Paul Benedict
Date of Birth
Sep 17, 1938
Birth Place:
Silver City, NM

Biography

Though his melodiously accented speech pattern has led many to assume that actor Paul Benedict is British, the actor was actually born in New Mexico. Benedict's oversized jaw and angular features won him several character roles once he decided upon a theatrical career. One evening, a doctor who had seen Benedict on stage warned the actor that his elongated facial structure was due to a rare bone disease called acromegaly, which ultimately distorts the face into grotesqueness and can result in early death (filmdom's most famous victim of acromegaly was horror star Rondo Hatton). Undergoing medical treatment to prevent the spread of the disease, Benedict continued acting, utilizing his odd facial features for comic rather than tragic effect. While appearing in featured roles in such films as The Goodbye Girl (1977), Paul Benedict was cast as next-door neighbor Harley Bentley, an eccentric UN translator, on the long running TV series The Jeffersons. He played Harley steadily from 1975 to 1981, left for two years to pursue other projects (including the Steve Martin comedy The Man With Two Brains [1983]), but returned in 1983 to remain with The Jeffersons until its final episode two years later. He died in 2008 at age 70. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Provided by Rovi