View Full Version : Interesting fact about Actor Paul Benedict (Bentley)


JeffRuss1972
10-08-2005, 05:02 PM
From The Great TV Sitcom Book by Rick Mitz(1980)

Probably the most interesting case history of all of THE JEFFERSONS' clan was that of Paul Benedict, who played the family's klutzy but well-intentioned neighbor, Bentley. He had a strange look about him---an over-loose walk plus a distorted face; a large nose and a huge jaw, making him look more like a race horse than a TV actor. Benedict was lucky to look that way at all.
In 1965, while performing with the Theatre Company of Boston, a radiologist in the audience sent him a note. Said Benedict: "The man wrote that he suspected I might be the victim of a bizarre glandular disorder, acromegaly [which enlarges the hands, feet and face]. The note said, 'If you'd like to talk to me, I'll wait for you outside the lobby.' Of course I rushed out and grabbed him by the lapels---and his diagnosis turned out to be correct. He sent me to an endocrine specialist and I underwent a twenty-minute operation. And that was that. Actually, it would've killed me if it hadn't been caught at that time. My headaches had grown worse and I was completely exhausted. There's been no recurrence. The only thing is, the ailment changed my casting possibilities. It turned me into a character actor."
That was fine with Norman Lear, THE JEFFERSONS' producer. "We wanted something different for a neighbor and liked the idea of an Englishman. Oddly enough, we interviewed some British actors, but they were TOO British. When Paul auditioned, he had just the right kind of level."

Ireneparalegal
10-08-2005, 06:34 PM
From The Great TV Sitcom Book by Rick Mitz(1980)

Probably the most interesting case history of all of THE JEFFERSONS' clan was that of Paul Benedict, who played the family's klutzy but well-intentioned neighbor, Bentley. He had a strange look about him---an over-loose walk plus a distorted face; a large nose and a huge jaw, making him look more like a race horse than a TV actor. Benedict was lucky to look that way at all.
In 1965, while performing with the Theatre Company of Boston, a radiologist in the audience sent him a note. Said Benedict: "The man wrote that he suspected I might be the victim of a bizarre glandular disorder, acromegaly [which enlarges the hands, feet and face]. The note said, 'If you'd like to talk to me, I'll wait for you outside the lobby.' Of course I rushed out and grabbed him by the lapels---and his diagnosis turned out to be correct. He sent me to an endocrine specialist and I underwent a twenty-minute operation. And that was that. Actually, it would've killed me if it hadn't been caught at that time. My headaches had grown worse and I was completely exhausted. There's been no recurrence. The only thing is, the ailment changed my casting possibilities. It turned me into a character actor."
That was fine with Norman Lear, THE JEFFERSONS' producer. "We wanted something different for a neighbor and liked the idea of an Englishman. Oddly enough, we interviewed some British actors, but they were TOO British. When Paul auditioned, he had just the right kind of level."
Very interesting story. Glad to know he was "saved". Also, I loved his acting. He wasn't so british that you couldn't understand him. There's nothing that is worse than a person with an accent speaking english and you can't understand what they are saying. "Mr. Bentley" was awesome.

PrettyinPink55
10-08-2005, 07:18 PM
WOW! I didn't know that! Thanks for sharing that tidbit! I loved Bentley!

TVFactFan
10-08-2005, 08:38 PM
Very interesting story. Glad to know he was "saved". Also, I loved his acting. He wasn't so british that you couldn't understand him. There's nothing that is worse than a person with an accent speaking english and you can't understand what they are saying. "Mr. Bentley" was awesome.


Irene please tell me what was awesome about Mr. Bentley?-lol

BillyK
10-17-2005, 02:56 PM
Yeah, I always liked Mr. Bentley. I did hear he had some kind of disorder that made his features more pronounced and his hands bigger. Loved him in Sesame Street along with Stockard Channing doing the Mad Painter sketches.

GARFIELDKOOL
10-17-2005, 06:38 PM
Irene please tell me what was awesome about Mr. Bentley?-lol

I liked Mr. Bently because he always said something foolish and it ended up being funny. He always gave examples of something and there was no point or moral. He set George up for a joke or getting the door slammed in his face. Bently was a missing ingredient.