William Benedict - Rotten Tomatoes

William Benedict



Oklahoma-born William Benedict is fondly remembered by fans for his shock of unkempt blond hair; ironically, he lost his first job at a bank because he refused to use a comb. Stagestruck at an early age, the skinny, ever-boyish Benedict took dancing lessons while in high school and appeared in amateur theatricals. After phoning a 20th Century-Fox talent scout, the 17-year-old Benedict hitchhiked to Hollywood and won a film contract (if for no other reason than nerve and persistence). He appeared in the first of his many office-boy roles in his debut film, $10 Raise (1935), and spent the next four decades popping up in bits as bellboys, caddies, hillbillies, delivery men and Western Union messengers. He portrayed so many of the latter, in fact, that Western Union paid tribute to Benedict by giving him his own official uniform -- an honor bestowed on only one other actor, Benedict's lifelong friend Frank Coghlan Jr. (the two actors costarred in the 1941 serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel). In 1939, Benedict played a bicycle messenger in the Little Tough Guys film Call a Messenger; four years later he appeared with another branch of the Little Tough Guys clan, the East Side Kids, in Ghosts on the Loose. He remained with the Kids as "Skinny," then stayed on when the East Siders transformed into the Bowery Boys in 1946. As "Whitey," Benedict was the oldest member of the team, a fact occasionally alluded to in the dialogue -- though Leo Gorcey, two months younger than Benedict, was firmly in charge of the bunch. Benedict left the Bowery Boys in 1951, gradually easing out of acting; for several years, he worked as an assistant designer of miniature sets for movie special-effects sequences. He returned to performing in the 1960s, still playing the newsboy and delivery man roles he'd done as a youth. Film and TV fans of the 1970s might recall Billy Benedict as a world-weary croupier in the early scenes of The Sting (1973), and in the regular role of Toby the Informant on the 1975 TV series The Blue Knight.

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
74% 7 Chinese Brothers
  • Liquor Store Cashier
2015
No Score Yet Won Ton Ton, the Dog Who Saved Hollywood
  • Man on bus
1976
No Score Yet Homebodies
  • Watchman
1974
93% The Sting
  • Roulette Dealer
1973
89% Lover Come Back
  • Musician
1961
97% The Killing
  • Airline Clerk
1956
45% Bride of the Monster
  • Newsboy
1955
No Score Yet Bowery Battalion
  • Whitey
1951
No Score Yet The Hucksters
  • Bellboy
1947
No Score Yet Without Reservations
  • Telegram boy
1946
No Score Yet Never Say Goodbye
  • Messenger Boy
1946
No Score Yet One More Tomorrow
  • Office Boy
1946
60% The Kid From Brooklyn
  • Actor
1946
No Score Yet Hollywood and Vine
  • Joe the Newsboy
1945
100% Road to Utopia
  • Newsboy
1945
No Score Yet Brenda Starr, Reporter
  • Pesky
1945
No Score Yet Janie
  • Actor
1944
No Score Yet The Lady And The Monster
  • Bellhop
1944
94% Cover Girl
  • Florist Boy
1944
No Score Yet Adventures of the Flying Cadets
  • Zombie Parker
1943
No Score Yet Thank Your Lucky Stars
  • Bus Boy
1943
94% The Ox-Bow Incident
  • Greene
1943
83% Hangmen Also Die
  • Hostage
1943
No Score Yet A Night to Remember
  • Messenger Boy
1942
86% The Glass Key
  • Sturdy
1942
No Score Yet Get Hep to Love
  • Soda Jerk
1942
No Score Yet Wildcat
  • Bud Smithers
1942
No Score Yet Rings on Her Fingers
  • Newsboy
1942
93% The Talk of the Town
  • Western Union Boy
1942
No Score Yet Home in Wyomin'
  • Actor
1942
No Score Yet Jesse James at Bay
  • Actor
1941
No Score Yet Confessions of Boston Blackie
  • Ice cream man
1941
No Score Yet Unholy Partners
  • Boy
1941
No Score Yet Great Guns
  • Recruit at Corral
1941
No Score Yet The Adventures of Captain Marvel
  • Murphy
1941
No Score Yet In Old Cheyenne
  • Actor
1941
No Score Yet Young People
  • Boy
1940
91% My Little Chickadee
  • Lem the Schoolboy
1940
No Score Yet Second Chorus
  • Ticket taker
1940
No Score Yet Melody Ranch
  • Slim
1940
No Score Yet Rhythm on the River
  • Elevator Boy
1940
No Score Yet Lucky Partners
  • Bellboy
1940
No Score Yet Hold That Co-Ed
  • Sylvester
1938
No Score Yet Young Fugitives
  • Judd
1938
No Score Yet There's Always a Woman
  • Bellhop
1938
No Score Yet King of the Newsboys
  • Squimpy
1938
95% Bringing Up Baby
  • Caddy
1938
No Score Yet The Last Gangster
  • Office Boy
1937
No Score Yet They Wanted to Marry
  • Freckles
1937
100% After the Thin Man
  • Actor
1936
No Score Yet Theodora Goes Wild
  • Henry
1936
86% Captain January
  • Bit
1936
82% Libeled Lady
  • Johnny
1936
No Score Yet Way Down East
  • Amos
1935
No Score Yet Steamboat Round The Bend
  • Breck
1935
No Score Yet Doubting Thomas
  • Caddie
1935
No Score Yet Show Them No Mercy
  • Willie
1935

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet Little House on the Prairie
1974-1984
  • Reverend Lyman
The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Conklin

Quotes from William Benedict's Characters

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