Ben Curtis (actor)
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Benjamin Bowmar Curtis
November 2, 1980
|Other names||Dell Dude|
|Occupation||Actor, singer/songwriter, life coach, public speaker|
Benjamin Bowmar Curtis (born November 2, 1980), also known as the Dell Dude, is an American actor, singer, guitarist and former promoter for Dell Computers. Curtis was featured in the popular "Dell Dude" ads from 2000 to 2003.
He has gone on to become an actor on stage and screen. He is best known for his lead role in the Off-Broadway play “The Crusade of Connor Stephens,” produced by Bryan Cranston. He is also known for his lead role as PTSD veteran Jordan in the Indy feature “We Are The Hartmans.”
In 2015, he co-founded the wellness company SOLFUL LLC with his wife Cassie Fireman.
In 2016, Curtis & Fireman also co-founded Indy Folk band DIRTY MAE.
Early life and education
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Curtis is the second of two children, and has an older sister named Polly. He attended and graduated from The McCallie School, an all-boys school in Chattanooga, Tennessee, after completing elementary school at Saint Nicholas School, also in Chattanooga.
At the age of four years, Curtis met illusionist David Copperfield. Inspired by Copperfield's performance, Curtis started his own magic business at the age of thirteen. Curtis went on to compete in and win a few national stage contests. Curtis later attended Tannen's Magic School in New York City. While at the school, Ben created, produced, directed, and starred in his first full-scale illusion show. The show consisted of his skills in music, acting, magic, and mime.
Curtis attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts on an acting scholarship. While at NYU, Ben has attended The Lee Strasberg Institute & the Atlantic Theater Company, as well as studying the techniques of Grotowski and Brecht at Tisch’s Experimental Theater Wing (both in America and Amsterdam).
The Dell Dude
As part of a commercial advertising campaign, Curtis portrayed the character Steven. The casting call asked for a boy 12 to 17 years old; Curtis was 20 years old. This advertising campaign popularized the phrase "Dude, you're getting a Dell." The commercials would usually feature chipper Steven informing prospective buyers of all the perks of owning a Dell. When the party was sold on the idea he would close with the catchphrase "Dude, you're getting a Dell." The campaign was a huge success and not only helped bring prominence to Dell, but to Curtis as well.
Curtis graduated from New York University’s, Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Acting. He began to teach inner city kids and started a wellness company to help heal the kind of trauma he experience as a PTSD victim of the 9/11 attacks.
Curtis’ tenure as the “Dell Dude” would end shortly after he was arrested and accused of buying a bag of marijuana in 2003. Dell terminated the role and according to Curtis, he was blacklisted from the entertainment community, and it was difficult for him to find work.
Life after Dell
In the spring of 2004, Boca Raton, Florida-based AdSouth Partners hired Curtis to lead its marketing campaign for the launch of Gameznflix, an Internet video game and movie rental service.
In 2005, Curtis played the role of Christian in the Off-Broadway comedy Joy by John Fisher. The show ran at the Actors' Playhouse in Manhattan's West Village from August 14 to September 25. The play and his performance both received generally favorable reviews.
Curtis has guest-starred on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and an episode of Law & Order in 2007. He has appeared in several independent productions, most recently Take Me Out at NYU's Abe Burrows Theatre and in Alexander Klymko's 2011 film Spy.
- Nolasco, Stephanie (10 May 2017). "What ever happened to the 'Dell Dude' Ben Curtis?". Fox News. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
- "The mystery of the Dell dude." — by Rob Walker — Slate Magazine
- The Dell Dude shines Off-Broadway
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-02-10. Retrieved 2009-09-03.