If you grew up in the ’70s and hung posters of your celebrity crushes on your walls, chances are Robby Benson was in your bedroom. After starring in the films Ice Castles and One on One, the young actor’s fate as a teen idol was all but sealed – and he continued to appear in movies and on TV for decades after he rose to fame, including finding Disney’s immortality by voice the cursed prince in 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.
But while Benson may still live on in many hearts as a teen heartthrob and Disney prince, he’s done a lot more since then, including directing episodes of one of his favorite sitcoms. Read on to find out what the 66-year-old star is up to today.
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In the ’90s and ’00s, Benson did a lot of voice acting – not only to reprise the role of Beast for various video games and movie sequels, but also for TV shows including Batman: The Animated Series, Exosquad, and The Legend of Prince Valiant.
At the same time, he began working more and more behind the scenes, writing and directing the 1990 film Modern Love; directing several episodes of hit TV shows like Ellen and Friends; production of short films; and compose music.
His love of film led Benson to become a film professor, teaching at UCLA, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and Indiana University, among other institutions. He retired from Indiana University in 2016 to spend more time with his family and focus more on his writing, according to Indy Star.
Benson’s on-screen roles were dwindling in the 2000s, with 2011’s Brave New World being his most recent until just a few years ago. In 2019, Benson returned to acting to appear in a movie called Apple Seed and star in the Hallmark Channel movie, A Feeling of Home. He felt compelled to take on the latest project after reading its “well-written” script and connecting with the character, as he told Closer.
“I loved the relationship of the father I play and his daughter, because as a father, you always want to make sure there’s an open and honest relationship with your kids,” he said. “Even if they are in their 20s or 30s, you wake up in the middle of the night still worried and hoping that all is well. The most important thing for me on the planet is my love for my wife and family.”
Benson has been married to actress Karla DeVito since 1982 – the two met while starring in a production of The Pirates of Penzance – and they have two children together: son Zephyr and daughter Lyric, with whom Benson created the album Lyric’s Love Light Revolution. Benson is also a grandfather now, and it seems he takes that role very seriously.
“It makes me reevaluate my hours and priorities. This is a very healthy time filled with even more love – if that’s possible! I hope to be the best I can be as a grandfather, father and husband,” he said. the exit.
Another subject that Benson has been especially passionate about is heart health. He learned as a teenager that he had a heart murmur and had his first of four open-heart surgeries in 1984. (The most recent was in 2010.) While his first book, 2007’s Who Stole the Funny?, is a novel Benson would then write a memoir about his experience dealing with heart problems: 2012’s I’m Not Dead… Yet!.
“If you fight it, you’re a fool,” he told People of his awareness of his own mortality at the time. “If you’re afraid of death, I’d say, either fight for your life or accept the fact that you might not make it. And in doing that there shouldn’t be any bitterness. There should be a celebration. be an understanding of how lucky you are. This is how I feel.”
Years before his memoir was released, Benson wrote and starred in an Off-Broadway show called Open Heart, which deals with the same subject.
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Despite Benson’s popularity in the ’70s, he couldn’t understand his status as a heartthrob until he saw how people reacted to meeting him. In fact, even with the wild crowds, he called “interacting with people” the best part of his early fame.
“There were about 8,000 [extras]so I said I would stay to sign autographs, and then they were the best audience,” he told Closer of filming Ice Castles.[Later,] I broke my hip during a hockey scene so I was home in agony and turned on the TV. These young women were screaming, ‘I saw him! I touched him!’ Then they showed my picture. I was like, ‘This can’t be right.’ It was really fun. I never thought of myself as a star.”
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