Monday, January 21, 2013

Happy Birthday Robby Benson!

Robby Benson
Today marks the birthday of actor Robin David Segal, AKA: Robby Benson, who, among other things, voiced the Beast in Disney's 1991 animated hit Beauty and the Beast. This sounds strange, but am I the only one who thinks he looks like the Beast/the prince? Maybe it's the eyes. Anyway, he, of course, was also on Broadway.

Robby Benson made his Broadway debut in Zelda, a short-lived 1969 play loosely based on the story of Noah from the Bible. It had twice as many previews as performances. The next year, he was in The Rothschilds. Luckily for him, this was a successful musical which ran for two years and won two of the nine Tony Awards for which it was nominated. He returned to Broadway after a long hiatus to replace Rex Smith in a revival of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance as Frederic. (West End legend Laurie Beechman, for whom a theatre has been named, was a swing in this show) Interestingly, he has the same last name as Jodi Benson, who voiced Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid but they are not related.

Besides his stage work, he has done a lot with music. He has lots of composition experience and has released solo albums, including a 20-song soundtrack written to go along with his book I'm not Dead... Yet! which chronicles his experience with heart surgeries.

Robby got his start as an uncredited child actor in Wait Until Dark. Following that, his career took off as a young man, with 30 screen credits (both movies and TV shows) to his name by the time he turned 30. He has voiced the Beast in multiple subsequent Disney princess movies or specials like Belle's Enchanted Christmas and House of Mouse.

Celebrate his birthday by watching a video of him you probably haven't seen. Well, maybe it's not exactly him, per se... Just watch this clip from the Oscars a few years ago.

Read more about...
Robby Benson on Broadway
Robby Benson on screen
Robby Benson and music
The Rothschilds
Pirates of Penzance
And read this EW article too!

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