Amber Benson

Amber Benson (born January 8, 1977) is an American actress, singer, writer, director, and producer. She is best known for her role as Tara Maclay on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1999–2002), and has also directed, produced and starred in her own films Chance (2002) and Lovers, Liars & Lunatics (2006). She also starred in the movie Kiss the Bride (2007). She co-directed the film Drones (2010) with fellow Buffy cast member Adam Busch. Benson also starred as a waitress in the horror movie The Killing Jar (2010).

Amber Benson
Benson at Midtown Comics in March 2011
Born (1977-01-08) January 8, 1977 (age 46)
  • Actress
  • singer
  • writer
  • director
  • producer
Years active1993–present

Early lifeEdit

Benson was born January 8, 1977,[1] in Birmingham, Alabama,[2] the daughter of Diane and Edward Benson, a psychiatrist.[3] She has a younger sister, Danielle, who is an artist. Her father is Jewish and her mother was raised Southern Baptist;[4] Benson grew up attending a Reform synagogue in Alabama.[5][6][7][8][9]


Benson at a 2005 Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention

Benson was 14 when she made her feature film debut in the Steven Soderbergh film King of the Hill.[10]

Benson is best known for her recurring role as Tara Maclay on the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The character first appeared in the season 4 episode "Hush" and soon became the girlfriend of Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan). Benson remained with the series until season 6 when her character was killed off. In her final episode, Benson was credited for the only time as a regular cast member.

Benson sang in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode "Once More, with Feeling". She provided vocals for the songs "I've Got a Theory/ Bunnies/If We're Together", "Under Your Spell" (her solo), "Walk Through the Fire", "Standing/Under Your Spell (Reprise)", and "Where Do We Go from Here?" In 2002, she performed two songs on Buffy colleague Anthony Stewart Head's album Music for Elevators. She also sang "Toucha Toucha Touch Me" (aka "Creature of the Night") at VH-1's celebrity karaoke tribute to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

While still working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Benson co-wrote the movie The Theory of the Leisure Class with director Gabriel Bologna, released in 2001, and directed, produced, edited, and acted in a digital video feature called Chance (2002) which also featured her Buffy co-star James Marsters. She also collaborated with director James Kerwin in 2003 to produce her play Albert Hall in Hollywood.

In 2001, Benson worked with Golden, Terry Moore, and Eric Powell of Dark Horse Comics to create the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara comic book titled "WannaBlessedBe". The following year (2002), she worked with Christopher Golden and AJ (Ajit Jothikaumar) of Dark Horse Comics to create the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara comic books titled Wilderness #1 and Wilderness #2.

Benson at a Buffy the Vampire Slayer wrap party in 2003

Benson and Christopher Golden produced and began a series of animated fantasy films for the BBC with the animation studio Cosgrove Hall. Ghosts of Albion: Legacy (2003) and its sequels are available on the BBC Cult website. Benson and Golden have also collaborated on two supernatural thrillers: Ghosts of Albion: Accursed and Ghosts of Albion: Witchery. These books follow the fortunes of Tamara and William Swift, who first appeared in the BBC computer animated web movie Ghosts of Albion: Legacy.

In 2003, she had a supporting role in Latter Days as Traci Levine, alongside Steve Sandvoss and Wes Ramsey.[11]

In 2005, Benson collaborated with artist Jamie McKelvie on a short story within the Image Comics collection Four Letter Worlds. In 2006, Benson collaborated with artist Ben Templesmith on Demon Father John's Pinwheel Blues published by IDW as a four-part split-book, Shadowplay (with work by Ashley Wood and Christina Z.

Benson and novelist Anton Strout during an appearance at the Midtown Comics Downtown in Manhattan on March 5, 2011

In 2006, Benson released her second independent feature film Lovers, Liars & Lunatics through her own production company, Benson Entertainment. The film was shot on film and was partly financed by the sale of limited edition "Triangle" Tara Buffyverse action figure. The project, initially called "The Dirty Script," was ultimately titled Lovers, Liars and Lunatics by producer Diane Benson, Amber's mother.

