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Julie Marie Benz (born May 1, 1972) is an American actress, known for her roles as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (1997–2004), and as Rita Bennett on Dexter (2006–2010), for which she won the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress and the 2009 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Julie Benz
Julie Benz cropped 2010.jpg
Benz at PaleyFest 2010's Dexter night at the Saban Theatre on March 4, 2010
Born
Julie Marie Benz

(1972-05-01) May 1, 1972 (age 47)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Alma materNew York University
OccupationActress
Years active1990–present
Spouse(s)
John Kassir
(m. 1998; div. 2007)

Rich Orosco
(m. 2012)

Benz has also starred in the television series Roswell (1999–2000), Desperate Housewives (2010), No Ordinary Family (2010–2011), A Gifted Man (2011–2012), Defiance (2013–2015), Hawaii Five-0 (2015–2017), and Training Day (2017). Her films include Jawbreaker (1999), The Brothers (2001), Rambo (2008), Saw V (2008), Punisher: War Zone (2008), and The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009).

Early lifeEdit

Julie Marie Benz[1] was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,[2] grew up in Murrysville, and graduated from Franklin Regional High School.[3] Her mother, Joanne Marie (née Seemiller), was a figure skater, and her father, George Benz, Jr., is a surgeon in Pittsburgh.[4] The family settled in nearby Murrysville when Benz was two, and she started ice skating when she was three.[5] She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her skating partner David Schilling, and finished in 13th place.[6][7] When Benz was 14, she suffered a stress fracture in her right leg and had to take time off.[3]

CareerEdit

At age 15, Benz was told by an acting coach that she would never succeed as an actress. According to Benz, "I remember the teacher telling me I should not even try acting. I still have the report card where she was like, 'You will never be an actor. Your voice is horrible.' That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I was like, 'I'll show you'."[8] By 1989, with her figure skating career over, Benz became involved in local theater and was cast in the play Street Law. Her first film role was a small speaking part in "The Black Cat" segment of the Dario Argento/George A. Romero horror film Two Evil Eyes (1990).[9] A year later, she was cast in the TV show Hi Honey, I'm Home! (1991),[7] which was cancelled after two seasons.

After graduating from high school in 1990, Benz studied acting at New York University. After graduating from NYU in 1993,[3] she moved to Los Angeles. Two weeks after her move, she obtained a bit part in a 1994 episode of Married... with Children, playing a girl who wanted to lose her virginity to Bud Bundy.[8] Her subsequent roles included an unaired Aaron Spelling television pilot Crosstown Traffic. She starred in another unaired TV pilot called Empire in 1995. Her other TV shows included Hang Time, High Tide, Step by Step, and Boy Meets World, plus a small role in the television film The Barefoot Executive. During the 1990s, her acting career was varied and steady. She had an uncredited role in Black Sheep and her appearance in Diagnosis: Murder as top figure skater "Julie" allowed her to demonstrate her skating talent. Later TV appearances included characters on Sliders and The Single Guy. She played Christy in the television film Hearts Adrift and a lead role as Julie Falcon in Darkdrive.

In 1996, Benz auditioned for the role of Buffy Summers for the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but lost the role to Sarah Michelle Gellar. However, she was offered the small role of the vampire Darla, in the pilot episode. Her performance was so well-received that her part was expanded to a few more episodes.

This role helped launch her career and Julie appeared in guest appearances in more TV shows such as The Big Easy and Fame L.A., along with a small role as a receptionist in the film As Good as It Gets (1997). She starred in the short spoof film Eating Las Vegas and the unaired TV pilot Veronica's Video, had a small uncredited role in the television film A Walton Easter, and a small role in Inventing the Abbotts. In 1998, she had a recurring role as Joplin Russell in the TV show Ask Harriet, then guest starred on both Conrad Bloom and The King of Queens. She made two films, the dark comedy Jawbreaker and Dirt Merchant, before landing a lead role in the TV series Payne, an American remake of the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. It was cancelled after eight episodes had aired.

 
Benz at the 2012 Comic-Con in San Diego, California.

Benz reprised her role as Darla in 2000 for the Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off series Angel,[10] appearing in every season for at least one episode. Julie was a guest host for the TV show Rendez-View, cast as Ellie Sparks in Glory Days and appeared in the unaired pilot; however, she left the show. Later, she guest-starred on She Spies, was in the featured cast for the miniseries Taken, did various voices for the video game Hot Shots Golf Fore!,appeared in the short film The Midget Stays in the Picture, and took over the role of Ursula for George of the Jungle 2.

