May. 1st, 1972
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Julie Benz's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Julie M. Benz (born May 1, 1972) is an American actress, 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. She is currently starring as Mayor Amanda Rosewater on the Syfy series Defiance.
Born in Pennsylvania, Benz's father is a Pittsburgh surgeon and her mother is a figure ice skater. The family settled in nearby Murrysville, when Julie was two, and she started ice skating at age three. She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her partner David Schilling, coming in 13th. Her older brother and sister, Jeffrey and Jennifer, were in the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally. When Benz was 14, she had a bad stress fracture and had to take time off.
By 1989, with her figure skating career over, Benz turned to acting and got involved in the local theater where she got a role in the play Street Law. Her first movie role was a small, credited, speaking part in in the Black Cat episode in the 'Dario Argento' 'George A. Romero' co-direction horror flick, Due occhi diabolici (1990) playing in one scene alongside 'Harvey Keitel'. A year later, she got a role on a TV show called Hi Honey, I'm Home (1991).
After graduating from high school, Benz entered New York University to study acting there. After graduation, Benz moved to Los Angeles to further pursue her career and landed some small roles in movies and TV shows including a guest appearance on Married with Children (1987) and in the 'Aaron Spelling' TV pilot Crosstown Traffic (1995).
In 1996, Benz auditioned for the role of Buffy in the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997), but lost out to 'Sarah Michelle Gellar'. However, she was offered a small role as a vampire girl in which she did such a good job that her part was expanded to a few more episodes in playing the vampire Darla. With that, Benz's career had finally taken off. She reprised her role as Darla in the Buffy spin-off series Angel (1999) for two years and has had several small roles in various film productions. She also had a small, but memorable, role playing a receptionist in the movie As Good as It Gets (1997).
Even after her role on Angel (1999) wrapped up, Benz continued to find work on television in playing many guest staring roles in numerous popular TV shows from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2000), to Supernatural (2005), to playing the lead and supporting roles in various made-for-TV movies. Most recently, she landed another notable role on the TV-cable series Dexter (2006) playing Rita, a troubled divorc�e and lover of the title character played by 'Michael C. Hall'.
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- Her favorite vacation spot is Tuscany.
- She is the girlfriend of the Vice President of Marketing for Warner Bros. Television Rich Orosco (2008).
- Has a dog called Bamboo.
- She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with David Schilling, placing 13th. Her older sister and brother, Jennifer and Jeffrey, were the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally.
- Auditioned for a role in _Eyes Wide Shut (1999)_ (qv). She was called back to audition for the role again, but decided against it when she was going to have to do the scene topless.
- Is good friends with Buffy and Angel co-star _Eliza Dushku_, although the two never appeared together in an episode of either show.
- She dyed her natural blonde hair to brunette for the film _Punisher: War Zone (2008)_ (qv).
- Her favorite charities are Lupus LA and U.S. Campaign for Burma.