In 2006, Benson also portrayed the "vegetarian" vampiress Lenore on the TV series Supernatural.

In December 2006, Benson and Golden released yet another collaboration, the short novel The Seven Whistlers which is distributed through Subterranean Press in a limited number of signed copies. In September 2007, Benson signed a three-book deal with Ginjer Buchanan of Penguin Books. Death's Daughter, was released by Ace Books[12] on February 24, 2009; Cat's Claw,[13] on February 23, 2010; and Serpent's Storm, in February 2011. On February 28, 2012, the fourth book in the series, How to Be Death was released.[14]

Benson is the co-director with Adam Busch of the 2010 comedy film Drones.[15]

In 2012, Benson played a young Judith Collins in the Dark Shadows audio drama "Dress Me in Dark Dreams". She guest starred in the second season of the Jane Espenson scripted romantic comedy web series, Husbands.[16]

In June 2013, it was announced that Benson has been attached to star in the web TV series adaptation of The Morganville Vampires as Amelie, the founder of Morganville.[17][18]

Benson narrated the 2014 audiobook Lock In by John Scalzi.[19] In October 2014, she published her fantasy book The Witches of Echo Park.[20]


During the 2008 campaign season, Benson was featured in a Barack Obama advertisement sponsored by[21]

In February 2021, Benson spoke out in support of Buffy The Vampire Slayer co-star Charisma Carpenter's accusation of unprofessional and abusive behavior on the part of Buffy creator Joss Whedon, corroborating Carpenter's account by relating that the set of that series was a "toxic environment" whose traumatic effects upon those who worked there were long-lasting.[22]

Personal lifeEdit

As of 2007, Benson resided in Los Angeles. She described herself as a "lapsed vegetarian".[23]

From 2002 to 2009, she dated Adam Busch, who played Warren Mears on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The two have remained close friends.[24]



Year Title Role Notes
1993 The Crush Cheyenne
1993 King of the Hill Ella McShane
1994 S.F.W. Barbara 'Babs' Wyler
1994 Imaginary Crimes Margaret
1995 Bye Bye Love Meg Damico
1998 Can't Hardly Wait Stephanie
2000 The Prime Gig Batgirl
2001 Don's Plum Amy
2001 Hollywood, Pennsylvania Mandy Calhoun
2002 Taboo Piper
2002 Chance Chance Also writer and director
2003 Latter Days Traci Levine
2005 Intermedio Barbie
2005 Race You to the Bottom Maggie
2006 Lovers, Liars & Lunatics Justine Also writer and director
2007 Gryphon Princess Amelia Of Lockland
2007 Simple Things Sally
2007 Kiss the Bride Elly
2008 Strictly Sexual Donna
2008 The Blue Tooth Virgin Jennifer
2008 One-Eyed Monster Laura
2009 Tripping Forward Gwen
2010 Drones Co-director
2010 The Killing Jar Noreen
2010 Another Harvest Moon Gretchen
2011 Act Your Age Julia
2012 Dust Up Ella
2015 Desire Will Set You Free Jayne
2016 Apartment 407 Chloe originally titled Selling Isobel
2018 House of Demons Maya
2018 Glossary of Broken Dreams Pfefferkarree McCormick
2018 The Griddle House Tiny
2019 The Nightmare Gallery Samantha Rand
TBA I Saw the TV Glow Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Jack Reed: Badge of Honor Nicole Reed TV film
1994 Jack Reed: A Search for Justice Nicole Reed TV film
1995 Jack Reed: One of Our Own Nicole Reed TV film
1996 Partners Pam Episode: "Follow the Clams?"
1998 Promised Land Amy Farnsworth Episode: "Out of Bounds"
1999 Cracker Amy Episode: "The Club"
1999–2002 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Tara Maclay Recurring role (seasons 4–6), main (season 6.19)
2001 The Enforcers Abby TV miniseries
2004 Cold Case Julia Hoffman Episode: "Volunteers"
2005 The Inside Allison Davis Episode: "The Perfect Couple"
2006 Holiday Wishes Danni Hartford TV film
2006, 2011 Supernatural Lenore Episodes: "Bloodlust", "Mommy Dearest"
2008 7 Things to Do Before I'm 30 Lori Madison TV film
2008 Long Island Confidential Liz TV film
2009 Private Practice Jill Avery Episode: "Finishing"
2010 Grey's Anatomy Corrine Henley Episode: "That's Me Trying"
2011 Count Jeff Colleen Episodes: "Pilot", "Sucks to Be Me", "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead"
2011 Strictly Sexual: The Series Donna Episode: "Laugh, Cry, Say Goodbye"
2011 Ringer Mary Curtis Episode: "That's What You Get for Trying to Kill Me"
2012 Futurestates Laura Keller Episode: "Laura Keller: NB"
2012 Husbands Angry Mom Episodes: "Appropriate Is Not the Word", "The Straightening"
2013 Shelf Life Raggy Ann Episode: "Powered Up"
2013 Twisted Tales Dhianna Episode: "Shockwave"
2014 The Glass Slipper Confessionals Tinkerbell Episodes: "Think Happy Thoughts", "The Pixie Chicks"
2014 Morganville: The Series Amelie TV miniseries
2016 Sunday Morning Marcy Episode: "Marcy and Cliff"
2016 Red vs. Blue Female Grif (voice) Episode: "Get Bent"
2016 The Crooked Man Grace TV film



