Actor Jay Benedict has died. His death comes as the result of the COVID-19 virus, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The actor's agency, TCG Artist Management, confirmed the news via social media. The agency tweeted, "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family " Benedict was born in California, but moved to Europe in the 1960s. For most of his career, he worked in the United Kingdom. In the United States, he's known for playing Newt's father Russ in James Cameron's Aliens in a cut scene restored in the film's "Special Edition" release. He also appeared as a "rich twit" in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.
In the United Kingdom, Benedict is best known for playing Dough Hamilton in the soap opera Emmerdale and John Kieffer in the detective drama Foyle's Wars. Benedict married Phoebe Scholfield, an actor on the sitcom 'Allo! 'Allo! One of Scholfield's co-stars, Vicki Michelle, tweeted after hearing the news.
"Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed," she tweeted. "Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield #AlloAllo My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time."
Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed. Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield #AlloAllo My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time #PhoebeScholfield @FreddieBenedict #LeoBenedict #SyncorSwim #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/YJ7nn25ftv— Vicki Michelle (@vickimichelle) April 5, 2020
Benedict had an expansive television career. Most notably, he played Frank Crowe in an episode of the BBC docudrama Seven Wonders of the Industrial World, John E. Jones III in Nova's Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial, and Alan Kalanak in Angus Wilson's Anglo-Saxon Attitudes. His other television appearances include Lilyhammer (Agent Becker), Queen Victoria's Men (Lord Melbourne), Sharpe's Honour (General Verigny), Bergerac (Martin Colley), Death Train (Halloran), Harnessing Peacocks (Eli Drew) and Only Love (Roger).
Benedict landed his first film role when he was 11-years-old. He played Tony Saytor in La Bande à Bobo. He also played Deak in the Tosche Station scenes in Star Wars: A New Hope, one of the better-known cut scenes from the film. His other film appearances include The Dirty Dozen: Next Mission (Didier le Clair), Icon (Carey Jordan), The White Knight (Turkish Ambassador), The Russia House (Spikey), Saving Grace (the MC) and Rewind (Blondin).
Benedict and Scholfield worked together running the Sync or Swim ADR company. They also wrote and translated films together, including translating The Card Player into English. Besides Scholfield, Benedict is survived by their two sons, Leopold Benedict and Freddie Benedict, who are both actors. He's also survived by a daughter from a previous marriage.