Alison's absence. The series premiered to 2.47 million viewers with Benson's performance being praised by critics. She also received a number of awards and nominations. Benson reprised the role in the spin-off series Ravenswood in two episodes.

In 2010, Benson starred in the television film Christmas Cupid alongside Christina Milian and Chad Michael Murray, which also aired on ABC Family.[10] In January 2012, Benson was cast in the film Spring Breakers, after Emma Roberts dropped out due to creative reasons.[11] The film centers on four college students who are arrested and bailed out by a drug and arms dealer, who sends them out to do some dirty work on spring break.[12] The film co-starred Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and James Franco. Filming took place in March and April 2012, and the film was released in March 2013.[13]

In the January 21, 2013, episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Benson appeared as Carly Whittaker, Barney Stinson's half-sister who dated Ted Mosby. That same month, Benson became the face of eveningwear designer Faviana.[14]

She starred in the 2015 independent horror thriller film Ratter, playing Emma Taylor, a girl who is stalked through her technological devices. That same year, she also appeared in Pixels as Lady Lisa, a fictional game character brought to life. In 2016, Benson appeared in the biographical comedy-drama film Elvis & Nixon as Margaret.

In 2018, it was announced that Benson would star alongside Cara Delevingne and Elisabeth Moss in Alex Ross Perry's music drama film Her Smell,[15] and the film received generally positive reviews.[16] For the film's soundtrack, Benson did all her own vocals.

2020s: Music ventures and later return to film[edit]

In 2020, Benson was featured on "Creep" by G-Eazy, a cover version of the Radiohead song.[17] She also appeared in the music videos previously for NLT's "That Girl", One Call's "Black Light", and Hot Chelle Rae's "Honestly".

Personal life[edit]

Benson's former co-star and friend Tyler Blackburn made a revelation about the nature of their relationship during an interview in 2019. He stated: "in navigating our relationship as co-workers and also as friends sometimes the lines blurred a little. We had periods when we felt more for each other". The pair ultimately remained good friends.[18] From 2018 to 2020, Benson was in a high-profile relationship with English model Cara Delevingne.[19] She dated rapper G-Eazy from 2020 to 2021.[20] Benson has been in a relationship with Brandon Davis (grandson of late billionaire Marvin Davis) since January 2023.[21] She resides in Los Angeles. Benson and Davis got engaged in July 2023.[22] That same year, they married.[23] In February 2024, Benson gave birth to their first child.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
2004 13 Going on 30 Six Chick
2005 Neighbors Mindy Short film
2007 Bring It On: In It to Win It Carson Direct-to-video
2008 Bart Got a Room Alice
2012 Spring Breakers Brit
2015 Ratter Emma Taylor Also camera operator[25]
2015 Pixels Lady Lisa
2016 Elvis & Nixon Margaret
2016 Chronically Metropolitan Jessie
2018 Her Smell Roxie Rotten
2018 Ask Me If I Care Alice Short film
2021 The Birthday Cake Tracey
2022 Private Property Kathryn Carlyle
2022 The Loneliest Boy in the World Margot
2022 Angry Neighbors Amberson girl
2023 Alone at Night Vicky Also producer
2023 Mob Land Caroline Conners
2024 McVeigh Cindy
TBA Good Side of a Bad Man Ruby


Year Title Role Notes
2002 The District Melissa Howell Episode: "Explicit Activities"
2002 The West Wing Girl Episode: "Game On"
2002 Nikki Dancer Episode: "Working Girl" (unaired)
2004 Strong Medicine April Episode: "Cape Cancer"
2004–2007 Days of Our Lives Abigail Deveraux Role held: November 12, 2004 – May 2, 2007
2005 7th Heaven Margot 2 episodes
2005 Zoey 101 Candice Episode: "Quinn's Date"
2006 The O.C. Riley Episode: "The Summer Bummer"
2008 Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal Brooke Tippit Television film
2008 CSI: Miami Amy Beck Episode: "Bombshell"
2008 Supernatural Tracy Davis Episode: "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"
2009 Eastwick Mia Torcoletti Main role
2010 Christmas Cupid Caitlin Quinn Television film
2010–2017 Pretty Little Liars Hanna Marin Main role, 160 episodes
2012 Punk'd Herself Episode: "Heather Morris"
2013 How I Met Your Mother Carly Whittaker Episode: "Ring Up!"
2013–2014 Ravenswood Hanna Marin Special guest star, 2 episodes
2014 Family Guy Dakota (voice) Episode: "Brian's a Bad Father"
2015 Barely Famous Herself Episode: "Bananas Foster"
2023 Wilderness Cara Parker Main role, 4 episodes


Year Title Role Notes
2011 CollegeHumor Originals Ashley Episode: "Secret Girl Language"
2020 Lady Parts Herself Episode: "How to Survive Puberty"
2021 Sorry Charlie Miller Charlie Miller Voice role; podcast series

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Role Ref.
2002 "True Love" Lil' Romeo featuring Solange Knowles Girl #1 [26]
2007 "That Girl" NLT Love Interest [27]
2008 "We Don't Have to Look Back Now" Puddle of Mudd The Girlfriend [28]
2010 "Black Light" One Call Love Interest [29]
2012 "Honestly" Hot Chelle Rae Girl [30]
2019 "Can't Wait" The Akergirls Roxie Rotten [31]
2020 "Imagine" Gal Gadot & Friends Herself [32]


Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Stars Go Out" (as Cindy Ultra)[33] 2017 None None
"Breathe" 2019 Elisabeth Moss, Agyness Deyn,
Gayle Rankin, Cara Delevingne,
Dylan Gelula and Amber Heard
Her Smell
"Can't Wait" Cara Delevingne and Dylan Gelula
"Creep" 2020 G-Eazy None
"All the Things You're Searching For" G-Eazy and Kossisko Everything's Strange Here