Ghosts of AlbionEdit

with Christopher Golden

# Title Also In Publication Date Publisher
1 Astray[25] 2004 Subterranean Press
1.1 "Legacy" Short story, available on the BBC website)[26]
2 Accursed 2005 Del Rey
3 Witchery 2006 Del Rey

Calliope Reaper-JonesEdit

  1. Death's Daughter (February 24, 2009)
  2. Cat's Claw (February 23, 2010)
  3. Serpent's Storm (February 22, 2011)
  4. How to be Death (February 28, 2012)
  5. The Golden Age of Death (Feb 2013)

The Witches of Echo ParkEdit

Title Date Publisher Length Identifiers Notes / Plot Ref.
The Witches of Echo Park January 6, 2015 Ace Books 294 pp ISBN 9780425268674
LCCN 2014-35728
OCLC 933453334
  1. The Last Dream Keeper (Jan 2016)
  2. The End of Magic (May 2017)

Other booksEdit

Anthologies and collectionsEdit

Anthology or Collection Contents Publication


21st Century Dead[30] Antiparallelogram Jul 2012
An Apple for a Creature[31] Callie Meet Happy Aug 2012
Life Inside My Mind[32] Therapy: the gift I gave myself Apr 2018


Buffy the Vampire SlayerEdit

Other comicsEdit

  • Shadowplay #1–4 (with Ben Templesmith. 2005)
  • Among the Ghosts (with Sina Grace, illustrator. August 2010)[33]
  • Clueless: Senior Year (with Sarah Kuhn)[34]
  • Clueless: One Last Summer (with Sarah Kuhn)[35]

