Amber Benson

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Amber Benson

Benson at Midtown Comics in March, 2011
BornAmber Nicole Benson
(1977-01-08) January 8, 1977 (age 35)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.
 
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Amber Benson

Benson at Midtown Comics in March, 2011
BornAmber Nicole Benson
(1977-01-08) January 8, 1977 (age 35)
Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.

Amber Nicole Benson (born January 8, 1977) is an American actress, writer, film director, and film producer. She is best known for her role as Tara Maclay on the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but has also directed, produced and starred in her own films Chance (2002) and Lovers, Liars & Lunatics (2006).[1] She is also co-director with Adam Busch (with whom she worked on Buffy) of Drones.[2]

Contents

Early life

Benson was born January 8, 1977 in Birmingham, Alabama to Edward Benson, a psychiatrist,[3] and Diane Benson. She has a younger sister, Danielle, who is an artist. She had a mixed Christian and Jewish upbringing (her father was Jewish and her mother was Christian).[4][5][6]

As a child, Benson studied music and dance, and performed in the Birmingham Children's Ballet, as well as in local theater. She attended high school (one of her classmates being Joey Fatone) in Orlando, Florida after her family moved there, in part to help Amber pursue acting opportunities, the most prominent of which was an unsold television series called Kids' News, in which Amber was to have been one of two main anchors. The Bensons then relocated to Los Angeles, and Amber began to very quickly land roles in films and on television.

Career

Benson at a 2005 Buffy the Vampire Slayer convention

Benson was 14 when she made her feature-film debut in the Steven Soderbergh-directed movie King of the Hill.[7]

Benson sang in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer musical episode "Once More, with Feeling". She provided vocals for the songs "I've Got a Theory / Bunnies / If We're Together", "Under Your Spell" (her solo), "Walk Through the Fire", "Standing/Under Your Spell (Reprise)" and "Where Do We Go from Here?" In 2002, she appeared in two songs on Buffy colleague Anthony Stewart Head's album Music for Elevators. She also sang "Toucha Toucha Touch Me" (aka "Creature of the Night") at VH-1's celebrity karaoke tribute to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

While still working on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Benson co-wrote the movie The Theory of the Leisure Class with director Gabriel Bologna, released in 2001, and directed, produced, edited, and acted in a digital video feature called Chance (2002) which also featured her Buffy co-star James Marsters. She also collaborated with director James Kerwin in 2003 to produce her play, Albert Hall, in Hollywood.

In 2001, Benson worked with Golden, Terry Moore, and Eric Powell of Dark Horse Comics to create the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara comic book titled "WannaBlessedBe". The following year (2002), she worked with Christopher Golden and AJ (Ajit Jothikaumar) of Dark Horse Comics to create the Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow and Tara comic books titled Wilderness #1 and Wilderness #2.

Benson and Christopher Golden produced began a series of animated fantasy films for the BBC with the animation studio Cosgrove Hall. Ghosts of Albion: Legacy (2003) and its sequels are available on the BBC Cult website. Benson and Golden have also collaborated on two supernatural thrillers: Ghosts of Albion: Accursed and Ghosts of Albion: Witchery. These books follow the fortunes of Tamara and William Swift, who first appeared in the BBC computer animated web movie Ghosts of Albion: Legacy.

In 2005, Benson collaborated with artist Jamie McKelvie on a short story within the Image Comics collection Four Letter Worlds. In 2006, Benson collaborated with artist Ben Templesmith on Demon Father John's Pinwheel Blues published by IDW as a four-part split-book, Shadowplay (with work by Ashley Wood and Christina Z).

Benson and novelist Anton Strout during an appearance at Midtown Comics Downtown in Manhattan, March 5, 2011

In 2006, Benson released her second independent feature film Lovers, Liars & Lunatics through her own production company, Benson Entertainment. The film was shot on film and was partly financed by the sale of limited edition "Triangle" Tara Buffyverse action figure. The project, initially called "The Dirty Script," was ultimately titled Lovers, Liars and Lunatics by producer Diane Benson, Amber's mother.

In 2006 Benson also portrayed the "vegetarian" vampiress Lenore on the TV series Supernatural.

In December 2006, Benson and Golden released yet another collaboration, the short novel The Seven Whistlers which is distributed through Subterranean Press in a limited number of signed copies. In September 2007, Benson signed a three-book deal with Ginjer Buchanan of Penguin Books. Death's Daughter, was released by Ace Books[8] on February 24, 2009; Cat's Claw,[9] on February 23, 2010; and Serpent's Storm, in February 2011. On February 28, 2012, the fourth book in the series, How to Be Death was released.[10]

Benson is the co-director with Adam Busch of the 2010 comedy film Drones.[11]

In 2012, Benson played a young Judith Collins in the Dark Shadows audio drama "Dress Me in Dark Dreams". She guest starred in the second season of the Jane Espenson scripted romantic comedy web series, Husbands.[12]

Activism

During the 2008 campaign season, Benson was featured in the MoveOn.org-sponsored pro-Barack Obama advertisement.[13]

Personal life

As of 2007, Benson resides in Los Angeles, California. She describes herself as a "lapsed vegetarian".[14] As of March 2009, she was dating Adam Busch, who played Warren on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The couple have since broken up, but remain close friends.[15]

