Benjamin, Richard 1938–

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Benjamin, Richard 1938–


Born May 22, 1938, in New York, NY; father, in the garment industry; married Paula Prentiss (an actress), October 26, 1961; children: Ross Thomas, Prentiss (a ballerina). Education: Northwestern University, B.A., drama, 1960; attended the High School of the Performing Arts, New York City.


Agent—The Gersh Agency, 232 North Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.


Actor and director.

Awards, Honors:

Theatre World Award, 1967, for The Star–Spangled Girl; Emmy Award nomination, outstanding continued performance by an actor in a leading role in a comedy series, 1968, for He & She; Golden Laurel nominations, male dramatic performance and male new face, Producers Guild of America, both 1970, for Goodbye, Columbus; Golden Globe Award nomination, best motion picture actor—musical/comedy, and Golden Laurel nomination, best comedy performance, male, both 1971, for Diary of a Mad Housewife; Golden Globe Award, best supporting actor—motion picture, 1976, for The Sunshine Boys; Golden Spike Award, Valladolid International Film Festival, 1984, for Racing with the Moon.


Film Appearances:

Neil Klugman, Goodbye, Columbus, Paramount, 1969.

Jonathan Balser, Diary of a Mad Housewife, Universal, 1970.

Major Danby (flight operations officer), Catch–22, Paramount, 1970.

Harold Weiss, The Steagle, Avco–Embassy, 1971.

William Arlen, The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1971.

Alexander Portnoy, Portnoy's Complaint, Warner Bros., 1972.

Peter Martin, Westworld, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1973.

(Uncredited) Himself, On Location with Westwood (short promotional documentary), Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1973.

Tom, The Last of Sheila, Warner Bros., 1973.

Ben Clark, The Sunshine Boys (also known as Neil Simon's "The Sunshine Boys"), United Artists, 1975.

(Uncredited) Himself, The Lion Roars Again (short documentary), Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer, 1975.

(In archive footage) Major Danby, America at the Movies (documentary), Cinema 5 Distributing/American Film Institute, 1976.

Dr. Norman Solomon, House Calls, Universal, 1978.

Doctor Jeff Rosenberg, Love at First Bite, American International Pictures, 1979.

Stuart Selsome, Scavenger Hunt, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1979.

Albert Travis, How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, American International Pictures, 1980.

Joshua Lightman, Witches' Brew (also known Which Witch Is Which?), United Artists, 1980.

Marv Cooper, The Last Married Couple in America, Universal, 1980.

Press secretary Bunthorne, First Family, Warner Bros., 1980.

John, Saturday the 14th, New World Pictures, 1981.

Rabbi Brill, Lift, 1992.

Ken/Harry's character, Deconstructing Harry, Fine Line Features, 1997.

(Uncredited) Samantha's editor, The Shrink Is In, New City Releasing, 2001.

Ben Feld (Marci's father), Marci X, Paramount, 2003.

Rabbi Schulberg, Keeping Up with the Steins (also known as Lucky 13), Miramax, 2006.

Some sources cite appearances in other films.

Film Director:

My Favorite Year, Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer/United Artists, 1982.

City Heat, Warner Bros., 1984.

Racing with the Moon, Paramount, 1984.

The Money Pit, Universal, 1986.

Little Nikita (also known as The Sleepers), Columbia, 1988.

My Stepmother Is an Alien, Columbia, 1988.

Downtown, Twentieth Century–Fox, 1990.

Mermaids, Orion, 1990.

Made in America, Warner Bros., 1993.

Milk Money, Paramount, 1994.

Mrs. Winterbourne, TriStar, 1996.

The Shrink Is In, New City Releasing, 2001.

Marci X, Paramount, 2003.

Television Appearances; Series:

Dick Hollister, He & She, CBS, 1967–68.

Adam Quark, Quark, NBC, 1978.

Television Appearances; Movies:

Nick Loomis, No Room to Run, 1978.

Gary Webber, Packin' It In, 1983.

Caspar Weinberger (secretary of defense), The Pentagon Wars, HBO, 1998.

Oliver Fry, The Goodbye Girl (also known as Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl"), TNT, 2004.

Television Appearances; Specials:

A Last Laugh at the 60s, ABC, 1970.

Meyer Shine, "Fame," Hallmark Hall of Fame, syndicated, 1978.

NBC team captain, Battle of the Network Stars IV, ABC, 1978.

Himself, The Way They Were, syndicated, 1981.

(In archive footage) Ros Denton, Saturday Night Live: Presidential Bash, NBC, 1992.

Canned Ham: Deconstructing Harry, Comedy Central, 1997.

Narrator, Hollywood Remembers Walter Matthau, Fox Movie Channel, 2001.

