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Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?

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PennybankBill
Stand-by
joined:11/1/10
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/22/12 at 12:36am
I was watching INTO THE WOODS on DVD last night and was absolutely blown away by Ben Wright's performance as Jack. He looks, sounds, and acts like he came off the page. I wondered what happened to him, where is he now? and is he still hot?
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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/22/12 at 07:34am
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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missthemountains
Stand-by
joined:9/13/11
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/22/12 at 10:21am
I distinctly remember being linked to some site he has now - I think he might be an agent or something. I know the link to his agency or production company is on this board somewhere...
wonkit
Broadway Legend
joined:9/30/08
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/22/12 at 05:15pm
Didn't Ben Wright participate in one of those Sondheim birthday galas, or is my mind playing tricks again? City Center, with Chip Zien and others?
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justoldbill
Broadway Star
joined:10/17/07
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 02:06am
I think both he and his wife eventually got disenchanted with performing and started leaning more toward domesticity. I liked him in STATE FAIR.
Well-well-well-what-do-you-think-of-that-I-have-nothing-here-to-pay-my-train-fare-with-only-large-bills-fives-and-sevens....
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TxTwoStep
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/03
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 10:43am
i miss him. He was so kind several times at Stage Door and backstage in the original WOODS. Had quite the crush, which he found hilarious.
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."
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The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 11:53am
This question keeps on coming up :) I was told several years ago by someone who apparently knew him that he had left show business. However, so did Robert Westenberg and Kim Crosby but they still pop up in shows now and then.

Who are some other notable showbiz dropouts who played principal roles on Broadway? Jere Shea comes to mind...
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TxTwoStep
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/03
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 11:56am
for Bob and Kim, you just have to expand the term "business". They married, had children, returned to her home in southern Missouri where he teaches theatre in college, and tagteam who is acting/working and who is parenting. Kim i think was recently in the PETER PAN tour as Mrs. Darling but i think has left it again.
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 01:27pm
I compiled the list below of "Lost Tony nominees"; actors who caught the public eye sufficiently to be identified as one of the best of the year, but whose names are now more or less unknown; some have probably passed away, others have probably passed into the shadowy world of daytime tv:

FEATURED ACTOR- MUSICAL
1967
Gordon Dilworth (Walking Happy)
1969
A. Larry Haine (Promises, Promises)
1971
Walter Willison (Two by Two)
1972
Timothy Myers (Grease)
1973
Avon Long (Don't Play Us Cheap)
1974
Mark Baker (Candide)
Ralph Carter (Raisin)
1975
John Bottoms (Dance With Me)
1976
Charles Repole (Very Good Eddie)
Isao Sato (Pacific Overtures)
1978
Steven Boockvor (Working)
1979
Richard Cox (Platinum)
1984
Stephen Geoffreys (The Human Comedy)
Samuel E. Wright (The Tap Dance Kid)
1985
Kurt Knudson (Take Me Along)
1987
Robert Torti (Starlight Express)
1989
Bunny Briggs (Black and Blue)
Scott Wentworth (Welcome to the Club)
1990
Kevin Colson (Aspects of Love)
1991
Willy Falk (Miss Saigon)
1996
Brett Tabisel (Big - The Musical)
Scott Wise (State Fair)
1997
Sam Harris (The Life)

FEATURED ACTOR PLAY
1961
Eduardo Ciannelli (The Devil's Advocate)
1962
Paul Sparer (Ross)
1963
Frank Silvera (The Lady of the Carnellias)
1964
Lee Allen (Marathon '33)
Michael Dunn (The Ballad of the Sad Cafe)
Larry Gates (A Case of Libel)
1965
Murray Hamilton (Absence of a Cello)
Clarence Williams, III (Slow Dance on the Killing Ground)
1966
Burt Brinckerhoff (Cactus Flower)
Eamon Kelly (Philadelphia, Here I Come!)
1967
Clayton Corzatte (The School for Scandal)
Stephen Elliot (Marat/Sade)
Sydney Walker (The Wild Duck)
1971
Ronald Radd (Abelard and Heloise)
Donald Pickering (Conduct Unbecoming)
Ed Zimmermann (The Philanthropist)
1972
Douglas Rain (Vivat! Vivat! Regina!)
Lee Richardson (Vivat! Vivat! Regina!)
Joe Silver (Lenny)
1973
Hayward Morse (Butley)
1974
Dick Anthony Williams (What the Wine-Sellers Buy)
1975
Philip Locke (Sherlock Holmes)
Dick Anthony Williams (Black Picture Show)
1976
Daniel Seltzer (Knock Knock)
1977
Joe Fields (The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel)
1981
Adam Redfield (A Life)
1989
Gordon Joseph Weiss (Ghetto)
1990
Rocky Carroll (The Piano Lesson)
1994
Gregory Itzin (The Kentucky Cycle)
1996
Roger Robinson (Seven Guitars)
1997
William Biff McGuire (The Young Man From Atlanta)
1999
Howard Witt (Death of a Salesman)
2003
Thomas Jefferson Byrd, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Daniel Sunjata, Take Me Out
2004
Omar Metwally, Sixteen Wounded
2005
David Harbour, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

