Julie Benz

Julie Benz

Birth name: Julie M. Benz
Born: May 1, 1972
Age: 51
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
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Julie M. Benz (born May 1, 1972) is an American actress, best known for her roles as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel (1997-2004) and 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. She has also starred on the series Roswell (1999-2000), Desperate Housewives (2010), No Ordinary Family (2010-2011), A Gifted Man (2011-2012), Defiance (2013-2015) and Hawaii Five-0 (2015-present). Her film roles include Jawbreaker (1999), The Brothers (2001), Rambo, Saw V and Punisher: War Zone (all 2008), The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009) and Bedrooms (2010).


Early life

Benz was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Murrysville, and graduated from Franklin Regional High School. Her mother, Joanne Marie (née Seemiller), was a figure skater, and her father, George Benz, Jr., is a surgeon in Pittsburgh. The family settled in nearby Murrysville when Benz was two, and she started ice skating when she was three. She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her skating partner David Schilling, and finished in 13th place. Her older brother and sister, Jeffrey and Jennifer, were the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally. When Benz was 14, she suffered a stress fracture in her right leg and had to take time off.


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'." By 1989, with her figure skating career over, Benz became involved in local theater and was cast in the play Street Law. Her first movie role was a small speaking part in "The Black Cat" segment of the Dario Argento/George A. Romero horror movie Two Evil Eyes (1990). A year later, she was cast in the TV show Hi Honey, I'm Home! (1991), which was canceled after two seasons.

After graduating from high school, Benz studied acting at New York University. After graduating from NYU in 1993, 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. 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 TV movie The Barefoot Executive. She had an uncredited role in Black Sheep and appearances in Diagnosis: Murder, Sliders, and The Single Guy. She played Christy in the TV movie 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.

The role helped launch her career. She appeared in more TV shows such as The Big Easy and Fame L.A., along with a small role as a receptionist in the movie 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 TV movie 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 (though the show was canceled and only two of her appearances aired), then guest-starred on Conrad Bloom and The King of Queens. She made two movies, 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 played undercover FBI Special Unit agent Kathleen Topolsky on Roswell during its first season, starred in the TV movie Satan's School for Girls (2000), the unaired TV pilot Good Guys/Bad Guys, and had a lead role in the horror movie parody Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth.

Benz reprised her role as Darla in 2000 for the Buffy spin-off series Angel, appearing in every season for at least one episode. She was the only white actor featured in the principal cast of the romantic comedy The Brothers (2001). She was a guest host for the TV show Rendez-View. She was cast as Ellie Sparks in Glory Days and appeared in the unaired pilot; however, she left the show. She guest starred on She Spies and was in the featured cast for the mini-series Taken. She 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 Hallmark TV movie The Long Shot, provided the voice of Miranda Keyes for the video game Halo 2, and played the lead role of Danielle in Bad Girls from Valley High (a film shot in 2000 under the title A Fate Totally Worse Than Death) which was released on DVD in 2005. She had a small role in the critically acclaimed TV movie 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 movie 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 movie Kill Your Darlings (2006), a lead role in the Lifetime movie Circle of Friends (2006), and joined the cast of TV show Dexter as Rita Bennett. Benz played a lead role in the fifth film of the popular horror franchise, Saw V, as Brit, a real estate developer who is one of Jigsaw's five victims. She had a supporting role in Punisher: War Zone as Angela. Benz 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. She starred in the Lifetime movie Held Hostage as Michelle Estey. in July. She also starred in the Hallmark Channel movie Uncorked (2009) as Johnny Prentiss 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. 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. 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). After the Season 4 finale of Dexter, she returned for the Season 5 premiere.

In early 2010, ABC announced that Benz had landed a lead role as Stephanie Powell, in the network's drama pilot No Ordinary Family. Production of the series commenced the following May and it premiered on September 28, 2010, as part of the 2010-11 season. On May 13, 2011, No Ordinary Family was canceled after one season with only twenty episodes filmed. In 2011, she was cast in the new CBS TV show A Gifted Man. She was originally a co-star but was downgraded to recurring. A Gifted Man was canceled by CBS in May 2012 after one season of 16 episodes. She was cast in TV movie Ricochet as Elise Laird. Benz plays the lead female role, Mayor Amanda Rosewater, in the science fiction series Defiance and also stars in the indie movie Supremacy. and the unaired TV pilot Middle Ages.

