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 Templeton "Faceman" Peck in The A-Team television series and Lieutenant Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica film and television series. He is the author of Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy and And Then We Went Fishing.
Dirk Benedict at the 2011 Lucca Comics and Games
March 1, 1945
Helena, Montana, United States
|Occupation||Film and television actor|
|Spouse(s)||Toni Hudson (1986–1995; divorced)|
Benedict was born Dirk Niewoehner in Helena, Montana, the son of Priscilla Mella (née Metzger), an accountant, and George Edward Niewoehner, a lawyer. He grew up in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. He graduated from Whitman College in 1967. Benedict allegedly chose his stage name from a serving of Eggs Benedict he had prior to his acting career. He is of German extraction.
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 1990sEdit
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 to 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. 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 2010sEdit
In 2000, Benedict wrote and directed his first screenplay, Cahoots. 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".
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.
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 from a Space Ninja invasion.
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. 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 given up for adoption. With the help of his adoptive parents, Talbert discovered and contacted his birth parents.
|1972||Georgia, Georgia||Michael Winters|
|1973||Sssssss||David Blake||Alternate title: Ssssnake|
|1974||W||William Caulder||Alternate titles: I Want Her Dead / W is the Mark of Death|
|1975||Journey from Darkness||Bill||Television film|
|1978||Cruise Into Terror||Simon||Television film|
|1978||Battlestar Galactica||Lieutenant Starbuck|
|1979||Scavenger Hunt||Jeff Stevens|
|1980||The Georgia Peaches||Dusty Tyree||Television film|
|1980||Ruckus||Kyle Hanson||Alternate titles: Ruckus in Madoc County / Big Ruckus in a Small Town|
|1981||Scruples||Spider Elliott||Television film|
|1981||Underground Aces||Pete Huffman|
|1985||Mark of the Devil||Frank Rowlett|
|1986||Body Slam||M. Harry Smilac|
|1989||Trenchcoat in Paradise||Eddie Mazda||Television film|
|1991||Blue Tornado||Alex Long|
|1992||Shadow Force||Detective Rick Kelly|
|1993||Official Denial||Lt. Col. Dan Lerner||Television film|
|1994||Demon Keeper||Alexander Harris|
|1994||Christina's Dream||N/A||Director; Short film|
|1995||The Feminine Touch||John Mackie||Alternate title: The November Conspiracy|
|1996||Abduction of Innocence||Robert Steves||Television film|
|1998||Waking Up Horton||Tyler||Alternate title: The Adventures of Young Brave|
|2001||Cahoots||N/A||Director & Writer|
|2006||Earthstorm||Victor Stevens||Television film|
|2006||Goldene Zeiten||Douglas Burnett / Horst Müller||Alternate title: Strike!|
|2007||Recon 7 Down||Tom Myers|
|2009||Inglorious Bumblers||Tom Mayers|
|2010||The A-Team||Pensacola Prisoner Milt||Cameo|
|2019||Space Ninjas (film)||Jack Strange|
|1972||Hawaii Five-O||Walter Clyman||Episode: "Chain of Events"|
|1974||Chopper One||Officer Gil Foley||Main cast (13 episodes)|
|1977||Charlie's Angels||Cadet John Barton||Episode: "The Blue Angels"|
|1977||The Cabot Connection||Brom Loomis||TV pilot episode|
|1978||Charlie's Angels||Denny Railsback||Episode: "The Jade Trap"|
|1978–79||Battlestar Galactica||Lieutenant Starbuck||Main cast (24 episodes)|
|1980||Galactica 1980||Lieutenant Starbuck||Episode: "The Return of Starbuck"|
|1980||The Love Boat||Jeff Dalton||Episode: "That's My Dad"|
|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||Episode: "Whose Dog Is It Anyway"|
|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"|
|1989||Alfred Hitchcock Presents||Dr. Rush||Episode: "In the Name of Science"|
|1992||Baywatch||Aaron Brody||Episode: "Rookie of the Year"|
|1993||The Commish||Gil Higgins||Episode: "All That Glitters"|
|1995||Walker, Texas Ranger||Blair||Episode: "Case Closed"|
|1995||Murder, She Wrote||Gary Harling||Episode: "Frozen Stiff"|
|2007||Celebrity Big Brother||Himself||Housemate: third place|
|1997||Zork: Grand Inquisitor||Antharia Jack|
|2003||Battlestar Galactica||Lieutenant Starbuck||Voice|
- "Dirk Benedict". The New York Times (online). Archived from the original on February 27, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2011.
- "Dirk Benedict Biography (1945-)". FilmReference.com. Retrieved September 3, 2011.
- "Alumni Individual Web Sites". Whitman College. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- Brucker, D.J.R. "The Stage: Hamlet", The New York Times, September 22, 1987
- "Cahoots". The New York Times. Archived from the original on September 8, 2008. Retrieved May 10, 2011.
- Benedict, Dirk (May 2004). "Lost in Castration". Dirk Benedict Central. Retrieved February 7, 2006.
- ""Prescription:Murder" and "The A-Team"". Dirk Benedict Central. November 23, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2012.
- 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 2017-09-22.
- "Adopted and Searching for Answers". Parade. Archived from the original on 2007-05-04. Retrieved 2012-05-22.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dirk Benedict.|
- Official website
- Dirk Benedict on IMDb
- Dirk Benedict at AllMovie
- Dirk Benedict Interview
- Dirk Benedict Blog - In Cahoots with Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (2006)
- "Transcript of the Dirk Benedict Interview from the SCI FI Program Sciographpy: Battlestar Galactica". Syfy. Archived from the original on June 19, 2004.