ACTOR MUSICAL
1968
Robert Hooks (Hallelujah, Baby!)
1974
Joe Morton (Raisin)
1989
Brian Lane Green (Starmites)
1991
Paul Hipp (Buddy)
1993
Con O'Neill (Blood Brothers)
1994
Jere Shea (Passion)

FEATURED ACTRESS MUSICAL
1964
Julienne Marie (Foxy)
1965
Luba Lisa (I Had a Ball)
1966
Patricia Marand (Superman)
1967
Josephine Premice (A Hand is on the Gate)
1968
Julie Gregg (The Happy Time)
1969
Lorraine Serabian (Zorba)
Virginia Vestoff (1776)
1972
Beatrice Winde (Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death)
1974
Leigh Berry (Cyrano)
Maureen Brennan (Candide)
June Gable (Candide)
Ernestine Jackson (Raisin)
1975
Kelly Garrett (The Night That Made America Famous)
Donna Theodore (Shenandoah)
1976
Virginia Seidel (Very Good Eddie)
1979
Joan Ellis (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas)
1981
Wanda Richert (42nd Street)
1983
Karla Burns (Show Boat)
Denny Dillon (My One and Only)
1984
Martine Allard (The Tap Dance Kid)
1985
Evalyn Baron (Quilters)
Lenka Peterson (Quilters)
1992
Vivian Reed (The High Rollers Social and Pleasure Club)
1993
Jan Graveson (Blood Brothers)
1996
Joohee Choi (The King and I)
2004
Jennifer Westfeldt, Wonderful Town

FEATURED ACTRESS PLAY
1961
Tresa Hughes (The Devil's Advocate)
1964
Diana Sands (Blues for Mister Charlie)
1965
Rae Allen (Traveller Without Luggage)
Alexandra Berlin (All in Good Time)
Carolan Daniels (Slow Dance on the Killing Ground)
1967
Camila Ashland (Black Comedy)
Brenda Forbes (The Loves of Cass McGuire)
1968
Eleanor Wilson (Weekend)
1969
Lauren Jones (Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?)
Anna Manahan (Lovers)
1970
Alice Drummond (The Chinese and Dr. Fish)
1971
Lili Darvas (Les Blancs)
Mona Washbourne (Home)
1972
Cara Duff-MacCormick (Moonchildren)
1974
Regina Baff (Veronica's Room)
Charlotte Moore (Chemin de Fer)
1978
Starletta DuPois (The Mighty Gents)
1979
Laurie Kennedy (Man and Superman)
Susan Littler (Bedroom Farce)
Mary-Joan Negro (Wings)
1980
Pamela Burrell (Strider)
Lois de Banzie (Morning's at Seven)
1983
Roxanne Hart (Passion)
1984
Jo Henderson (Play Memory)
1988
Kimberleigh Aarn (Joe Turner's Come and Gone)
Kimberly Scott (Joe Turner's Come and Gone)
1991
Kathryn Erbe (The Speed of Darkness)
1994
Jeanne Paulsen (The Kentucky Cycle)
1995
Suzanne Bertish (The Moliere Comedies)
1998
Julyana Soelistyo (Golden Child)
1999
Dawn Bradfield (The Lonesome West)

ACTRESS MUSICAL
1972
Jonelle Allen (Two Gentlemen of Verona)
1973
Marcia Rodd (Shelter)
1975
Lola Falana (Doctor Jazz)
1976
Vivian Reed (Bubbling Brown Sugar)
1977
Ernestine Jackson (Guys and Dolls)
1981
Meg Bussert (Brigadoon)
1982
Lisa Mordente (Marlowe)
Mary Gordon Murray (Little Me)
1989
Sharon McNight (Starmites)
1991
June Angela (Shogun: The Musical)
1992
Sophie Hayden (The Most Happy Fella)
1993
Ann Crumb (Anna Karenina)
1997
Pamela Isaacs (The Life)
2001
Marla Schaffel (Jane Eyre)

ACTRESS PLAY
1965
Marjorie Rhodes (All in Good Time)
Beah Richards (The Amen Corner)
Diana Sands (The Owl and the Pussycat)
1970
Geraldine Brooks (Brightower)
1973
Kathleen Widdoes (Much Ado About Nothing)
1980
Anne Twomey (Nuts)
1997
Lia Williams (Skylight)
gravity87
Featured Actor
joined:8/4/04
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 01:37pm
Last I heard Jere Shea was running development at the Gardner museum in Boston.

Newintown, A few of the more recent "lost nominees" you listed have pretty decent careers in film/TV - namely Jennifer Westfeldt, Daniel Sujunta, David Harbor and Katherine Erbe.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 01:42pm
Oh, I'm sure that's true. I watch very little tv, and only hear the names of the more familiar movie actors.

