Brown - Dark
Brown - Dark
Silver City, New Mexico, USA
Place of Death
Martha`s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA
Cause of Death
Claim to Fame
Profile Bio Text
Paul Benedict (September 17, 1938 – December 1, 2008) was an American actor who made numerous appearances in television and movies beginning in the 1960s. He is probably best recognized for his roles as The Number Painter on the PBS children`s show Sesame Street, and as the quirky English neighbor "Harry Bentley" on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons. Benedict was born in Silver City, New Mexico, the son of Alma Marie (née Loring), a journalist, and Mitchell M. Benedict, a doctor. He grew up in Massachusetts. As a young man, he suffered from acromegaly, a pituitary disorder that affects the extremities and face, which accounted for his slightly oversized jaw and large nose.
Benedict was best known for his role as Harry Bentley on the television show The Jeffersons. He played this role from 1975 when the show began until 1981, and then returned in 1983 and remained until the end of the show in 1985. His character was an Englishman who lived in the apartment next door to George and Louise Jefferson. He worked at the United Nations as a translator and was a bachelor. He was liked by all of the other characters on the show except for George Jefferson, who found him annoying, but they became more friendly as the show progressed. Harry was also known for telling long, and often boring stories, about his past particularly about his childhood and relatives in England. In the movie The Goodbye Girl (1977) starring Richard Dreyfuss, Benedict played the stage director of a production of Richard III in which Richard III was to be portrayed in the play as a stereotypical gay man. He was in a short scene in the mockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984), playing the awkward desk clerk who checks in the band. Called a "twisted old fruit" by the band`s manager Ian, he replies, "I`m just as God made me, sir." In the 1990 film The Freshman, he played the condescending NYU film school professor of Matthew Broderick`s main character. He also made a memorable appearance as the incorrectly assumed title character in the 1996 film Waiting for Guffman, another mockumentary involving many of the same writers and actors as This Is Spinal Tap. In addition to his varied film and television roles, Benedict was an accomplished theater actor as well, having appeared on Broadway multiple times, notably in Eugene O`Neill`s 2-character play Hughie in 1996 (performing with Al Pacino) at Circle in the Square, and more recently in The Music Man in 2000–2001.
On December 1, 2008, Benedict was found dead at his home in Martha`s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He was 70 years old. He was awarded a posthumous Elliot Norton Award by the Boston Theater Critics Assn. in 2009.
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Paul Benedict (September 17, 1938 – December 1, 2008) was an American actor who made numerous appearances in television and movies beginning in 1965. He was known for his roles as The Number Painter on the popular PBS children's show Sesame Street, and as the quirky English neighbor Harry Bentley on the CBS sitcom The Jeffersons.
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