Benz appeared in Peacemakers, Coupling, NCIS, and Oliver Beene. She landed the lead role of Annie Garrett in the television film The Long Shot[10] and provided the voice of Miranda Keyes for the video game Halo 2, though she did not return to the role in the sequel Halo 3, as Bungie wanted to try a new direction with the Miranda Keyes voice by giving the character an accent.[11] She portrayed Danielle in the direct-to-DVD film Bad Girls from Valley High in 2005. She had a small role in the critically acclaimed television film Lackawanna Blues. In the Sci-Fi Channel original film Locusts: The 8th Plague, she played the lead female role Vicky. She also appeared in the straight-to-DVD film 8mm 2 as Lynn. The film was originally called The Velvet Side of Hell and was not supposed to be a sequel to 8MM. Benz appeared in episodes of Supernatural, CSI: Miami, Law & Order, and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. She had a supporting role in the Swedish independent film Kill Your Darlings (2006), a lead role in the television film Circle of Friends (2006), and joined the cast of TV show Dexter as Rita Bennett, Dexter Morgan’s girlfriend and eventual wife.[12] Benz played a lead role in the fifth film of the popular Saw horror franchise, Saw V, as Brit, a real estate developer who is one of Jigsaw's five victims. Benz had a supporting role in Punisher: War Zone as Angela and co-starred with Sylvester Stallone in Rambo (2008), the fourth film of the series.

She played the title role in the short film Kidnapping Caitlynn, written by her close friend Jenny Mollen, which premiered at the Vail Film Festival 2009 and was released online April 6, 2009.[13] She starred in the television film Held Hostage as Michelle Estey.[14] in July. She also starred in the television film Uncorked (2009)[15] as Johnny Prentiss[16] which premiered in the UK in July 2009. She is the lead female character Special Agent Eunice Bloom in The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day which had a limited release on October 30, 2009, and was released on DVD March 9, 2010. She has been cast in another indie film called Bedrooms as Anna.[17] She played Frankie in the 2011 film Answers to Nothing.

Benz appeared on The Soup with Joel McHale. Benz next took a recurring role on Desperate Housewives as Robin Gallagher, a stripper with a heart of gold and a master's degree in education who gets offered the chance to transition into a more legitimate career.[18] The character of Robin is further developed when the audience discovers she is a lesbian and begins an affair with housewife Katherine Mayfair (Dana Delany).[19] After the fourth season finale of Dexter, in which her character is murdered, Benz returned for the fifth season premiere in a flashback scene.[20]

In early 2010, ABC announced that Benz had landed a lead role as Stephanie Powell in the network's drama pilot No Ordinary Family.[21] Production of the series commenced the following May and it premiered on September 28, 2010,[22] as part of the 2010–11 season.[23] On May 13, 2011, No Ordinary Family was cancelled after one season with only 20 episodes filmed. In 2011, she was cast in the new CBS TV show A Gifted Man. Originally a co-star,[24] she was later downgraded to a recurring role. A Gifted Man was cancelled by CBS in May 2012 after one season of 16 episodes. She was cast in the television film Ricochet as Elise Laird.[25] Benz played the lead female role, Mayor Amanda Rosewater, in the science fiction series Defiance[26] and also starred in the film Supremacy[27] and the unaired TV pilot Middle Ages.[28]

In 2015, Benz landed a recurring role in the CBS series Hawaii Five-O, playing the latest team member and Chin Ho's girlfriend, Abby Dunn. She also starred in the television film Charming Christmas.

Personal lifeEdit

Benz married actor John Kassir on May 30, 1998, but filed for divorce in December 2007.[29][30] In 2011, she became engaged to Rich Orosco, a partner at the now defunct B360 Studios,[31] and they married on May 5, 2012.[32]

