Brian Benben

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Brian Benben
Brian Benben.jpg
Benben in 2002
Brian Edward Benben

(1956-06-18) June 18, 1956 (age 63)
OccupationFilm, stage and television actor
Years active1981–present
Madeleine Stowe (m. 1982)

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 Sheldon Wallace on ABC medical drama Private Practice (2008–2013). Benben is married to Madeleine Stowe.

Early life and career[edit]

Benben was born in Winchester, Virginia, the son of Gloria Patricia (née Coffman) and Peter Michael Benben Sr., a produce buyer.[1][2]

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 production of John Byrne's play Slab Boys with Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Val Kilmer and Jackie Earle Haley. The play ran on Broadway for 48 performances.[3]

Although his first national exposure was in the 1981 NBC miniseries-then-series The Gangster Chronicles,[4] 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 the 2000s, he played Dr. Sheldon Wallace on Shonda Rhimes' Private Practice. His character was first introduced in December 2008,[5] later became a recurring character, and finally a series regular.[6] In 2014 he appeared in the television series Scandal, also produced by Rhimes.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1982, Benben married actress Madeleine Stowe,[1] whom he met filming The Gangster Chronicles. Together they have one child, daughter May Theodora Benben (born 1996). Benben and Stowe have a home in South Texas.


Year Title Role Other notes
1981 The Gangster Chronicles Michael Lasker Main role
1986 Kay O'Brien Dr. Mark Doyle Main role
1990–1996 Dream On Martin Tupper Main role
CableACE Awards for Actor in a Comedy Series (1993)
1998 The Brian Benben Show Brian Benben Lead role; also co-executive producer
2003 Kingpin Dr. Heywood Klein Main role
2005 Masters of Horror Dwight Faraday Episode: "Deer Woman"
2008–2013 Private Practice Dr. Sheldon Wallace Recurring role (Seasons 2–3)
Main role (Seasons 4–6)
2014 Scandal Leonard Carnahan Episode: "An Innocent Man"
2015 Grace and Frankie Charlie Episode: "The Earthquake"
2016 Roadies Preston Recurring role
2017–2018 Imposters Max Main role
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


  1. ^ a b "Brian Benben profile". Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  2. ^ Profile,; accessed January 7, 2016.
  3. ^ The Broadway League. "Slab Boys details". Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  4. ^ The Gangster Chronicles details,; accessed January 7, 2016.
  5. ^ Private Practice details,; accessed January 7, 2015.
  6. ^ Exclusive: "Private Practice" Upgrades Brian Benben, Entertainment Weekly, June 15, 2010
  7. ^ Abrams, Natalie (September 16, 2014). "'Private Practice' alum Brian Benben heads to 'Scandal'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 17, 2014.

External links[edit]