There has already been an unusually high number of celebrities who have died in 2020, ranging from actors to athletes to musicians. That’s partly due to the coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of several stars, including Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger, Desperately Seeking Susan star Mark Blum, legendary jazz artist Manu Dibango, and now actor Jay Benedict, who died at the age of 68.
Benedict was best known for his role as Doug Hamilton from the U.K. television series Emmerdale, while American audiences might remember him most as Newt’s father in the 1986 Aliens film or as Rich Twit — yes, Rich Twit — in 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises. Starting in the business back in 1963, Benedict also landed plenty of gigs as a voice actor in video games like Miami Vice, Spartan: Total Warrior, and MindJack.
When it comes to Benedict’s personal life, “he leaves behind his wife, Phoebe Scholfield, and sons Freddie and Leopold,” according to USA Today. While they’re surely grieving the actor’s passing, they’re not alone when it comes to those who will be missing the respected performer.
Those in the industry paid tribute to Jay Benedict
Following Jay Benedict’s death from coronavirus in early April 2020, those who knew the actor took to Twitter to share tributes. Kristin Tarry of TCG Artist Management had worked with Benedict for over 20 years and confirmed the news of his passing to USA Today. On April 4, the company 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’s former Emmerdale co-star Vicki Michelle also used social media to share a picture of herself and the late performer, along with her thoughts on his death. “Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed,” she wrote. “Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield … My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time.”
“Jay Benedict — one of the greats — passed away today,” actor David Menkin tweeted. “If you work in ADR, dubbing, voiceovers, theatre or film in London, you know why we’re heartbroken; a big voice and even bigger personality has left us.”
R.I.P. Jay Benedict.
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