Wes Bentley

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Wes Bentley
BornWesley Cook Bentley
(1978-09-04) September 4, 1978 (age 36)
Jonesboro, Arkansas, U.S.
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)Jennifer Quanz
Jacqui Swedberg
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Wes Bentley
BornWesley Cook Bentley
(1978-09-04) September 4, 1978 (age 36)
Jonesboro, Arkansas, U.S.
Years active1995–present
Spouse(s)Jennifer Quanz
Jacqui Swedberg

Wesley Cook "Wes" Bentley (born September 4, 1978)[1] is an American actor known for his roles as Ricky Fitts in American Beauty (1999) and Seneca Crane in The Hunger Games (2012).

Bentley was one of four subjects in the documentary My Big Break (2009), which covered his fame after American Beauty and struggles with substance abuse. Rebuilding his career, he starred in the premier of Venus in Fur by David Ives in the off-Broadway production in 2010, whose run was extended.

Early life[edit]

Bentley was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the son of Cherie Baker and David Bentley. His father is a minister and his mother is a chaplain and ordained elder in the Arkansas Conference, both in the United Methodist denomination.[1][2][3] In 1996, he graduated from Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas.[4] He attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division as part of its Group 29 (1996–2000)[5] but left the school after one year to pursue his acting career.[6]


Bentley has starred in several films, including the Oscar-winning film American Beauty, The Four Feathers, P2, and Ghost Rider. He starred in the thriller Dolan's Cadillac,[7] based on the short story by Stephen King,[8] and There Be Dragons by director Roland Joffé. Bentley is one of the main subjects in the documentary My Big Break, directed by Tony Zierra, which follows Bentley and three of his former roommates, Chad Lindberg, Brad Rowe and Greg Fawcett, as they pursue their dream to become successful actors in Hollywood.

In the 2007 film Ghost Rider, Bentley played Blackheart, a demonic being that was the main antagonist.

In 2010, he starred opposite Nina Arianda in the premier of the David Ives play Venus in Fur at the Classic Stage Company in New York City.[9][10][11][12]

In March 2012, Bentley had a supporting role in the blockbuster movie The Hunger Games, playing gamemaker Seneca Crane.

In 2012, Bentley also starred with Amber Tamblyn and Vincent Piazza in the indie feature 3 Nights in the Desert directed by Gabriel Cowan written by award winning playwright Adam Chanzit and produced by John Suits.[13]

In June 2013, Bentley was selected to star in Ryan Murphy's HBO production titled "Open" along with Scott Speedman.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Bentley was married to actress Jennifer Quanz from 2001 to 2009. They separated in 2009 due to his substance abuse. He married producer Jacqui Swedberg in 2010 and they have a son, Charles, born in late 2010.[15]

In a New York Times article on February 8, 2010, he described his descent into drug addiction that began almost immediately after his success in American Beauty. He said he hid his addiction from his wife; they separated in 2006, and he moved to an apartment where he began doing drugs full-time. During this time he worked sporadically, just enough to pay bills and buy drugs, and in 2008 was arrested and ordered into counseling and 12-step programs. He relapsed, however, and "continued using heroin until he was broke".[9]

In July 2009, he said, he confessed to a friend, "I’m a drug addict, and an alcoholic, and I need help. I need help or I’m going to die".[16] He again entered a 12-step program and, while clean since then, considers himself on the path to recovery.

The documentary My Big Break (2009) captures Bentley's early life as an unknown actor, his explosive career launch after American Beauty, his subsequent emotional struggle with fame, and his admission years later that he was recovering from an addiction to drugs and alcohol.[9] He began to rebuild his career by starring in the Off-Broadway premier of the play Venus in Fur by David Ives.



1995Serendipity LaneLonnieShort film
1998Three Below ZeroJulian Flincher
1998BelovedSchoolteacher's Nephew
1999American BeautyRicky FittsNational Board of Review Award for Best Male Breakthrough Performance
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Cast
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated—BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated—MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Male Performance
Nominated—Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
1999White River Kid, TheThe White River KidWhite River Kid
2000Claim, TheThe ClaimDonald Daglish
2001Soul SurvivorsMatt
2002Four Feathers, TheThe Four FeathersJack Durrance
2005Game of Their Lives, TheThe Game of Their LivesWalter Bahr
2007Ghost RiderBlackheart / Legion
2007Ungodly, TheThe UngodlyMickey Gravatski
2008Last Word, TheThe Last WordEvan
2008Tomb, TheThe TombJohnathan
2009Dolan's CadillacRobinson
2009Greims, TheThe GreimsDonnie GreimsShort film
2010Jonah HexAdleman Lusk
2011TildaUnknownTelevision film
2011Rites of PassageBenny
2011There Be DragonsManolo Torres
2011After-School SpecialManShort film
2012Underworld: AwakeningDr. Edward VronskiUncredited
2012GonePeter Hood
2012Hunger Games, TheThe Hunger GamesSeneca Crane
2012Stars in ShortsMan
2012Time Being, TheThe Time BeingDaniel
2012Hidden MoonVictor Brighton
2013Cesar ChavezJerry Cohen
2014The Better AngelsMr. Crawford
2014Things People DoBill Scanlon
2014Final GirlPost-production
2014Welcome to Me
2014Knight of CupsPost-production
2015We Are Your FriendsPost-production
2015Broken VowsPatrickPost-production


2014American Horror Story: Freak ShowEdward Mordrake2 episodes



  1. ^ a b "Wes Bentley Biography (1978–)". FilmReference.com. 
  2. ^ "Wes Bentley star bio". Tribute.ca. 
  3. ^ http://www.arumc.org/n_arkansas-born_actor_reconnects_with_god_on_film_se.php
  4. ^ Bennett, Tara (March 21, 2012). "The 'Hunger Games' Cast Before They Were Famous: Wes Bentley, Senior Year at Sylvan Hills High School, Sherwood, Arkansas (1996)". Snakkle.com. Pontiac Digital Media. 
  5. ^ "Alumni News". The Juilliard School. March 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-11-11. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ Daly, Steve (October 8, 1999). "Wes Bentley of 'American Beauty'". People. 
  7. ^ Christian Slater and Wes Bentley Join 'Dolan's Cadillac', Cinematical, April 25, 2008
  8. ^ Stephen King's DOLAN'S CADILLAC Filming in Canada!, May 29, 2008
  9. ^ a b c Healy, Patrick (8 February 2010). "Back From the Depths, Rebuilding a Career". The New York Times. p. 1. 
  10. ^ Run Extended for ‘Venus in Fur’, Patrick Healey, Feb. 3, 2010, NY Times
  11. ^ Charles Isherwood, "One Object of Desire, Delivered", New York Times, Jan. 28, 2010
  12. ^ "Nina Arianda: A Star Is Born", Playbill
  13. ^ http://www.deadline.com/2011/11/indie-feature-3-nights-in-the-desert-gets-underway/
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (June 13, 2013). "Wes Bentley to Star in Ryan Murphy's HBO Sexuality Drama 'Open'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  15. ^ Oliver Jones (June 13, 2011). "Wes Bentley: 'I Felt Myself Dying'". People magazine. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  16. ^ "The Hunger Games Star Wes Bentley Fights Back From Homelessness, Bankruptcy". Radar Online. 2012-03-29. Retrieved 2012-04-09. 

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