Julie Benz currently has a recurring role on CBS hit "Hawaii Five 0" with Alex O'Loughlin, Scott Caan, Grace Park, and Daniel Dae Kim. She joined the cast in Fall 2015. She plays the latest team member and Chin Ho's girlfriend Abby Dunn.

Personal life

Benz married actor John Kassir on May 30, 1998 and filed for divorce in December 2007. In 2011, she became engaged to Rich Orosco, a partner at B360 Studios, and they married on May 5, 2012.



Year Title Role Notes
1990 Two Evil Eyes Betty Segment: "The Black Cat"
1996 Black Sheep Woman Uncredited
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 Brothers, TheThe Brothers Jesse Caldwell
2003 Midget Stays in the Picture, TheThe Midget Stays in the Picture A-List Actress Short film
2003 George of the Jungle 2 Ursula Stanhope, Queen of the Jungle Video
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 Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, TheThe Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day Eunice Bloom
2010 Bedrooms Anna
2011 Ricochet Elise Laird
2011 Answers to Nothing Frankie
2014 Supremacy Kristen
2015 Circle Wife
2016 Havenhurst Jackie


Year Title Role Notes
1991-1992 Hi Honey, I'm Home! Babs Nielson 14 episodes
1994 Married... with Children Sascha Episode: "Field of Screams"
1995 Barefoot Executive, TheThe Barefoot Executive Sexy Woman TV movie remake
1995 Crosstown Traffic Unknown role Unaired pilot
1995 Empire Christine Lambert Unaired pilot
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 Movie
1996 Diagnosis: Murder Julie Miller Episode: "Murder on Thin Ice"
1996 Sliders Jenny Michener Episode: "The Electric Twister Acid Test"
1996 Single Guy, TheThe Single Guy Cranberries Girl Episode: "Love Train"
1997 Veronica's Video Heidi Unaired pilot
1997 Walton Easter A Walton Easter Jeannie Uncredited
1997 Big Easy, TheThe Big Easy Roxanne Episode: "BeGirled"
1997 Fame L.A. Vanessa Episode: "The Beat Goes On"
1997-2000 Buffy the Vampire Slayer Darla 5 episodes
1998 Ask Harriet Joplin Russell 7 episodes
1998 Conrad Bloom Julie Episode: "The Rebound Guy"
1999 Payne Breeze O'Rourke 9 episodes
1999 King of Queens, TheThe King of Queens Julie Patterson Episode: "Train Wreck"
1999-2000 Roswell Kathleen Topolsky 7 episodes
2000 Satan's School for Girls Alison Kingsley Movie
2000 Good Guys/Bad Guys Unknown role Unaired pilot
2000-2004 Angel Darla 20 episodes
2002 Glory Days Ellie Sparks Unaired pilot
2002 Taken Kate Keyes 2 episodes
2002 She Spies Elaine Episode: "Spies vs. Spy"
2002 Peacemakers Miranda Blanchard Episode: "The Witness"
2002 Coupling Amanda Episode: "Decatur Guy"
2004 Long Shot: Believe in Courage, TheThe Long Shot: Believe in Courage Annie Garrett Movie
2004 NCIS Denise Johnson Episode: "A Weak Link"
2004 Oliver Beene Cigarette Girl Episode: "Idol Chatter"
2005 Locusts: The 8th Plague Vicky Movie
2005 Lackawanna Blues Laura Movie
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 Movie
2006-2010 Dexter Rita Bennett 49 episodes
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 Movie
2009 Uncorked Johnny Prentiss Movie
2010 Desperate Housewives Robin Gallagher 5 episodes
2010-2011 No Ordinary Family Stephanie Powell Main role (20 episodes)
2011 Royal Pains Elyse Episode: "An Apple a Day"
2011-2012 Gifted Man, AA Gifted Man Christina Holt Recurring; 7 episodes
2012 Middle Ages Unknown role Unaired pilot
2013 Sole Custody Zoey Movie
2013 Taken: The Search for Sophie Parker Stevie Parker Movie
2013-2015 Defiance Mayor Amanda Rosewater Main role (39 episodes)
2015 Charming Christmas Meredith TV movie
2015-present Hawaii Five-0 Inspector Abby Dunn Recurring
Video Games
Year Title Role Notes
2003 Everybody's Golf 4 (a.k.a. Hot Shots Golf Fore!) Various voices
2004 Halo 2 Miranda Keyes

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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