Robby Benson is best known for starring in films such as Jeremy, Ice Castles, “Death Be Not Proud,” Ode to Billy Joe, The Chosen, Tribute, Running Brave, The End, Harry & Son, Walk Proud, One on One (for which he wrote the screenplay), and, to new generations, as the voice of Beast in Academy Award®-nominated Beauty and the Beast. He has produced and directed feature films and television series, including directing episodes of “Friends,” “Ellen” and many top 10 shows.
On stage, Benson starred on Broadway in Zelda, The Rothschilds and the Joseph Papp production of The Pirates of Penzance, where he met and fell in love with his co-star and rock recording artist, Karla DeVito. A multitalented star, Benson also wrote the musical
Open Heart published by Samuel French (2006). The show was produced by and debuted at NYC’s historic Cherry Lane Theater.
As an author, Benson penned the bestselling novel, Who Stole the Funny? published by HarperCollins (2007), and a multimedia medical memoir I’m Not Dead...Yet (2012), which received major kudos from Apple. As a composer, he has received RIAA Gold Records for his songs, one of which is “We Are Not Alone” for the library dance in John Hughes iconic film The Breakfast Club. In addition to scoring music for other films, Benson recently wrote the music for his daughter Lyric Benson’s cosmic-poetic Lyric’s Love Light Revolution (2012), as well as the score for his son Zephyr Benson’s impressive feature directing debut Straight Outta Tompkins (2015).
Considering his most valued professional accomplishment to be that of college professor, Benson has taught for two decades at universities around the country. As Professor of Film at NYU’s famed Tisch School of the Arts in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, he received the honor of being nominated for both NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006, and the David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010. He has been a Professor of Practice at Indiana University since 2013, currently on hiatus developing his new musical I Hear a Song!