Actor Jay Benedict

Jay Benedict (April 11, 1951 – April 4, 2020) was an American actor who spent most of his life and career in the United Kingdom. He was frequently cast as American characters in British films and television programmes. He was best known for his television roles as Doug Hamilton in the soap opera Emmerdale, and as Captain/Major John Kieffer in the detective drama Foyle’s War, in the episodes “Invasion” and “All Clear”. He also played Russ Jorden, Newt’s father, in the special “Extended Edition” of the film Aliens.

Life and career

Benedict was born in Burbank, California. He moved to Europe with his family in the 1960s, and would spend most of his working life in England. He was of half German descent. His theatrical credits include The Rocky Horror Show in the Kings Road in the early 1970s, Harold Pinter’s production of Sweet Bird of Youth, The Reverend Lee in The Foreigner and Riccardo in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of Filumena in which he played opposite Pierce Brosnan in the latter’s first stage role, and Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in a touring production of “One Day at a Time”. In 2013, he appeared opposite Steven Berkoff and Andree Bernard in the world premiere of the former’s one act play An Actor’s Lament at The Berkoff Performing Arts Centre at Alton College, followed by a second performance at The Sinden Theatre, Homewood School, Tenterden in Kent, two nights at The Maltings Theatre & Cinema in Berwick-upon-Tweed and then a three-week run at the Assembly Hall in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In May 2014, it was revived with a short run at the Theatre Royal, Margate with a further one-week run scheduled at The Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in September 2014.

In August 2014, he returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in the world premiere of Terry Jastrow’s The Trial of Jane Fonda, playing World War II veteran Archie Bellows.

He also appeared widely on television, most notably as Frank Crowe in an episode of the BBC’s award-winning 2003 television miniseries Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, John E. Jones III in Nova’s Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, Alan Kalanak in the 2001 Christmas Special edition of Jonathan Creek and Yves Houdet in Thames Television’s mini-series of Angus Wilson’s Anglo-Saxon Attitudes. Other television appearances include Lilyhammer as Agent Becker, Queen Victoria’s Men (Lord Melbourne), Sharpe’s Honour (General Verigny), Bergerac (Martin Colley), Death Train (Halloran), Harnessing Peacocks (Eli Drew) and Only Love (Roger). He provided the voice for Shiro Hagen in Star Fleet, the English adaptation of the Japanese X-Bomber.

His first film role, at the age of 11, was in the 1963 Tony Saytor film La Bande à Bobo. In 1977, he played Deak in the Tosche Station scenes in Star Wars, which were deleted from the film before release. Subsequent film appearances include The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (Didier le Clair), Icon (Carey Jordan), The White Knight (Turkish Ambassador), The Russia House (Spikey), Saving Grace (the MC), Rewind and The Dark Knight Rises (Rich Twit). In 2003 he was third lead in Vicente Aranda’s version of Carmen, playing Don Prospero.

In addition to English, he also spoke fluent French and Spanish, having spent parts of his childhood in both countries, and performed widely on the continent. He appeared as Paul Matthiews in the French day-time soap opera Cap des Pins and William Wilbur in Le Grand Charles (a French mini series on Charles De Gaulle), among many other roles.

He was married to actress Phoebe Scholfield and together they ran Sync or Swim, an ADR/Loop group (see dubbing). They also translated and wrote movies together, such as The Card Player (Il Cartaio), which they translated into English. They had two sons: Leopold Benedict (Before the Rains, Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest) and Freddie Benedict (Planet 51, Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest). He also had a daughter from his previous marriage to casting director Vanessa Pereira.


Benedict died at Croydon University Hospital on April 4, 2020, a week before his 69th birthday, due to complications arising from a COVID-19 infection during the pandemic in London. He is survived by his mother Renata (b. 1926), his wife Phoebe (b. 1958) and his children Alexis (b. 1984), Frederick (b. 1996) and Leopold (b. 1997).


Year Title Role Notes
1963 La bande à Bobo
1977 Star Wars Deak Scenes deleted
1979 Winterspelt Sergeant
1979 Hanover Street Corporal Daniel Giler
1979 Licensed to Love and Kill Mad Professor
1982 Victor Victoria Guy Langois
1983 The Lonely Lady Dr. Sloan
1986 Project A-Ko Captain 1992, English version, voice
1986 Aliens Russ Jorden (Newt’s Father) Special edition only
1989 La Révolution française Clerc Segment “Années Terribles, Les”
1989 Jeniec Europy Capt. Henry Fox
1989 Diamond Skulls Joe Dimandino
1990 The Russia House Spikey
1992 Shining Through Wisecracker in War Room
1993 Genghis Cohn Dr. Burkhardt
1994 The Patriots Colleague NSA
1996 Beaumarchais L’homme en gris
1997 Double Team Brandon
1998 Rewind Blondin
1999 RKO 281 Darryl Zanuck TV movie
2000 Saving Grace Master of Ceremonies
2000 Vatel King’s Commode Valet
2002 Pets Francois – the duck Voice
2003 The Petersburg-Cannes Express
2003 Carmen Próspero
2004 Secret Agents L’Américain
2006 The White Knight Turkish Ambassador
2007 The Apocalypse Code Rayli
2010 Chico and Rita Voice
2012 The Dark Knight Rises Rich Twit
2013 The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared French Foreign Minister
2015 Moonwalkers Colonel Dickford
2016 I.T. Detective Unrein
2016 Demain tout commence Médecin
2017 Madame Doctor Schurman
2017 Hostile Wounded Man
Year Title Role Notes
1980–1981 Ekkusu Bonbā/”Star Fleet” (1982 English Dub) Shiro Hagen Voice, 1982 English dub, 24 episodes
1985 The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission Didier Le Clair TV movie
1989 Angel Cop Asura Voice, 6 episodes
1997 Emmerdale Doug Hamilton 20 episodes
1998–2000 Cap des Pins Paul Matthiews Unknown episodes
2001 Jonathan Creek Alan Kalanak Episode: “Satan’s Chimney”
2003 Seven Wonders of the Industrial World Frank Crowe Episode: “The Hoover Dam”
2005 Icon Carey Jordan TV movie
2006 Foyle’s War Maj. / Captain John Kieffer 2 episodes
2007 Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial Judge John Jones Documentary
2008 Queen Victoria’s Men Lord Melbourne TV movie documentary
2011 Page Eight Master of the College TV movie
2012 Lilyhammer Agent Becker Episode: “Reality Check”
Video games
Year Title Role Notes
2001 Fuzion Frenzy Additional voices
2001 Headhunter Additional voices
2002 Archangel Nath, Zelath, Miner, Berlin Monk, Sleeping Ghost
2003 Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon André Lobineau
2004 Powerdrome Jed Clanton
2005 Spartan: Total Warrior Archimedes
2005 Perfect Dark Zero Additional voices
2011 MindJack Gardner, additional voices

External Links

Actor Jay Benedict – Wikipedia

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