Brian Benben

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Brian Benben
Brian Benben.jpg
Benben in 2002
Born Brian Edward Benben
(1956-06-18) June 18, 1956 (age 59)
Winchester, Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Film, stage and television actor
Spouse(s) Madeleine Stowe (1982–present)
Children May Benben

Brian Edward Benben (born June 18, 1956) is an American actor, best known for his role as Martin Tupper in the HBO comedy television series Dream On (1990–1996), and also known as Dr. Sheldon Wallace on ABC medical drama Private Practice (2008–2013). Benben is married to Madeleine Stowe.

Life and career[edit]

Benben was born in Winchester, Virginia, the son of Gloria Patricia (Coffman) and Peter Michael Benben, Sr., a produce buyer.[1][2][3] He later lived and attended high school in Marlboro, New York, followed by two years at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, New York, after which he moved to New York City, where he worked various jobs while auditioning and acting. In 1983 he appeared in the Broadway play Slab Boys with Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Val Kilmer and Jackie Earle Haley. The play received tepid reviews[4] and only ran on Broadway for 48 performances.[5]

Although his first national exposure was in the 1981 NBC miniseries-then-series The Gangster Chronicles,[6] Benben is perhaps best known for his leading role in the 1990-96 HBO television series, Dream On. He played a "by the book" FBI agent in the 1990 film Dark Angel (known in the U.S. as I Come in Peace). He had a starring role in the 1994 film Radioland Murders playing Mary Stuart Masterson's estranged husband. In September 1998, he starred in an eponymous primetime CBS sitcom, The Brian Benben Show, which lasted only one month on the air. In 2000s, Benben played Dr. Sheldon Wallace on Shonda Rhimes' Private Practice. His character was first introduced in December 2008,[7] later became a recurring character, and finally a featured series regular.[8] In 2014 he joined the cast of another Shonda Rhimes drama, Scandal.[9]

In 1982, Benben married actress Madeleine Stowe,[1] whom he met filming The Gangster Chronicles. Together they have one child, daughter May Theodora Benben (b. 1996). Benben and Stowe live in a ranch house in Johnson City, Texas, west of Austin.


Year Title Role Other notes
1981 The Gangster Chronicles Michael Lasker TV mini-series
1986 Kay O'Brien Dr. Mark Doyle 13 episodes
1990–1996 Dream On Martin Tupper 119 episodes

CableACE Awards for Actor in a Comedy Series (1993)

1998 The Brian Benben Show Brian Benben also co-executive producer
2003 Kingpin Dr. Heywood Klein TV mini-series
2005 Masters of Horror Dwight Faraday Episode: "Deer Woman"
2008–2013 Private Practice Dr. Sheldon Wallace Recurring (Seasons 2-3), Main Cast (Seasons 4-6)
2014 Scandal Leonard Carnahan Episode: "An Innocent Man"
2015 Grace and Frankie Charlie (Grace's Internet date) Episode: "The Earthquake"
Year Title Role Other notes
1981 Gangster Wars Michael Lasker Based on The Gangster Chronicles
1988 Clean and Sober Martin Laux
1989 Mortal Sins Nathan Weinschank
1990 Dark Angel Special Agent Arwood 'Larry' Smith
1994 Radioland Murders Roger Henderson


External links[edit]