Julie Benz is perhaps best known for her four-season run as Rita Bennett in “Dexter,” a role that earned her two Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.
Benz has had starring, recurring and guest starring roles on a number of television series, including HAWAII FIVE-0, “A Gifted Man” and “CSI,” on the Network, as well as “Desperate Housewives,” “Defiance,” “No Ordinary Family,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Angel,” “Roswell,” “Royal Pains,” “Supernatural” and “Law and Order.” She also appeared in several television movies and miniseries, including Stephen Spielberg’s “Taken,” “Ricochet,” “Sole Custody,” “Uncorked” and “The Long Shot.”
Most recently, Benz starred in the horror film “Havenhurst.” Her additional feature film credits include “As Good As It Gets,” “Boondock Saints,” “Boondock Saints II,” “Jawbreaker,” “Rambo,” “Punisher: War Zone,” “Saw V” and “Answers to Nothing.”
Benz was raised in Pennsylvania by a general vascular surgeon and a homemaker, and she is the youngest of three children, all of whom are accomplished ice skaters. She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing before a crippling stress fracture at age 14 led her to the stage. Her first major role came at 16 in the George A. Romero horror film “Two Evil Eyes.” Later, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from New York University, where she graduated in three years with honors and studied abroad in Moscow, enriching her appreciation for the Stanislavski acting method.
Benz resides in Los Angeles with her Maltese/poodle mix, Bamboo, and her Havanese, Sugar. She enjoys running and weight training. Also, she’s involved with the charity U.S. Campaign for Burma, thanks to her life-changing experiences shooting “Rambo.”
Her birthday is May 1. Follow her on Twitter @juliebenz.