An Overview . . . Courtesy of
julie benz tv dot com
Date of Birth:
May 1st, 1975.
New York University (NYU)
Buster Bunny!!! (a.k.a. voice actor John Kassir)
Julie Benz was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1975, and grew up in the nearby suburb of Murrysville. Influenced by her family, Julie decided at a very young age that she wanted to follow her siblings Jeffrey and Jennifer into figure skating and that some day she would follow her father's footsteps and become the first female doctor in her family.
Her dedication to figure skating increased over time to the point where during highschool, Julie often spent upwards of 40 hours a week practicing. This devotion lead to the pinnacle of her figure skating career when she was thirteen, placing 13th at the 1988 U.S. National Junior Dance Championships in Denver with her partner David Schilling.
Unfortunately, Julie did not get a chance to build on this success, suffering a stress facture to her tibia a year later. Although Julie recovered from the injury and attempted to come back, she eventually lost interest in the sport and quit at sixteen.
While recovering from her leg injury, Julie's mother encouraged her to start modeling for a local agency in Pittsburgh. This decision lead to a major change in Julie's career aspirations. Shortly thereafter Julie landed her first acting role in a community play called "Breaking the Code", which was about a family crossing the U.S. with other settlers in the 1800's in a wagon convoy. During an agency-sponsored seminar regarding models becoming actresses Julie met her future manager, Vincent Cirrincione.
Vincent encouraged Julie to further pursue acting and helped set her up with miscellaneous work in New York city along with two small films that were shooting in Pittsburgh. Julie was a credited extra in the film "Street Law", and played a young girl opposite Harvey Keitel in the Edgar Allen Poe-inspired film, "Two Evil Eyes". After graduating from high school Julie moved to New York city to attend New York University.
At NYU, Julie continued to take acting jobs and worked hard to improve her craft, by taking voice, acting and dancing lessons (she continues to take acting lessons to this day). Despite her busy school schedule, Julie found the time to take a leading role in the 1991 television series "Hi Honey, I'm Home" - a sitcom dealing with a stereotypical nuclear family from the 50's who are somehow transported into modern day suburbia. Surprisingly, the series did not enjoy an extensive run. Undaunted, Julie completed university and left for Los Angeles shortly after receiving her degree in drama.
The first job Julie landed in L.A. was a guest spot in the television series "Married... with Children". Many other television guest appearances would follow on shows such as "Step by Step", "Boy Meets World", and "Sliders" among others. It might have appeared that Julie would be stuck in small obscure roles for the rest of eternity, but thankfully her fortunes turned for the better in 1997.
The year 1997 proved to be a pivotal year in Julie's career, not only did it mark the beginning of her role as the vampire Darla on "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", but it was also the year where Julie got a small, but very memorable role in the film "As Good As It Gets". Not only did this role fulfill Julie's dream to work opposite actor Jack Nicholson, it also provided some much needed exposure when their scene together (where Julie asks Jack how he writes women so well) was used as the basis for the film's trailer and other promotional materials. Julie had a few more television guest appearances that year along with a small role opposite Billy Crudup in the film "Inventing The Abbotts".
Julie got married in the summer of 1998 to fellow actor John Kassir, who is best known for providing the voice to the crypt keeper in "Tales from the Crypt", but has numerous other acting credits for work he did in "Pocahontas" and "Tiny Toon Adventures" among others on his resume. The two met while attending the same acting class and fell in love shortly after the courses' completion.
Julie's next big film role came in 1999 when she received top-billing, along side Rose McGowan and Rebecca Gayheart, in the film "Jawbreaker". In the movie Julie plays a ditzy blonde, who along with her two best friends, accidentally kill someone when a birthday prank goes wrong and then attempt to cover it up. Around the same time, Julie demonstrated an unusual interest in spoof films, choosing to star in the movies "Eating Las Vegas", "Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th", but unfortunately not "Saving Ryan's Privates".
Since then, Julie's "stock" has continued to rise with memorable roles on the fan-favorite television shows Roswell (as FBI agent Kathleen Topolsky) and Angel - a Buffy spin-off where Julie has continued in the role of Darla. With her recent appearances in various "men's health" magazines and continued work on the television and film fronts, those that haven't heard of Julie Benz, likely will very soon.
Julie currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their two border collies, Elvis and Gracie.
"Roswell" (2000) . . . Kathleen Topolsky
Jawbreaker (1998) . . . Marcie "Foxy" Fox
As Good As It Gets (1997) . . . Receptionist
Inventing the Abbotts (1997) . . . Co-ed
Walton Easter, A (1997) (TV)
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" TV Series . . . Darla (1997-1998)
Darkdrive (1996) . . . Julie
"Hi Honey, I'm Home" (1991) TV Series . . . Babs Nielson
Two Evil Eyes (1990)
"Ask Harriet" (1998) playing "Joplin Russell"
"Boy Meets World" (1993) playing "Bianca Sabatini"
"Diagnosis Murder" (1993) playing "Julie Miller"