BENJAMIN, RICHARD (1938–), U.S. actor and director. Born in New York City, Benjamin attended the New York High School of Performing Arts and then Northwestern University, where he met his actress wife Paula Prentiss; he graduated in 1960. While Prentiss' film career took off immediately, Benjamin focused his attention initially on the stage; his Broadway debut was Star-Spangled Girl (1966). Benjamin's first on-screen appearance was opposite Prentiss in the television series He& She (1967), while his film turn came with the adaptation of Philip Roth's Goodbye, Columbus (1969), which was followed by Mike Nichols' Catch 22 (1970) and another Roth adaptation, Portnoy's Complaint (1972). He was first nominated for the Golden Globe for The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker (1971) and won the award for his supporting role as Walter Matthau's nephew in Neil Simon's The Sunshine Boys (1975). In 1982, Benjamin turned his attention to directing with My Favorite Year, followed by City Heat (1984), The Money Pit (1986), My Stepmother is an Alien (1988), Mermaids (1990), and a made-for-television update of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl (2004).
[Adam Wills (2nd ed.)]