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Robby Benson

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Years active  1965–present
Parents  Jerry Segal, Ann Benson
Spouse  Karla DeVito (m. 1982)
Role  Actor ·
Name  Robby Benson

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Full Name  Robin David Segal
Born  January 21, 1956 (age 59) (1956-01-21) Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Occupation  Actor, director, singer, educator
Children  Zephyr Benson, Lyric Benson
TV shows  Exosquad, The Legend of Prince Valiant
Movies  Beauty and the Beast, Ice Castles, One on One, Ode to Billy Joe, Running Brave
Similar People  Paige O'Hara, Karla DeVito, Richard White, Lynn‑Holly Johnson, Jerry Orbach

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Robin David Segal (born January 21, 1956), better known by the stage name Robby Benson, is an American actor, director, singer and educator. He is known as the voice of The Beast in the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast and its numerous sequels and spin-offs, and for directing several episodes of the popular sitcom Friends.


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Early life

Benson was born in Dallas, Texas, the son of Freda Ann (née Benson), a singer, actor, and business promotions manager, and Jerry Segal, a writer. His family is Jewish. Benson was raised in New York City and took his mother's maiden name as his stage name when he was 10.


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Benson made his film debut with an uncredited role in Wait Until Dark (1967) as the Boy Tossing Ball and his Broadway debut in The Rothschilds (1970). Benson had an early role on the daytime soap Search for Tomorrow (1971–72). As a film actor, Benson was well known for teenage roles in coming-of-age films, such as 1972's Jory, 1973's Jeremy, and as Billy Joe McAllister in 1976's Ode to Billy Joe.

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In 1975, Benson appeared in Death Be Not Proud and Lucky Lady. In 1977, he starred in One on One (which he co-wrote with his father) and the TV movie The Death of Richie. In 1978, he co-starred in The End and also Ice Castles, co-starring Lynn Holly Johnson, who was a U.S. national figure skating medalist. Benson, who had never ice skated before, learned to skate in order to film the movie, which had numerous skating scenes, including ice hockey. In 1980, Benson starred opposite Linda Grovenor in the Orion film, Die Laughing. The same year, Benson also starred in the movie Tribute opposite Jack Lemmon.

In 1981, he costarred in the film The Chosen, based on the book of the same name by Chaim Potok. The New York Times gave the film a mixed review, but noted that Benson's character was "full of a gentle inquisitiveness that cannot help but win the audience's sympathy." Benson played Olympic 10,000-meter gold medalist Billy Mills in the 1983 film Running Brave. In 1991, he starred as the voice of Beast in the acclaimed animated Disney film Beauty and the Beast. Later in the 1990s he voiced lead character J.T. Marsh on the acclaimed sci-fi cartoon series Exosquad.

His 2007 novel Who Stole the Funny?: A Novel of Hollywood landed Benson on the LA TImes Bestseller list. Benson's medical memoir I'm Not Dead ... Yet! was released in June 2012.

Benson has been a professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, the University of Utah and the University of South Carolina. It was announced he would serve as a professor of Practice in the fall of 2013 at Indiana University.

Personal life

Benson married singer and actress Karla DeVito on July 11, 1982. They have two children together, daughter Lyric (b. 1983) and son Zephyr (b. 1992).

He is an activist and fundraiser for heart research, which, in 2004, led him to write the book, lyrics and music for an original Off-Broadway play called Open Heart, in which he also starred. He practices Transcendental Meditation.


Robby Benson Wikipedia