FilmographyEdit

FilmEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1990 Two Evil Eyes Betty Segment: "The Black Cat"
1996 Black Sheep Dancing Blonde Woman Uncredited[citation needed]
1996 Darkdrive Julie Falcon
1997 Eating Las Vegas Sheila Short film
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Co-ed
1997 As Good as It Gets Receptionist
1999 Jawbreaker Marcie Fox
1999 Dirt Merchant Angie
2000 Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth Barbara Primesuspect Video
2000 Bad Girls from Valley High Danielle
2001 The Brothers Jesse Caldwell
2003 The Midget Stays in the Picture A-List actress Short film
2003 George of the Jungle 2 Ursula Stanhope, Queen of the Jungle Video
2004 The Long Shot Annie Garrett
2005 8mm 2 Lynn Video
2006 Kill Your Darlings Katherine
2008 Rambo Sarah Miller
2008 Saw V Brit Steddison
2008 Punisher: War Zone Angela Donatelli
2009 Kidnapping Caitlynn Caitlynn Short film
2009 The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day FBI Special Agent Eunice Bloom
2010 Bedrooms Anna
2011 Ricochet Elise Laird
2011 Answers to Nothing Frankie
2014 Supremacy Kristen
2015 Circle Wife
2015 Life on the Line Carline
2016 Havenhurst Jackie
TBA Foster Boy Pamela Dupree Post-production

TelevisionEdit

Year Title Role Notes
1991–1992 Hi Honey, I'm Home! Babs Nielson Main role
1994 Married... with Children Sascha Episode: "Field of Screams"
1995 The Barefoot Executive Sexy Woman Television film
1995 Crosstown Traffic Unknown role Unaired pilot[citation needed]
1995 Empire Christine Lambert Unaired pilot[citation needed]
1995 Hang Time Linda Cantrell Episode: "Earl Makes the Grade"
1995 High Tide Joanna Craig Episode: "Sea No Evil"
1995 Step by Step Tawny Episode: "The Wall"
1996 Boy Meets World Bianca Episode: "City Slackers"
1996 Hearts Adrift Christy Television film
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Julie Miller Episode: "Murder on Thin Ice"
1996 Sliders Jenny Michener Episode: "The Electric Twister Acid Test"
1996 The Single Guy Cranberries Girl Episode: "Love Train"
1997 Veronica's Video Heidi Unaired pilot[citation needed]
1997 A Walton Easter Jeannie Uncredited[citation needed]
1997 The Big Easy Roxanne Episode: "BeGirled"
1997 Fame L.A. Vanessa Episode: "The Beat Goes On"
1997–2000 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Darla Guest role (5 episodes)
1998 Ask Harriet Joplin Russell Recurring role (7 episodes)
1998 Conrad Bloom Julie Episode: "The Rebound Guy"
1999 Payne Breeze O'Rourke Main role
1999 The King of Queens Julie Patterson Episode: "Train Wreck"
1999–2000 Roswell Kathleen Topolsky Recurring role (7 episodes, season 1)
2000 Satan's School for Girls Alison Kingsley Television film
2000 Good Guys/Bad Guys Unknown role Unaired pilot[citation needed]
2000–2004 Angel Darla Recurring role (20 episodes)
2002 Glory Days Ellie Sparks Unaired pilot[citation needed]
2002 Taken Kate Keyes Miniseries (2 episodes)
2002 She Spies Elaine Episode: "Spies vs. Spy"
2002 Peacemakers Miranda Blanchard Episode: "The Witness"
2002 Coupling Amanda Episode: "Decatur Guy"
2004 The Long Shot: Believe in Courage Annie Garrett Television film
2004 NCIS Denise Johnson Episode: "A Weak Link"
2004 Oliver Beene Cigarette Girl Episode: "Idol Chatter"
2005 Locusts: The 8th Plague Vicky Television film
2005 Lackawanna Blues Laura Television film
2006 Supernatural Layla Rourke Episode: "Faith"
2006 CSI: Miami Hayley Gordon Episode: "Deviant"
2006 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Heidi Wolff Episode: "Time of Your Death"
2006 Circle of Friends Maggie Television film
2006–2010 Dexter Rita Bennett Main role (season 1–4); guest role (season 5)
Won – Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated – Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
2007 Law & Order Dawn Sterling Episode: "Church"
2009 Held Hostage Michelle Estey Television film
2009 Uncorked Johnny Prentiss Television film
2010 Desperate Housewives Robin Gallagher Recurring role (5 episodes)
2010–2011 No Ordinary Family Stephanie Powell Main role
2011 Royal Pains Elyse Episode: "An Apple a Day"
2011–2012 A Gifted Man Christina Holt Recurring (7 episodes)
2012 Middle Ages Unknown role Unaired pilot[citation needed]
2013 Sole Custody Joey Television film
2013 Taken: The Search for Sophie Parker Lt. Stevie Parker Television film
2013–2015 Defiance Mayor Amanda Rosewater Main role
2015 Charming Christmas Meredith Rossman Television film
2015–2017 Hawaii Five-0 Inspector Abby Dunn Recurring (12 episodes)
2017 Training Day Holly Butler Main role
Christmas Homecoming Amanda Television film
2019 On Becoming a God in Central Florida Carole Wilkes Recurring role (5 episodes)
Dark/Web Rideshare Episode: "Rideshare"
V. C. Andrews' Heaven Kitty Dennison Television film

