Actor Brian Benben

Brian Edward Benben (born June 18, 1956) is an American actor, best known for his role as Martin Tupper in the HBO comedy television series Dream On (1990–1996), and also known as Sheldon Wallace on ABC medical drama Private Practice (2008–2013).

Early life and career

Benben was born in Winchester, Virginia, the son of Gloria Patricia (née Coffman) and Peter Michael Benben Sr., a produce buyer.

He later lived and attended high school in Marlboro, New York, followed by two years at Ulster County Community College in Stone Ridge, New York, after which he moved to New York City, where he worked various jobs while auditioning and acting. In 1983 he appeared in the Broadway production of John Byrne’s play Slab Boys with Kevin Bacon, Sean Penn, Val Kilmer and Jackie Earle Haley. The play ran on Broadway for 48 performances.

Although his first national exposure was in the 1981 NBC miniseries-then-series The Gangster Chronicles, Benben is perhaps best known for his leading role in the 1990–96 HBO television series, Dream On. He played a “by the book” FBI agent in the 1990 film Dark Angel (known in the U.S. as I Come in Peace).

He had a starring role in the 1994, film Radioland Murders playing Mary Stuart Masterson’s estranged husband. In September 1998, he starred in an eponymous primetime CBS sitcom, The Brian Benben Show, which lasted only one month on the air. In the 2000s, he played Dr. Sheldon Wallace on Shonda Rhimes’ Private Practice. His character was first introduced in December 2008, later became a recurring character, and finally a series regular. In 2014 he appeared in the television series Scandal, also produced by Rhimes.

Personal life

In 1982, Benben married actress Madeleine Stowe, whom he met filming The Gangster Chronicles. Together they have one child, daughter May Theodora Benben (born 1996). Benben and Stowe live west of Austin, near Johnson City, Texas.


Year Title Role Other notes
1981 The Gangster Chronicles Michael Lasker Main role
1986 Kay O’Brien Dr. Mark Doyle Main role
1990–1996 Dream On Martin Tupper Main role
CableACE Awards for Actor in a Comedy Series (1993)
1998 The Brian Benben Show Brian Benben Lead role; also co-executive producer
2003 Kingpin Dr. Heywood Klein Main role
2005 Masters of Horror Dwight Faraday Episode: “Deer Woman”
2008–2013 Private Practice Dr. Sheldon Wallace Recurring role (Seasons 2–3)
Main role (Seasons 4–6)
2014 Scandal Leonard Carnahan Episode: “An Innocent Man”
2015 Grace and Frankie Charlie Episode: “The Earthquake”
2016 Roadies Preston Recurring role
2017–2018 Imposters Max Main role
Year Title Role Other notes
1981 Gangster Wars Michael Lasker Based on The Gangster Chronicles
1988 Clean and Sober Martin Laux
1989 Mortal Sins Nathan Weinschank
1990 I Come in Peace Special Agent Arwood ‘Larry’ Smith was released as Dark Angel outside the US
1994 Radioland Murders Roger Henderson

External Links

Actor Brian Benben – Wikipedia

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