Julie Marie Benz, born May 1, 1972, is an American actress, best known for her roles as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel and Rita Bennet on Dexter, for which she won the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress and the 2009 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress. Take a look below for 26 more interesting and awesome facts about Julie Benz.
1. Benz was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, grew up in Murrysville, and graduated from Franklin Regional High School.
2. Her mother, Joanne Marie, was a figure skater, and her father, George Benz, Jr., is a surgeon in Pittsburgh.
3. The family settled in nearby Murrysville when Benz was two years old, and she started ice skating when she was three.
4. Benz competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her skating partner David Schilling, and finished in 13th place.
5. When she was 14 years old, she suffered a stress fracture in her right leg and had to take time off.
6. Her older sister and brother, Jennifer and Jeffrey Benz, were the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally.
7. She auditioned for a role in Eyes Wide Shut. She was called back to re-audition for the role, but when she learned that she’d have to do the scene topless, she decided against it.
8. Benz was once ranked the number 12 ice skater in the United States.
9. She has lost two roles to Sarah Michelle Gellar: the role of Kendall Hart on All My Children, and the role of Buffy on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
10. She was originally cast to play the character Ellie Sparks in the un-aired pilot of the television show Glory Days.
11. Benz was originally picked to play the part of Matty Jensen in the movie West of Brooklyn, but was replaced by Natalia Livingston.
12. She appeared in both CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Miami.
13. She dyed her natural blonde hair to brunette for the movie Punisher: War Zone.
14. She collects antique things from every country she visits. Her favorite is an emerald ring she found in Knoxville, Tennessee.
15. She has been in a relationship with producer Rich Orosco since 2008. They got engaged in June 2011, and married on May 5, 2012, in the Los Feliz neighborhood in Los Angeles, California. Because their wedding was on Cinco de Mayo, they chose to have a Mexican themed wedding,t o honor the holiday as well as Orosco’s heritage.
16. Benz is often mistaken for Julie Bowen and, when asked for her autograph, would sign Bowen’s name.
17. Her cousin, Tim Benz, is a sports radio and television personality in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
18. At the age of 15, Benz was told by an acting coach that she would never succeed as an actress. According to Benz, “I remember the teacher telling me I should not even try acting. I still have the report card where she was like, You will never be an actor. Your voice is horrible. That was the best thing that ever happened to me because I was like, I’ll show you.”
19. By 1989, with her figure skating career over, Benz became involved in local theater and was cast in the play Street Law.
20. Her first movie role was a small speaking part in The Black Cat segment of Dario Argento’s and George A. Romero’s horror movie Two Evil Eyes.
21. In 1991, she was cast in the television show Hi Honey, I’m Home!, which was cancelled after two seasons.
22. After graduating from high school in 1990, Benz studied acting at New York University.
23. After graduating New York University in 1993, she moved to Los Angeles. Two weeks after her move, she obtained a bit part in a 1994 episode of Married… with Children, playing a girl who wanted to lose her virginity to Bud Bundy.
24. Due to her role as Darla in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Benz’s career launched and she began appearing in guest roles in more television shows such as The Big Easy and Fame L.A.
25. She starred in the short spoof movie Eating Las Vegas and the unaired television pilot Veronica’s Video.
26. She was the only white actor featured in the principal cast of the romantic comedy The Brothers.