Filmography

Television
YearTitleRoleNotes
1993Jack Reed: Badge of HonorNicole ReedTV movie
1994Jack Reed: A Search for JusticeNicole ReedTV movie
1995Don's PlumSupporting actress
1995Jack Reed: One of Our OwnNicole ReedTV movie
1998Promised LandAmy FarnsworthEpisode: Out of Bounds
1999CrackerAmyEpisode: "The Club"
1999–2002Buffy the Vampire SlayerTara Maclay47 episodes
2001The EnforcersAbbyTV miniseries
2004Cold CaseJulia HoffmanEpisode: "Volunteers"
2005The InsideAllison DavisEpisode: "The Perfect Couple"
2006
2011
SupernaturalLenoreEpisode: "Bloodlust"
Episode: "Mommy Dearest"
2006Holiday WishesDanni HartfordTV movie
2007GryphonPrincess Amelia of LocklandTV movie
2008Long Island Confidentialpilot
20087 Things to Do Before I'm 30Lori MadisonTV movie
2009Private PracticeJill DuncanEpisode: "Finishing"
2010Grey's AnatomyCorrineEpisode: "That's Me Trying"
2011RingerStripper Mary CurtisEpisode: "That's What You Get For Trying To Kill Me"
Film
YearTitleRoleNotes
1993King of the HillElla McShane
1993The CrushCheyenne
1994S.F.W.Barbara "Babs" Wyler
1994Imaginary CrimesMargaret
1995Bye Bye LoveMeg Damico
1998Can't Hardly WaitStephanie
1999Take It EasyJusty
1999DeadtimePatty
2000The Prime GigBatgirl
2001Hollywood, PennsylvaniaMandy Calhoun
2001Don's PlumAmy
2002TabooPiper
2002ChanceChanceDirected, Produced
Benson Entertainment Inc.
2003Latter DaysTraci Levine
2005IntermedioBarbie
2005Race You to the BottomMaggie
2006Lovers, Liars & LunaticsJustineDirected, Produced
2007Simple ThingsSally
2007Girltrash!Svetlana 'Lana' Dragovich
2008Act Your AgeJulia
2008Kiss the BrideElly
2008Strictly SexualDonna
2008The Blue Tooth VirginJennifer
2008One-Eyed MonsterLaura
2009Tripping ForwardGwen
2009The Killing JarNoreen
2009Another Harvest MoonGretchen

Books

Ghosts of Albion
Media
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Calliope Reaper-Jones
Other

References

  1. ^ Amber Benson at the Internet Movie Database
  2. ^ Drones at the Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ Amber Benson Biography (1977–)
  4. ^ "Amber chatted at Yahoo! on Thursday, March 8, 2001. Here's the transcript, provided by Coax, sans chat typos". The Essence of Amber. 8 March 2001. Archived from the original on 2007-05-12. http://web.archive.org/web/20070512220635/http://fansites.hollywood.com/~amber/article-yahoo0301.html. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  5. ^ Bloom, Nate (6 June 2003). "Celebrity Jews". Jewish News of Greater Phoenix. http://www.jewishaz.com/jewishnews/030606/jews.shtml. Retrieved 2006-12-13. 
  6. ^ Lindsey Byrnes (2010-06-08). "An interview with Amber Benson". www.afterellen.com. Archived from the original on 12 June 2010. http://www.afterellen.com/people/2010/6/amber-benson?page=0%2C0. Retrieved 2010-06-08. 
  7. ^ "Episode 18: Featuring Amber Benson", RossCarey, accessed May 24, 2011.
  8. ^ ISBN 978-0-441-01694-5
  9. ^ ISBN 978-0-441-01843-7
  10. ^ ISBN 978-1-937007-28-7
  11. ^ Roedel, Jeff. "So, you work with an alien", 225batonrouge.com, September 25, 2008
  12. ^ Vary, Adam B (28 June 2012). "'Husbands': EP and star on season 2 of their gay-marriage web series -- EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS". Entertainment Weekly. http://insidetv.ew.com/2012/06/28/husbands-season-2-first-look/2/. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  13. ^ 'It Could Happen to You'. The video was produced, written and directed by Alex Barreto and brothers Rider Strong and Shiloh Strong who also acted in the ad with Amber. The ad won MoveOn's contest for funniest Obama ad in 2008.
  14. ^ Benson, Amber. "art vs. commerce", Amber Benson's Official Blog, January 29, 2009
  15. ^ "Exclusive Interview with Amber Benson Part 2". Buffyfest. February 26, 2009. http://buffyfest.blogspot.com/2009/02/amber-benson-part-ii.html. Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  16. ^ "Cult – Ghosts of Albion – Astray". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ghosts/astray/. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  17. ^ "Cult – Ghosts of Albion – Legacy". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/ghosts/legacy/. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  18. ^ Benson, Amber. "Cult Vampires – Ghosts of Albion: Illusions by Amber Benson and Christopher Golden". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/vampires/newstory/goldenbenson.shtml. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 
  19. ^ "Among the Ghosts » Blog with Pictures". Sinagrace.com. 2010-03-23. http://sinagrace.com/books/?p=1252. Retrieved 2012-04-05. 

External links