Video gamesEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2003 Everybody's Golf 4 (a.k.a. Hot Shots Golf Fore!) Various voices
2004 Halo 2 Miranda Keyes

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Julie Benz - 26 Public Records Found". www.instantcheckmate.com.
  2. ^ "Julie Benz: Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c Owen, Rob (February 20, 1999). "Gaining recognition". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Owen, Rob (September 27, 2010). "Murrysville native Benz enjoys lighter, comedic role in 'Family'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved January 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Debnam, Betty (April 2, 2004). "Meet Julie Benz". The Bryan Times. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  6. ^ "SMGFAN.com's Exclusive Interview with Julie Benz". SMGFan.com. November 11, 2003. Archived from the original on January 3, 2008. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Hi Honey, Julie Benz is Back Home!". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 3, 1991. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Rizzo, Carita (January 3, 2011). "Before They Were Stars". TV Guide: 24.
  9. ^ Fritz, Steve (May 29, 2008). "Julie Benz One Tough Lady; Three Tough Jobs". Newsarama. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  10. ^ a b Pace, Terry (April 16, 2004). "Benz gets to play new kind of character". TimesDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  11. ^ Mitovitch, Matt Webb (December 15, 2006), "Dexter's No. 1 Gal — Julie Benz — Previews a Killer Finale", TV Guide, archived from the original on December 17, 2006
  12. ^ "SCREAM '09: Julie Benz, Jennifer Carpenter on 'Dexter', More!". Bloody-disgusting.com. October 18, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  13. ^ [1] Archived April 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Michelle Renee: Breaking The Chains of Domestic Violence". Huffington Post. October 7, 2008. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  15. ^ "Julie Benz | Your source for Julie @". Julie-benz.info. March 26, 2009. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  16. ^ Bierly, Mandi (March 26, 2009). "Hallmark Channel to produce 35 original movies with stars like Andrew McCarthy, Lori Loughlin, and Julie Benz. Pinch. Me". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 14, 2010.
  17. ^ "Benz Happy for 'Dexter' Castmates Marriage — Netscape Celebrity". Channels.isp.netscape.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2011. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  18. ^ DiNunno, Gina (January 3, 2010). "Dexter's Julie Benz to Pay a Visit to Wisteria Lane". TV Guide. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  19. ^ Heller, Dana (June 15, 2013). Loving The L Word: The Complete Series in Focus. I.B.Tauris. p. 6. ISBN 978-1-78076-424-5. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  20. ^ Abrams, Natalie (May 25, 2010). "Julie Benz Returning to Dexter". TV Guide. Retrieved February 26, 2014.
  21. ^ Eng, Joyce (March 2, 2010). "Julie Benz Joins ABC's New Super Family". TV Guide. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  22. ^ Ram, Archana (September 28, 2010). "No Ordinary Family Premieres Tonight. Will You Be Watching?". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 20, 2010.
  23. ^ Rice, Lynette (May 12, 2010). "Breaking: ABC picks up 'No Ordinary Family' starring Michael Chikilis". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on May 13, 2010. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
  24. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 16, 2011). "CBS Picks Up Susannah Grant Medical Drama To Series, Neal Baer To Run It". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 31, 2011.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (July 28, 2011). "John Corbett And Julie Benz To Star In TNT Film; Benz Changes Status On 'Gifted Man' –". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  26. ^ "Julie Benz To Star in New Syfy Series Defiance". SFX. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  27. ^ E Entertainment. "Supremacy becomes more Supreme". PRLog. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  28. ^ Middle Ages on IMDb
  29. ^ "Angel – Interviews – Julie Benz and John Kassir". BBC Online.
  30. ^ "IMDB bio".
  31. ^ Arrow, Jennifer (June 27, 2011). "Julie Benz Is Getting Married! (Congrats, Lady!)". E! Online. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  32. ^ Corneau, Allison (May 5, 2012). "Dexter's Julie Benz Gets Married!". Us Weekly. Retrieved October 9, 2012.

External linksEdit