Dirk Benedict

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Dirk Benedict
Dirk Benedict - Lucca Comics and Games 2011.jpg
Dirk Benedict at the 2011 Lucca Comics & Games
Dirk Niewoehner

(1945-03-01) March 1, 1945 (age 76)
Helena, Montana, United States
OccupationFilm and television actor
Years active1972–present
(m. 1986; div. 1995)
Dirk Benedict (signature).png

Dirk Benedict (born Dirk Niewoehner on March 1, 1945) is an American movie, television and stage actor and author. He is best known for playing the characters Lieutenant Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica film and television series and Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck in The A-Team television series. He is the author of Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy and And Then We Went Fishing.

Early life[edit]

Benedict was born Dirk Niewoehner in Helena, Montana,[1] the son of Priscilla Mella (née Metzger), an accountant, and George Edward Niewoehner, a lawyer.[2] He grew up in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. He graduated from Whitman College in 1967.[3] Benedict allegedly chose his stage name from a serving of Eggs Benedict he had prior to his acting career. He is of German extraction.


Photo of the cast of the short-lived television program Chopper One. From left: Dirk Benedict, Ted Hartley, Jim McMullan.

Benedict's film debut was in the 1972 film Georgia, Georgia. When the New York run for Butterflies Are Free ended, he received an offer to repeat his performance in Hawaii, opposite Barbara Rush. While there, he appeared as a guest lead on Hawaii Five-O. The producers of a horror film called Sssssss (1973) saw Benedict's performance in Hawaii Five-O and promptly cast him as the lead in that movie. He next played the psychotic wife-beating husband of Twiggy in her American film debut, W (1974). Benedict starred in the television series Chopper One, which aired for one season in 1974. He made two appearances in Charlie's Angels. He also appeared on the "Donny & Marie" variety show.

Benedict's career break came in 1978 when he appeared as Lieutenant Starbuck in the movie and television series Battlestar Galactica. The same year Benedict starred in the TV movie Cruise into Terror, and appeared in the ensemble movie Scavenger Hunt the following year.

1980s and 1990s[edit]

In 1980, Benedict starred alongside Linda Blair in an action-comedy movie called Ruckus. In 1983, Dirk gained further popularity as con-man Lieutenant Templeton "Face" Peck in 1980s action television series The A-Team. He played "Faceman" from 1982 (1982) to 1986 (1986), although the series didn't air until January 1983, and the final episode wasn't shown until 1987 rebroadcasts. The second season episode "Steel" includes a scene at Universal Studios where Face is seen looking bemused as a Cylon walks by him as an in-joke to his previous role in Battlestar Galactica. The clip is incorporated into the series' opening credit sequence from season 3 onward.

In 1986, Benedict starred as low-life band manager Harry Smilac in the movie Body Slam along with Lou Albano, Roddy Piper, and cameo appearances by Freddie Blassie, Ric Flair, and Bruno Sammartino. His character Smilac ends up managing the pro-wrestler "Quick Rick" Roberts (Piper) and faces opposition by Captain Lou and his wrestling tag-team "the Cannibals".

In 1987, Benedict took the title role of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Abbey Theatre in Manhattan. Both his performance and the entire production were lambasted by critics.[4] Benedict starred in the 1989 TV movie Trenchcoat in Paradise.

In 1991, Benedict starred in Blue Tornado, playing Alex, call sign Fireball, an Italian Air Force fighter pilot. Benedict published an autobiography, Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy: A True Story of Discovery, Acting, Health, Illness, Recovery, and Life (Avery Publishing ISBN 0895294796). In 1993, Benedict starred in Shadow Force.

Benedict also appeared as Jake Barnes in the 1996 action-adventure film Alaska.

2000s and 2010s[edit]

In 2000, Benedict wrote and directed his first screenplay, Cahoots.[5] Benedict appeared in the 2006 German film Goldene Zeiten ("Golden Times") in a dual role, playing an American former TV star as well as a German lookalike who impersonates him.

In 2006, he wrote an online essay criticizing the then-airing Battlestar Galactica re-imagined series and, especially, its casting of a woman as his character, Starbuck, writing that "the war against masculinity has been won" and that "a television show based on hope, spiritual faith, and family is unimagined and regurgitated as a show of despair, sexual violence and family dysfunction".[6]

He appeared as a contestant on the 2007 UK series of Celebrity Big Brother. He arrived on launch night in a replica of the A-Team van, smoking a cigar and accompanied by the A-Team theme tune.

In 2010, Benedict starred in a stage production of Prescription: Murder playing Lieutenant Columbo for the Middle Ground Theatre Company in the UK. Benedict also made a cameo appearance in the 2010 film adaptation of The A-Team as Pensacola Prisoner Milt.[7]

In 2019, Benedict took on the role of Jack Strange in the B movie Space Ninjas written and directed by Scott McQuaid. Dirk plays an eccentric T.V. host of a show called 'Stranger Than Fiction', which is like a hybrid of the Twilight Zone and the X-Files. The movie is a sci-fi, comedy horror that follows a bunch of high school students trying to survive the night of a Space Ninja invasion.

