Jump to content

Dirk Benedict

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dirk Benedict
Dirk Benedict at the 2011 Lucca Comics & Games
Dirk Niewoehner

(1945-03-01) March 1, 1945 (age 79)
Alma materWhitman College
  • Actor
  • author
Years active1972–present
Known forThe A-Team
Battlestar Galactica
(m. 1986; div. 1995)

Dirk Benedict (born Dirk Niewoehner; March 1, 1945) is an American film, 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 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 George Edward Niewoehner, a lawyer, and his wife Priscilla Mella (née Metzger), an accountant.[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.[4]


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 film 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 Templeton "Faceman" Peck in 1980s action television series The A-Team. He played "Face" 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.[5] Benedict starred in the 1989 TV film 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.[6] 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".[7]

He appeared as a contestant on the 2007 UK series of Celebrity Big Brother 5, which he placed 3rd. 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.[8]

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 TV 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, which he refused to have tested for malignancy. Having rejected conventional medical treatment, he credited his survival to the adoption of a macrobiotic diet recommended to him by actress Gloria Swanson.[9]

Marriage and 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.[10][11][12]

In 1998, Benedict learned that he also has another son from an earlier relationship, who was placed for adoption.[13]



Year Title Role Notes
1972 Georgia, Georgia Michael Winters
1973 Sssssss David Blake
1974 W William Caulder a.k.a. I Want Her Dead
1978 Battlestar Galactica Lieutenant Starbuck
1979 Scavenger Hunt Jeff Stevens
1980 Ruckus Kyle Hanson a.k.a. Ruckus in Madoc County
1981 Underground Aces Pete Huffman
1986 Body Slam M. Harry Smilac
1991 Blue Tornado Alex Long
1992 Shadow Force Detective Rick Kelly
1994 Demon Keeper Alexander Harris
1995 The Feminine Touch John Mackie Direct-to-video; a.k.a. The November Conspiracy
1996 Alaska Jake Barnes
1998 The Adventures of Young Brave Tyler a.k.a. Waking Up Horton
2001 Cahoots Director and writer
2006 Goldene Zeiten Douglas Burnett / John Striker / Horst Müller
2007 Recon 7 Down Tom Myers
2009 Inglorious Bumblers Tom Mayers Direct-to-video
2010 The A-Team Milt, Pensacola Prisoner
2019 Space Ninjas Jack Strange
2020 Charlie's Christmas Wish Stanley


Year Title Role Notes
1972 Hawaii Five-O Walter Clyman Episode: "Chain of Events"
1974 Chopper One Officer Gil Foley 13 episodes; Main cast
1975 Journey from Darkness Bill TV film
1977 Charlie's Angels Cadet John Barton Episode: "The Blue Angels"
The Cabot Connection Brom Loomis Pilot episode
1978 Cruise Into Terror Simon McLane TV film
Charlie's Angels Denny Railsback Episode: "The Jade Trap"
1978–1979 Battlestar Galactica Lieutenant Starbuck 24 episodes; Main cast
1980 Galactica 1980 Lieutenant Starbuck Episode: "The Return of Starbuck"
The Georgia Peaches "Dusty" Tyree TV film; a.k.a. Follow That Car
The Love Boat Jeff Dalton Episode: "That's My Dad"
1982 Family in Blue Matt Malone TV pilot episode
1983 The Love Boat Gary Wells Episode: "The Dog Show: Whose Dog Is It Anyway?"
1983–1987 The A-Team Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck 96 episodes; Main cast
1984 Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense Frank Rowlett Episode: "Mark of the Devil"
1985 Amazing Stories "Face" Episode: "Remote Control Man"
1987 Hotel Trevor Harris Episode: "Prized Possessions"
1989 Murder, She Wrote Dr. David Latimer Episode: "Smooth Operators"
Alfred Hitchcock Presents Dr. Rush Episode: "In the Name of Science"
Trenchcoat in Paradise Eddie Mazda TV film
1991 Bejewelled Gordon TV film
1992 Baywatch Aaron Brody Episode: "Rookie of the Year"
1993 Official Denial Lieutenant Colonel Dan Lerner TV film
The Commish Gil Higgins Episode: "All That Glitters"
1995 Walker, Texas Ranger Blair Episode: "Case Closed"
Murder, She Wrote Gary Harling Episode: "Frozen Stiff"
1996 Abduction of Innocence Robert Steves TV film
1997 Zork: Grand Inquisitor Antharia Jack (voice) Video game
2003 Battlestar Galactica Lieutenant Starbuck (voice) Video game
2006 Earthstorm Victor Stevens TV 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. ^ "Remember Dirk Benedict From The A-Team? Here's What He Looks Like Now!". eightieskids.com.
  5. ^ Brucker, D.J.R. "The Stage: Hamlet", The New York Times, September 22, 1987
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Benedict, Dirk (May 2004). "Lost in Castration". Dirk Benedict Central. Archived from the original on December 20, 2013. Retrieved February 7, 2006.
  8. ^ ""Prescription:Murder" and "The A-Team"". Dirk Benedict Central. November 23, 2009. Archived from the original on September 21, 2010. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ Marikar, Sheila; Fisher, Luchina (May 27, 2010). "'The A-Team': Where Are They Now?". ABC News. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  11. ^ Moore, Camille (June 13, 2020). "Whatever Happened to Toni Hudson?". TVovermind. Retrieved February 9, 2023.
  12. ^ The A-Team: Season 4, Episode 8, Rotten Tomatoes, retrieved February 9, 2023
  13. ^ "Adopted and Searching for Answers". Parade. Archived from the original on May 4, 2007. Retrieved May 22, 2012.

External links[edit]