Himself, AFI's 100 Years … 100 Passions, CBS, 2002.

Television Appearances; Awards Presentations:

Presenter, The 23rd Annual Tony Awards, NBC, 1969.

Presenter, The 43rd Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1971.

Presenter, The 46th Annual Academy Awards, NBC, 1974.

Himself, A Tribute to Neil Simon, HBO, 1978.

Presenter, The 54th Annual Academy Awards, ABC, 1982.

A Salute to Frank Capra (also known as The 10th American Film Institute Life Achievement Award: A Salute to Frank Capra), CBS, 1982.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Adam Barstow, "The Chemistry of Anger," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1962.

Intern, "A Hand Held out in Darkness," Dr. Kildare, NBC, 1963.

Ted Penny, My Lucky Penny (pilot), broadcast as an episode of Vacation Playhouse, 1966.

Himself, The Merv Griffin Show, syndicated, 1967.

Himself, The Jonathan Winters Show, CBS, 1968.

Himself, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (also known as The Best of Carson), NBC, 1972, 1973, 1980, 1984, 1990.

Guest host and various characters, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night, Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 1979, 1980.

"Goodbye," Insight, syndicated, 1981.

Mr. Howard, "Let's Play Poison," The Ray Bradbury Theater (also known as The Bradbury Trilogy, Mystery Theatre, Ray Bradbury Theater, Le monde fantastique de Ray Bradbury, and Ray Bradbury presente), USA Network, 1992.

Dr. Vishniac, "The English–Speaking Patients," Ink, CBS, 1996.

Mr. Frank Dichristophoro, "Valentine's Day," Mad about You (also known as Loved by You), NBC, 1998.

Producer, "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute: Part 1," Ellen (also known as These Friends of Mine), ABC, 1998.

Bill, "The Reconciliation," Titus, Fox, 2000.

Himself, "Bob Newhart: The Last Sane Man …," Biography (also known as A&E Biography: Bob Newhart), Arts and Entertainment, 2001.

Himself, Intimate Portrait: Joan Van Ark, Lifetime, 2002.

Appeared as Charles Berkus, Love & War, CBS.

Television Appearances; Pilots:

Ted Penny, My Lucky Penny, broadcast as an episode of Vacation Playhouse, 1966.

Adam Quark, "Quark," Quark, NBC, 1977.

Television Director; Movies:

The Pentagon Wars, HBO, 1998.

"Tourist Trap," The Wonderful World of Disney, ABC, 1998.

Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Showtime, 2000.

(And producer) The Goodbye Girl (also known as Neil Simon's "The Goodbye Girl"), TNT, 2004.

A Little Thing Called Murder, Lifetime, 2006.

Television Director; Specials:

The Sports Pages, Showtime, 2001.

Television Director; Episodic:

Semi–Tough, ABC, 1980.

Television Director; Pilots:

Where's Poppa?, ABC, 1979.

Stage Appearances:

Huntsman, The Taming of the Shrew, New York Shakespeare Festival, Belvedere Theatre, New York City, 1960.

Lady, soldier, attendant, and novice, King Henry V, New York Shakespeare Festival, Belvedere Theatre, 1960.

Nun, citizen, attendant, gentleman, and soldier, Measure for Measure, New York Shakespeare Festival, Belvedere Theatre, 1960.

Norman Cornell, The Star–Spangled Girl, Plymouth Theatre, New York City, 1966–67.

A man, The Little Black Book, Helen Hayes Theatre, New York City, 1972.

Norman, The Norman Conquests: Living Together, The Norman Conquests: Round and Round the Garden, and The Norman Conquests: Table Manners, Center Theatre Group, Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 1975, Morosco Theatre, New York City, 1975–76.

De Recha and Dr. Kesselman, Power Plays (trio of one–act plays), Promenade Theatre, New York City, 1998–99.

Appeared as Andrew Makepeace Ladd III, Love Letters, Canon Theatre, Beverly Hills, CA; also appeared in As You Like It, Delacorte Theatre, New York City.

Major Tours:

Paul Bratter, Barefoot in the Park, U.S. cities, beginning c. 1964.

The Odd Couple, U.S. cities, c. 1966.

Stage Director:

Barefoot in the Park, Piccadilly Theatre, London, 1965.

Arf, Stage 73, New York City, 1969.

The Great Airplane Snatch, Stage 73, 1969.

Waiting for Poppa, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Miami, FL, and Parker Playhouse, Fort Lauderdale, FL, both 2006.



Host, Listening Skills (short), Time–Life Video, 1981.

Host, Managing Skills (short), Time–Life Video, 1981.



People Weekly, June 3, 1996, p. 77.

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Benjamin, Richard 1938–

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