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Dirk Benedict (Lt. Starbuck)



Dirk Benedict


Actor Name:  Dirk Benedict

Character Name:  Lt. Starbuck

Episode Appearances:  Main Cast

Character Bio:  As a child, Starbuck was found with other orphaned children after a Cylon attack on a Caprican agro colony. Legendary among the warriors for his womanizing ways, flying prowess and smart mouth, Starbuck is often seen smoking a fumarello and utilizing his skill at the game of pyramid. Although Starbuck’s rule is never to volunteer for anything, he still somehow manages to get all the dangerous missions, thanks to his best friend Apollo.

It is Starbuck’s patrol that Zac takes when Zac and Apollo run into Cylons on the eve of armistice. Many vipers are left behind when the Galactica pulls out of the battle to protect the Colonies, leaving Starbuck angry until he realizes what has happened. As it becomes clear how decimated the ranks have become, Starbuck trains female pilots to take the places of lost warriors. Starbuck is also selected to test-fly an experimental recon viper. Starbuck has a knack for getting himself involved in  local adventures on planets the fleet passes; on one planet he becomes the sheriff, and after being shot down onto another he rallies a young family to rescue their father. One night on the Rising Star, Starbuck saves a man named Chameleon  from Borellian Nomen that turns out to be his long-lost father. Later on Starbuck is also accused of murdering a rival triad player—but Apollo’s investigation exonerates him.

Starbuck’s relationships with women are short until he helps to rescue Cassiopeia, one of the refugees from the Colonies. This begins a classic love triangle between Starbuck, Apollo’s sister Athena, and Cassie. Starbuck even encounters an old flame, Aurora, who was involved in a mutiny plot. As time goes on, however, he and Cassiopeia become more serious.

According to the final episode of Galactica 1980, Starbuck is marooned (possibly for good) later on after a Cylon ambush strands him on a small planet. It is then revealed in a dream that Doctor Zee is his offspring.

Actor Bio:  Dirk Benedict was born Dirk Niewohner in White Suphur Springs, Montana on March 1, 1945. There, Benedict spent his childhood participating in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and football. At college in Walla Walla, Washington studying composition, Dirk Benedict accepted a dare to try out for Showboat—and won the lead. This gave Benedict a taste for acting, and he spent the next few years working on musical productions. After graduation Dirk Benedict trained under John Fernald, previously of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and then did repertory theater in Seattle and Ann Arbor, Michigan (roles included King Lear and Star-Spangled Girl. Dirk Benedict also created a Dixieland jazz band during this time.

While working on his first movie, Georgia, Georgia, in Sweden, Benedict discovered the benefits of being on a macrobiotic diet, and changed his lifestyle as a result. Dirk Benedict also worked on Broadway productions such as Butterflies Are Free and Abelard and Heloise. Eventually Dirk Benedict made the switch to television, in roles on Chopper One and Hawaii Five-O. In the early ‘70s Benedict was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Refusing treatment from doctors, he cured himself by following the tenets of his macrobiotic diet. By the time Dirk Benedict was cast on Battlestar Galactica, he was cancer-free. Dirk Benedict is also known for playing the ladies’ man/con man Templeton Peck aka Face/Faceman on The A-Team, which aired from 1983-1988. Dirk Benedict is a writer as well; he wrote several motion pictures, two memoirs (including Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy) and has worked on many scripts.

Dirk Benedict married actress Toni Hudson, whom he met during her guest star stint on The A-Team. They had two children, George and Roland, before Hudson left him. As an avid pilot, Dirk Benedict has also spent many hours in the air.

IMDB Link:  Dirk Benedict

Wikipedia Link:  Dirk Benedict  /  Battlestar Wiki Link:  Dirk Benedict  

Official Website:  Dirk Benedict Central

Trivia:  ABC executives apparently canceled Battlestar Galactica in part because they were miffed at Glen Larson’s success in keeping Dirk Benedict in the role of Starbuck. They had been opposed to his casting from the beginning and wanted Don Johnson in the role. Larson thought Johnson was too short and didn’t fit with the rest of the cast.

After Dirk Benedict was told he needed a stage name, Dirk Niewohner was served a plate of Eggs Benedict and decided to make that his moniker.

At a Galacticon 25th anniversary convention, Dirk Benedict revealed that he has a third son, John, born in 1968 without his knowledge. The two connected only as adults.

What he's doing now:  Recently Dirk Benedict appeared on the UK’s Channel 4 documentary Bring Back…the A-Team. There’s talk of an A-Team movie set for 2008 with Ryan Seacrest playing his "Faceman" role, and Dirk Benedict is slated to make a cameo appearance. Dirk Benedict is still actively working, especially as a writer. Currently you can find his prose in a Blockbuster UK blog.

Dirk Benedict also spent time Channel 4's celebrity Big Brother house.

Interviews: 

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