Julie Benz is an American actress best known for her role as Rita Bennett/Morgan on the crime thriller television series Dexter (2006-2010), for which she won the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television.
She currently stars in the science fiction comedy-drama series No Ordinary Family. She is also known for her role as Darla on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel.
Benz also joined Desperate Housewives for a multi-episode arc as Robin, a stripper with a heart of gold and a Masters degree in education who ends up having a steamy lesbian love affair with Katherine (Dana Delany).
She also starred in cult-classics such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Roswell, as well as the Steven Spielberg-produced alien abduction miniseries, Taken, and made special guest appearances on such hit TV shows as Supernatural, CSI and Law & Order.
On the big screen Benz continued her streak as Eunice Bloom, reuniting with the original cast in Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day, the sequel to the cult-classic Boondock Saints.
She starred opposite Sylvester Stallone in Rambo and darkened her hair to play the vengeful blue-collar wife of a murdered cop in The Punisher: War Zone.
Though her rise as a cult-favourite heroine has won the hearts of many thrill-seekers, don't forget to add her to one of the most successful chillers in the Saw series, Saw V, as one of Jigsaw's victims.
Benz also had a great turn with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, and starred with Rose McGowan, Pam Grier, Judy Greer and Rebecca Gayheart in the cult hit Jawbreaker.
Born and raised in Pennsylvania to a general vascular surgeon and a homemaker, Benz is the youngest of three children, all of whom are accomplished ice skaters. She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her partner, David Schilling, coming in 13th.
Her older brother and sister, Jeffrey and Jennifer, were in the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally.
But when Benz was 14, she suffered a crippling stress fracture and had to take time off. She stepped off the ice sand stepped onto the stage, something she had always been interested in, starring in numerous community theater productions that earned her a whirlwind of attention, so she set herself a new goal - to become an actress.
Benz's first major role came at 16 when she was cast in the "Black Cat" episode of the Dario Argento and George A. Romero horror film, Two Evil Eyes, where she shared a notable scene with Harvey Keitel.
Next came a recurring role on the TV series Hi Honey, I'm Home, about a 1950s sitcom family put in a sitcom family relocation program.
Benz took a break from her budding career to attend New York University, where she received a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Acting. While attending, she graduated in three years with honours and studied abroad in Moscow, enriching her appreciation for the Stanislavski acting method.
With a flourishing and diverse career, Benz resides in Los Angeles with her Maltese/Poodle mix, Bamboo, and her Havanese, Sugar. She enjoys cooking and doing every form of exercise from boxing to pilates, spinning, running and lifting heavy weights.
She is involved with the charity U.S. Campaign for Burma, thanks to her life-changing experiences shooting Rambo, as well as doing charity work for Rally for Kids with Cancer.