Daniel Benzali (born January 20, 1950) is a Brazilian-American stage, television and film actor.

Daniel Benzali
BornJanuary 20, 1950 (1950-01-20) (age 69)
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Early lifeEdit

Benzali was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the son of Lee, a cook, and Carlo Benzali, a salesman who had also been an actor in Brazilian theatre[1] and Yiddish theatre.[2] His family are Brazilian Jews.[1] Daniel Benzali is the middle son of three. The family moved to the United States in 1953, and the boys were raised in Brooklyn, New York City.



Benzali began his acting career as a theatre actor, including the Royal Shakespeare Company in Great Britain. His first performance was in Holiday at The Old Vic alongside Mary Steenburgen and Malcolm McDowell.

He also played musical theater, including a portrayal of Juan Perón in the London cast of Evita. He played faded film director Max von Mayerling, alongside Patti LuPone, in the original (1993) cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard. Benzali also appeared on Broadway in Fiddler on the Roof[citation needed] and other smaller productions.

Television and feature filmsEdit

In 1985 he was cast in the James Bond film A View to a Kill as W. G. Howe,[3] the Californian director of Oil and Mines, based at San Francisco City Hall. The character was shot dead in his office there by Max Zorin (played by Christopher Walken).[4]

Subsequently, he began making guest-starring roles on television series such as Strong Medicine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, and in recurring roles in NYPD Blue and L.A. Law.[2][3] NYPD Blue and L.A. Law creator Steven Bochco was so impressed with Benzali's performances that Bochco later cast him in the lead role of his 1995 series Murder One, playing attorney Ted Hoffman. For his performance, Benzali was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. The series was not especially successful, and Benzali left after its first season. Bochco later revealed that he fired Benzali because he refused to leave his home before he completed his morning bowel movement and was perpetually late to the set.[5][6]

Benzali's stage performance in Holiday at The Old Vic so impressed director Anthony Page that Page cast him opposite Teri Garr in the Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie adaptation of Pack of Lies, a play by English writer Hugh Whitemore.[1]

Benzali also starred in the TV series The Agency and appeared in feature films including By Dawn's Early Light (1990), Murder at 1600 (1997) and The Grey Zone (2001).[3] Another role was as Reggie, a drug smuggler working at a car dealership in Suckers (2001)".[3] He appeared in the post-apocalyptic CBS series Jericho as the enigmatic former Department of Homeland Security director Thomas Valente.[3] After that, he starred in the FX television series Nip/Tuck as Dr. Griffin.[3]

In December 2010, Benzali joined ABC's General Hospital.[7] Benzali played a character named Theodore Hoffman, a reference to his role on the mid-1990s television series Murder One.[3]


Year Title Role Notes
1983 Home Free All Therapist
1985 Insignificance First Theatrical Agent
1985 A View to a Kill W. G. Howe
1985 White Nights Dr. Asher
1986 Whoops Apocalypse William Kubert (US Defense Secretary)
1988 Messenger of Death Chief Barney Doyle
1989 Vietnam War Story: The Last Days Adams (segment "Dirty Work")
1991 En dag i oktober Solomon Kublitz
1992 The Distinguished Gentleman 'Skeeter' Warburton
1997 Murder at 1600 Sr. Agent Nicholas Spikings
1997 The End of Violence Brice Phelps
1998 Heist Big Fats
1998 All the Little Animals Bernard 'The Fat' De Winter
1999 Suckers Reggie
1999 Her Married Lover Det. Joe Lansing
2000 Screwed Detective Tom Dewey
2001 Vegas, City of Dreams Dr. Sigmund Stein
2001 The Grey Zone Simon Schlermer
2002 Dead Heat Frank Finnegan
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Walter


  1. ^ a b c "Suckers". RogerNygard.com. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Daniel Benzali". filmreference.com.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Daniel Benzali on IMDb
  4. ^ "W.G. Howe (Daniel Benzali)". James Bond MM. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  5. ^ "Murder One Cast and Characters". TVGuide.com. Retrieved September 6, 2016.
  6. ^ "TV producer Steven Bochco says he fired lead actor from Murder One because one particular bathroom habit made him an hour late for work EVERY DAY". The Daily Mail.
  7. ^ "Exclusive: Daniel Benzali Joins General Hospital". TVGuide.com. Retrieved October 11, 2010.

External linksEdit