Personal life[edit]


In the 1970s, Benedict survived a prostate tumor believed to have been cancerous. Having rejected conventional medical treatment, he credited his survival to the adoption of a macrobiotic diet recommended to him by actress Gloria Swanson.[8]

Marriage & Family[edit]

In 1986, he married Toni Hudson, an actress with whom he has two sons, George and Roland. Hudson had previously appeared as Dana in the fourth season A-Team episode titled "Blood, Sweat and Cheers". They divorced in 1995.

In 1998, Benedict learned that he also has another son, John Talbert (born 1968), from an earlier relationship, who had been placed for adoption. With the help of his adoptive parents, Talbert discovered and contacted his birth parents.[9]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1972 Georgia, Georgia Michael Winters Feature film
1972 Hawaii Five-O Walter Clyman 1 episode: "Chain of Events"
1973 Sssssss David Blake Feature film
1974 Chopper One Officer Gil Foley Main cast (13 episodes)
1974 W William Caulder Feature film (aka I Want Her Dead)
1975 Journey from Darkness Bill TV movie
1977 Charlie's Angels Cadet John Barton 1 episode: "The Blue Angels"
1977 The Cabot Connection Brom Loomis TV pilot episode
1978 Cruise into Terror Simon Mclane TV movie
1978 Charlie's Angels Denny Railsback 1 episode: "The Jade Trap"
1978 Battlestar Galactica Lieutenant Starbuck Feature film
1978–79 Battlestar Galactica Lieutenant Starbuck Main cast (24 episodes)
1979 Scavenger Hunt Jeff Stevens Feature film
1980 Galactica 1980 Lieutenant Starbuck 1 episode: "The Return of Starbuck"
1980 Ruckus Kyle Hanson Feature film (aka Ruckus in Madoc County)
1980 The Georgia Peaches Dusty Tyree TV movie (aka Follow That Car)
1980 The Love Boat Jeff Dalton 1 episode: "That's My Dad"
1981 Scruples Spider Elliott TV movie
1981 Underground Aces Pete Huffman Feature film
1982 Family in Blue Matt Malone TV pilot episode
1983–87 The A-Team Lt. Templeton 'Faceman' Peck Main cast (96 episodes)
1983 The Love Boat Gary Wells 1 episode: "The Dog Show: Whose Dog Is It Anyway?"
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Frank Rowlett 1 episode: "Mark of the Devil"
1985 Amazing Stories Face 1 episode: "Remote Control Man"
1986 Body Slam M. Harry Smilac Feature film
1987 Hotel Trevor Harris 1 episode: "Prized Possessions"
1989 Murder, She Wrote Dr. David Latimer 1 episode: "Smooth Operators"
1989 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Dr. Rush 1 episode: "In the Name of Science"
1989 Trenchcoat in Paradise Eddie Mazda TV movie
1991 Bejewelled Gordon TV movie
1991 Blue Tornado Alex Long Feature film
1992 Baywatch Aaron Brody 1 episode: "Rookie of the Year"
1992 Shadow Force Detective Rick Kelly Feature film
1993 Official Denial Lt. Col. Dan Lerner TV movie
1993 The Commish Gil Higgins 1 episode: "All That Glitters"
1994 Demon Keeper Alexander Harris Feature film
1995 Walker, Texas Ranger Blair 1 episode: "Case Closed"
1995 Murder, She Wrote Gary Harling 1 episode: "Frozen Stiff"
1995 The Feminine Touch John Mackie Direct-to-video film (aka The November Conspiracy)
1996 Alaska Jake Barnes Feature film
1996 Abduction of Innocence Robert Steves TV movie
1997 Zork: Grand Inquisitor Antharia Jack (voice) Video game
1998 The Adventures of Young Brave Tyler Feature film (aka Waking Up Horton)
2001 Cahoots N/A Feature film (director, writer)
2003 Battlestar Galactica Lieutenant Starbuck (voice) Video game
2006 Earthstorm Victor Stevens TV movie
2006 Goldene Zeiten Douglas Burnett / John Striker / Horst Müller Feature film
2007 Recon 7 Down Tom Myers Feature film
2009 Inglorious Bumblers Tom Mayers Direct-to-video film
2010 The A-Team Pensacola Prisoner Milt Feature film
2019 Space Ninjas Jack Strange Feature film
2020 Charlie's Christmas Wish Stanley Feature film


  1. ^ Hal Erickson (2010). "Dirk Benedict". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
  2. ^ "Dirk Benedict Biography (1945–)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
  3. ^ "Alumni Individual Web Sites". Whitman College. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  4. ^ Brucker, D.J.R. "The Stage: Hamlet", The New York Times, September 22, 1987
  5. ^ Mark Deming (2008). "Cahoots". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
  6. ^ Benedict, Dirk (May 2004). "Lost in Castration". Dirk Benedict Central. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2006.
  7. ^ ""Prescription:Murder" and "The A-Team"". Dirk Benedict Central. November 23, 2009. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  8. ^ Benedict, Dirk (July 2, 2014). "An A-Team Star's Toughest Battle—Against the Specter of Cancer—is Waged in Secret and Alone". People. Retrieved September 22, 2017.
  9. ^ "Adopted and Searching for Answers". Parade. Archived from the original on May 4, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2012.

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