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Dirk Benedict (born Dirk Niewoehner on March 1, 1945) is an Americanmarker movie, television and stage actor, perhaps best known for playing the characters Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck in The A-Team television series and Lieutenant Starbuck in the original Battlestar Galactica film and television series. He was born in Helena, Montanamarker, and grew up in White Sulphur Springs, Montanamarker.

Career

Early career

When the New York run for Butterflies Are Free ended, he received an offer to repeat his performance in Hawaiimarker, opposite Barbara Rush. While there, he appeared as a guest lead on Hawaii Five-O. The producers of a horror film called Ssssss saw Benedict's performance in Hawaii Five-O and promptly cast him as the lead in that movie. He next played the psychotic wife-beating husband of Twiggy in her American film debut, W. Benedict starred in the television series Chopper One which aired for one season in 1974. He also made an apperance in Charlies Angels.

Battlestar Galactica

Benedict's career break came in 1978 when he appeared as Lieutenant Starbuck in the movie and television series Battlestar Galactica.

The A-Team

Four years later, Dirk gained further popularity in the A-Team as con-man Lieutenant Templeton "Faceman" Peck in 1980s action television series, The A-Team. He did not appear in the Pilot film - creators Stephen J. Cannell and Frank Lupo had wanted him from the beginning, but the network executives insisted that they wanted a different sort of actor in the role. Tim Dunigan won the part; but upon completion of the pilot, the executives decided that he wasn't quite right for the role, and it was given to Benedict. He played "Faceman" from 1982 to 1986 (although the series didn't air until January 1983, and the final episode wasn't shown until 1987 re-runs).

Benedict has announced that he will be making a cameo appearance in the 2010 film remake of The A-Team.

Later career

Theatre

In 1987, Benedict took the title role of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Abbey Theatre. Both his performance and the entire play were drubbed by critics.

Films

In 1993 Benedict starred in Shadow Force. In 2000, Benedict wrote and directed his first screenplay, Cahoots. In 2005 he played an impostor, pretending to be an 80s moviestar who wants to moderate a charity performance. Goldene Zeiten (Times of Gold) by Peter Thorwardt. 1989 saw Benedict in the T.V. movie Trenchcoat in Paradise http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098511/

Celebrity Big Brother

Dirk appeared as a contestant on the 2007 UK series of Celebrity Big Brothermarker. He arrived on the first night in a replica of the A-Team Van, smoking a cigar and accompanied by the A-Team theme tune. Dirk finished in third place overall.

Personal life

In 1986, he married Toni Hudson, an actress (who had previously appeared in the fourth season A-Team episode "Blood, Sweat and Cheers"), with whom he has two sons, George and Roland. They divorced in 1995. In 1998, Benedict learned that he also has another son, John (born 1968), from a youthful relationship.

Benedict is a macrobiotic follower.

Prostate cancer

Benedict was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was told that the cure would be castration. He rented a cottage and chose a life of exclusion and decided to commit to a macrobiotic diet and physical training along with fasting instead of going for the castration operation.He published a book on his experience in a book Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy to give more public awareness of the other treatment.

Reaction to the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica

Benedict was sharply critical of the revived series, and the changes to the story and characters. A May 2004 article in Dreamwatch magazine, entitled "Starbuck: Lost in Castration", revealed his disdain for the re-imagined series, its dark tone and its moral relativism. Benedict said, "'Re-imagining', they call it. 'Un-imagining' is more accurate. To take what once was and twist it into what never was intended. So that a television show based on hope, spiritual faith, and family is unimagined and regurgitated as a show of despair, sexual violence and family dysfunction."

Benedict focused in particular on the decision to recast Lieutenant Starbuck as a female character, Kara Thrace, whom he humorously refers to as "Stardoe". He relates the change to what he perceives as a general anti-masculinity agenda, saying "One thing is certain. In the new un-imagined, re-imagined world of Battlestar Galactica everything is female driven. The male characters, from Adama on down, are confused, weak, and wracked with indecision while the female characters are decisive, bold, angry as hell, puffing cigars (gasp) and not about to take it any more."

References

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