Monday, December 8, 2008

Goodbye Mr Bentley

Sad news last week, veteran character actor Paul Benedict passed away at the young age of 70. Most people knew him as Mr. Bentley, the gentle but somewhat bumbling neighbor to the Jeffersons that proved to be a comic foil for George. While this is his most recognizable piece of work, he had a pretty distinguished career.

If you grew up in the Seventies, you'd recognize Benedict as the "Mad Painter" character on Sesame Street, the guy who painted numbers on bread with ketchup in vignettes.

Benedict also suffered from a rare condition called "acromegaly" (much like fellow actor Rondo Hatton, although less severely) which can distort your facial features, Benedict seemed to use this to his advantage as he was instantly recognizable on screen.

His post Jefferson's career included some success on broadway as both an actor and a stage direct and work in some popular films such as "A Mighty Wind"

As a kid, Mr Bentley was my favorite character, although I was convinced he was also the "Galloping Gourmet".

1 comment:

rob! said...

oh man, that's sad news.

he also had a brief but memorable scene in This is Spinal Tap--he's a hotel clerk who pisses off the band's manager, and after the manager insults his looks, Benedict says "I'm just as God made me, sir." his delivery made me laugh every time i heard it.