Other mediaEdit


  1. ^ Rose, Mike (January 8, 2023). "Today's famous birthdays list for January 8, 2023 includes celebrities Noah Cyrus, Sarah Polley". Retrieved January 9, 2023.
  2. ^ Stafford, Nikki (2007). Bite Me!: The Unofficial Guide to 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. Toronto: ECW Press. p. 104. ISBN 9781550228076.
  3. ^ "Amber Benson Biography (1977–)". Retrieved October 27, 2014.
  4. ^ "Amber Benson on Buffy, Tara and Willow, Husbands & more..." Den of Geek. November 4, 2013. Retrieved May 21, 2018. Amber Benson: "My dad was Jewish, and my mom was raised by Southern Baptists so I saw both ends of the spectrum."
  5. ^ "Interviewly – Amber Benson January 2015 – reddit AMA". Archived from the original on April 6, 2015. Retrieved April 18, 2016.
  6. ^ Byrnes, Lindsey (June 8, 2010). "An interview with Amber Benson". AfterEllen. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  7. ^ "Amber chatted at Yahoo! on Thursday, March 8, 2001. Here's the transcript, provided by Coax, sans chat typos". The Essence of Amber. March 8, 2001. Archived from the original on May 12, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  8. ^ Bloom, Nate (June 6, 2003). "Celebrity Jews". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. Archived from the original on October 16, 2006. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
  9. ^ Lindsey Byrnes (June 8, 2010). "An interview with Amber Benson". Archived from the original on June 12, 2010. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  10. ^ "Episode 18: Featuring Amber Benson", RossCarey, accessed May 24, 2011.
  11. ^ "TLA Releasing presents Latter Days" (PDF). TLA Releasing. p. 16. Retrieved February 2, 2011.
  12. ^ Benson, Amber (2009). Death's Daughter. ISBN 978-0-441-01694-5.
  13. ^ Benson, Amber (February 23, 2010). Cat's Claw. ISBN 978-0-441-01843-7.
  14. ^ Benson, Amber (2012). How to be Death. ISBN 978-1-937007-28-7.
  15. ^ Roedel, Jeff. "So, you work with an alien" Archived September 29, 2008, at the Wayback Machine,, September 25, 2008
  16. ^ Vary, Adam B (June 28, 2012). "'Husbands': EP and star on season 2 of their gay-marriage web series – EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 28, 2012.
  17. ^ Mangani, Josephine (June 17, 2013). "'Buffy' Star Amber Benson Joins 'Morganville' Web Adaptation". Retrieved June 17, 2013.
  18. ^ Caine, Rachel (June 11, 2013). "Morganville: The Web TV Series". Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  19. ^ Scalzi, John (July 2, 2014). "The Lock In Audiobook: Two Versions, Two Narrators. Pre-Order and Get Both". Retrieved August 26, 2014.
  20. ^ The Witches of Echo Park
  21. ^ 'It Could Happen to You'. The video was produced, written and directed by Alex Barreto and brothers Rider Strong and Shiloh Strong who also acted in the ad with Amber. The ad won MoveOn's contest for funniest Obama ad in 2008.
  22. ^ Le, Athena (February 10, 2021). "Amber Benson Calls Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Set A Toxic Environment". Screen Rant. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
  23. ^ Benson, Amber (January 29, 2009). "art vs. commerce". Amber Benson's Official Blog, Archived January 2, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^ "Exclusive Interview with Amber Benson Part 2". Buffyfest. February 26, 2009. Retrieved July 6, 2011.
  25. ^ "Cult – Ghosts of Albion – Astray". BBC. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  26. ^ "Cult – Ghosts of Albion – Legacy". BBC. Retrieved April 5, 2012.
  27. ^ The witches of Echo Park. Library of Congress. 2015. ISBN 9780425268674. Archived from the original on October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  28. ^ "The Witches of Echo Park". Penguin Random House. Archived from the original on October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  29. ^ The witches of Echo Park. WorldCat. OCLC 933453334.
  30. ^ "21st Century Dead". September 27, 2019.
  31. ^ "An Apple for a Creature". September 27, 2019.
  32. ^ "Life Inside My Mind". September 27, 2019.
  33. ^ "Among the Ghosts » Blog with Pictures". March 23, 2010. Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2017.
  34. ^ "Clueless: Senior Year's Amber Benson & Sarah Kuhn Continue the Gen-X Classic in Comics". August 23, 2017.
  35. ^ "'Clueless' Continues with 'One Last Summer' Graphic Novel". The Hollywood Reporter. June 22, 2018.
  36. ^ Benson, Amber. "Cult Vampires – Ghosts of Albion: Illusions by Amber Benson and Christopher Golden". BBC News. Retrieved April 5, 2012.

External linksEdit