And it's certainly true that one can be a relatively anonymous tv actor and make a great deal of money.
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 01:48pm
I'm fascinated that anyone could be blown away with his performance on that video. I always thought he sang it beautifully but came across flat and wooden in his acting.
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JRybka
Broadway Legend
joined:11/6/06
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 02:35pm
Samuel E. Wright was nominated for a Tony Award in 1984 for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for his performance in The Tap Dance Kid, and again in 1998 for Best Featured Actor in a Musical as the original lead actor for Mufasa in The Lion King, the Broadway version of Disney's animated classic of the same name. Wright played Enos' partner Turk in the TV series Enos. Wright originated the part of "Sam" in Over Here! on Broadway. Wright also played the part of Jericho on the short lived Fox TV show Jonny Zero.

"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
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JRybka
Broadway Legend
joined:11/6/06
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 02:37pm
Sam Harris (The Life) also has had a very fruitful career. He is mainly in LA now.
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
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Playbilly
Broadway Legend
joined:3/30/12
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 02:39pm
Some of these people work(ed) quite a bit: Murray Hamilton, Daniel Sunjata, Kathryn Erbe, Beah Richards, Mona Washburne to name five. Good careers as character actors.
"Through The Sacrifice You Made, We Can't Believe The Price You Paid..For Love!"
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SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 02:50pm
Yeah...I'd hardly consider Sunjata and Harbour 'Whatever happened to...' folks. Sunjata is still on Rescue Me, correct? And Harbour is working all the time. From big projects (Brokeback Mountain) to well...W.E. Plus, I believe he just landed the lead in a new series.

As for Kathtryn Erbe, she's very well known from her role as Alex Eames on Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Just the fact that she kept a straight face during a truly insane Raul Esparza guest spot should have made her legendary on this board.
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The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 02:58pm
Although I appreciate the time that was made compiling that list, a great deal of these actors went on to have decent careers in TV, film, and/or regional theatre. I was asking about notable Broadway actors who have left show business entirely to have "normal" lives.

Updated On: 4/24/12 at 02:58 PM
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TxTwoStep
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/03
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 03:13pm
isn't Westfeldt also KISSING JESSICA STEIN and FRIENDS WITH KIDS?
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."
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Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 03:34pm
Yep. And she has relations with Jon Hamm!
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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 06:47pm
Heaven forbid they should disappear to the "shadowy world of daytime tv". I know you think soaps are something people should be ashamed to admit to watching as they sit on their plastic covered furniture and are laughed at by neighbours, but either way the loss to New York of soaps has really caused an issue for Broadway actors.
anthony95401
Chorus Member
joined:11/28/10
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/24/12 at 07:29pm
Ben Wright did appear at the City Center Sondheim Celebration a few years back. He, Danielle Ferland, Chip Zein, and Joanna Gleason did "No One is Alone" and it was fantastic to see those four together again. He has always had one of my favorite voices.
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TxTwoStep
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/03
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/25/12 at 06:25am
me too Anthony....so unforced yet wideranging, for once a tenor whose singing was to tied to natural speaking. Perfect musical theatre tenor voice.
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."
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Taryn
Broadway Legend
joined:1/24/04
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/25/12 at 12:15pm
Samuel E. Wright was also the voice of Sebastian in The Little Mermaid!
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Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/25/12 at 12:51pm
Kathryn Erbe had a long run as the female lead on one of the LAW & ORDER's. She is also one of the Steppenwolf ensemble, is married to Terry Kinney, and should have won an Emmy for her guest role as a psychotic death row inmate on OZ.

Clayton Corzatte is based in Seattle and acts quite a bit in regional theatre.

Daniel Sunjata was a cast regular on RESCUE ME and appeared as Christian in the revival of CYRANO.

Diana Sands was one of the great leading lady discoveries of sixties theater (think a black Anne Bancroft). Her career in film was just taking off when she died of cancer in 1973. You might know her as the voice of "Delilah" on FREE TO BE YOU AND ME.
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
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doodlenyc
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/04
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/25/12 at 01:14pm
A quick search found Jere Shea, bein' all churchy in Mass.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zinwL_sWrtA

If you click on the related vid with him and a guitar, he sings Sweet Melissa...beautifully.
"Carson has combined his passion for helping children with his love for one of Cincinnati's favorite past times - cornhole - to create a unique and exciting event perfect for a corporate outing, entertaining clients or family fun."

"In Oz, the verb is douchifizzation." PRS

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TxTwoStep
Broadway Legend
joined:5/24/03
Whatever happened to...BEN WRIGHT?
Posted: 4/25/12 at 01:52pm
it IS beautiful but to bring the thread full circle...wish i could hear Ben Wright sing it.
Will: They don't give out awards for helping people be gay... unless you count the Tonys. "I guarantee that we'll have tough times. I guarantee that at some point one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life..."

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