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No Ordinary Family


Julie Benz

Julie Benz on No Ordinary Family

Stephanie Powell on "No Ordinary Family"

With chameleon-like abilities to transform from a bubbly blonde to a tortured brunette, Julie Benz captivates audiences with her radiant beauty and infectious energy. She is best-known for her ongoing stint on Showtime's two-time Golden Globe, two-time Screen Actors Guild and two-time Emmy-nominated series "Dexter," as the title character's wife, Rita Bennett. She won a 2006 Golden Satellite Award for Best Supporting TV Actress.

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Benz recently joined ABC's "Desperate Housewives" for a multi-episode arc as Robin, a stripper with a heart of gold and a Masters degree in education who ends up having a steamy lesbian love affair with Katherine (Dana Delany). She also starred in cult-classics such as "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Angel" and "Roswell," as well as the Steven Spielberg-produced alien abduction miniseries, "Taken," and made special guest appearances on such hit TV shows as "Supernatural," "CSI" and "Law & Order."

On the big screen Benz continued her streak as Eunice Bloom, reuniting with the original cast in "Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day," the sequel to the cult-classic "Boondock Saints." She starred opposite Sylvester Stallone in "Rambo" and darkened her hair to play the vengeful blue-collar wife of a murdered cop in "The Punisher: War Zone." Though her rise as a cult-favorite heroine has won the hearts of many thrill-seekers, don't forget to add her to one of the most successful chillers in the "Saw" series, "Saw V," as one of Jigsaw's latest victims. Benz also had a great turn with Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets," and starred with Rose McGowan, Pam Grier, Judy Greer and Rebecca Gayheart in the cult hit "Jawbreaker."

Born and raised in Pennsylvania to a general vascular surgeon and a homemaker, Benz 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 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. But when Benz was 14, she suffered a crippling stress fracture and had to take time off. She stepped off the ice sand stepped onto the stage, something she had always been interested in, starring in numerous community theater productions that earned her a whirlwind of attention, so she set herself a new goal -- to become an actress.

Benz's first major role came at 16 when she was cast in the "Black Cat" episode of the Dario Argento and George A. Romero horror film, "Two Evil Eyes," where she shared a notable scene with Harvey Keitel. Next came a recurring role on the TV series "Hi Honey, I'm Home," about a 1950's sitcom family put in a sitcom family relocation program.

Benz took a break from her budding career to attend New York University, where she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Acting. While attending, she graduated in three years with honors and studied abroad in Moscow, enriching her appreciation for the Stanislavski acting method.

With a flourishing and diverse career, Benz resides in Los Angeles with her Maltese/Poodle mix, Bamboo, and her Havanese, Sugar. She enjoys cooking and doing every form of exercise from boxing to pilates, spinning, running and lifting heavy weights. She is involved with the charity U.S. Campaign for Burma, thanks to her life-changing experiences shooting "Rambo," as well as doing charity work for Rally for Kids with Cancer.