Songwriting credits[edit]

Title Year Artist(s) Album Credits Written with
"Every Night of the Year" 2020 G-Eazy Everything's Strange Here Co-writer Gerald Gillum, Dakarai Gwitira, John Michael Rouchell

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Work Result
2011 Young Hollywood Awards Cast to Watch (with Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale and Shay Mitchell) Pretty Little Liars Won
Youth Rock Awards[34] Rockin' TV Actress Won
2013 Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Actress Most in Need of a New Agent (with Rachel Korine, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) Spring Breakers Nominated
Capricho Awards Best Make Out (with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens) Nominated
Best International Actress Pretty Little Liars Nominated
2014 MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens) Spring Breakers Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star – Female Pretty Little Liars Won
Candie's Choice Style Icon Herself Nominated
2015 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Pretty Little Liars Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star: Female Won
2016 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Won
Choice TV: Chemistry (with Tyler Blackburn) Won
2017 People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Nominated


  1. ^ "13 Things You Didn't Know About "Pretty Little Liars" Star Ashley Benson". Seventeen Magazine. Hearst Digital Media.
  2. ^ "Anaheim Hills teen stars in cheerleading movie". December 17, 2007.
  3. ^ a b c d "Ashley Benson: Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Loggins, Emma (December 10, 2007). "Interview: Ashley Benson from Bring It On: In It To Win It". FanBolt. Archived from the original on December 29, 2016. Retrieved December 29, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Interview with Ashley Benson, October 2007". TheStarScoop.com. October 2007. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  6. ^ "Ashley Benson: Learning New Things". myLifetime.com. Archived from the original on July 31, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "Did You Know These 30 Actors Were on 'Supernatural'?". buddytv.com. April 19, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2017.
  8. ^ Eastwick cast Archived September 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine PopTower
  9. ^ Eastwick bios, Mia ABC.com Archived October 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "ABC Family Announces Additional Casting for its Upcoming Pilots "Melissa & Joey," "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project" and "Pretty Little Liars."" (PDF). ABC Family Press Release. December 7, 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 30, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  11. ^ Peel, Sarah (January 31, 2012). "Ashley Benson Replaces Emma Roberts in Spring Breakers With Selena Gomez". BSCkids. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  12. ^ Sartor, Ryan (November 14, 2011). "Rachel Korine (Yes, Harmony's Wife) Joins 'Spring Breakers'". IndieWire. Archived from the original on July 2, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  13. ^ Durbin, Jonathan (May 7, 2012). "Girls Gone Wild". Interview. Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  14. ^ Stone, Rachel (January 7, 2013). "Ashley Benson is The New Face Of Faviana". BWW Fashion World. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  15. ^ Cusumano, Katherine (April 13, 2019). "Ashley Benson and Cara Delevingne Costar in a New Music Video for Her Smell". W. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  16. ^ "Her Smell". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved May 19, 2022.
  17. ^ Selleck, Emily (April 22, 2020). "G-Eazy Drops Unexpected Duet Tracks With Ashley Benson: Listen To Their Radiohead Cover". Hollywood Life. Retrieved April 23, 2020.
  18. ^ "Tyler Blackburn Said His Friendship with Ashley Benson "Blurred" into More in New Interview with Playboy". June 12, 2019.
  19. ^ Gardner, Abby (September 2, 2019). "Cara Delevingne Just Opened Up About Her 'Sacred' Relationship with Ashley Benson". Glamour. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  20. ^ Chiu, Melody (February 9, 2021). "Ashley Benson and G-Eazy Split After Less Than a Year of Dating". People. Retrieved September 27, 2021.
  21. ^ Jones, Alexis (February 3, 2023). "Ashley Benson Is Dating Brandon Davis: They Are 'Very Social People,' Says Source". People.com.
  22. ^ Strohm, Emily (July 7, 2023). "Ashley Benson Is Engaged to Oil Heir Brandon Davis: 'My Best Friend'". People.com.
  23. ^ "Pretty Little Liars Actress Ashley Benson Marries Oil Heir Brandon Davis". People. Retrieved November 9, 2023.
  24. ^ Staff, A. O. L. (February 29, 2024). "Ashley Benson Gives Birth, Welcomes 1st Baby With Brandon Davis". www.aol.com. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  25. ^ Saito, Stephen (January 25, 2015). "Slamdance '15 Review: Terror is Everywhere in "Ratter"". The Moveable Fest. Retrieved November 4, 2020.
  26. ^ "Lil' Romeo – True Love featuring Solange Knowles". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ "NLT – That Girl". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – via YouTube.
  28. ^ "Puddle of Mudd – We Don't Have to Look Back Now". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – via YouTube.
  29. ^ James, Nicole (December 10, 2010). "New Video: One Call, 'Blacklight'". MTV. Retrieved June 27, 2022.
  30. ^ "Hot Chelle Rae – Honestly". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – via YouTube.
  31. ^ "Can't Wait – The Akergirls". Archived from the original on December 21, 2021 – via YouTube.
  32. ^ Laura Smith-Spark (March 19, 2020). "Gal Gadot enlists celebrity help for coronavirus 'Imagine' video". CNN. Retrieved March 20, 2020.
  33. ^ "Ashley Benson Releases New Song From Her Upcoming Untitled Film". Beautiful Ballad. December 16, 2017.
  34. ^ "Ashley Benson wins 2011 Youth Rock Award For Best Actress" Announced". Youth Rock Awards. December 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2011.

External links[edit]