Robby Benson (Actor) Beauty and the Beast
Robby Benson 1
Updated: 8/04/20

Name: Robby Benson

Birth Name: Robin David Segal

Born: January 21, 1956 in Dallas, Texas, USA

Claim To Fame: Robby Benson is an American actor, writer, director, producer, and more. He rose to prominence in the late 1970s as a teen idol, appearing in the films One on One (1977), Ice Castles (1978), and then, in the '90s, as the voice of Beast in the Disney animated film Beauty and the Beast (1991) and its numerous sequels and spin-offs.

Family Life: Benson has been married to singer and actress Karla DeVito since July 11, 1982. Together they have two children, daughter Lyric (b. 1983) and son Zephyr (b. 1992).

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Info: Son of Freda Ann, a singer, actor, and business promotions manager, and Jerry Segal, a writer.

At five years old, Benson and his family relocated to New York City.

He subsequently took his mother's maiden name as his stage name when he was 10.

Benson attended the Lincoln Square Academy in Manhattan, where he graduated at age fourteen as the class valedictorian.

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

He later forged a career in directing television, including six episodes of the sitcom Friends.

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. Benson left the university after the Spring 2016 semester when his three-year contract expired.

While a teenager, Benson was diagnosed with a heart murmur caused by a bicuspid aortic valve defect. Subsequently underwent his first open-heart surgery in October 1984 to repair the valve defect. Benson became an activist in the field of heart research, having undergone four open-heart surgeries since age 28 to correct congenital aortic valve defects and related damage.

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Trivia: 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).

Appeared opposite Jane Withers in one of her Josephine the Plumber commercials for Comet Cleanser in the late 1960s.

Also appeared in a 1971 commercial for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups alongside Donny Most who would later co-star in Happy Days.

Auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), but lost to Mark Hamill.

In 1977, Benson starred in One on One; which he co-wrote with his father and needed no double for the authentic looking college basketball scenes due to his prowess at the game.

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.

Benson was nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, in 1974 for Most Promising Male Newcomer in Jeremy (1973) and in 1983 for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television in Two of a Kind (1982).

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Where Are They Now: Benson is still very active in the world of entertainment. Much of his time over the last decade was spent behind the camera, like so many other actors, getting work doing voice-overs for both cartoons and video games.


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