The event, which will be held in Charlotte, NC, benefits heart patients who cannot afford cardiac care and rehabilitation after open heart surgery. In a statement, actor Benson said, "I have first hand experience in the care Carolinas Medical Center has to offer. I was born with a congenital valve defect and the kind and dedicated doctors and surgeons from the Sanger Clinic at Carolinas Medical Center repaired my heart beautifully in 2004 — they touched my heart in more ways than one. This is my family's chance to help raise funds for their patients who do not have the insurance coverage nor money to get the care they need."
Benson, who made his Broadway debut at age 12 in Zelda, has also appeared on The Great White Way in The Rothschilds and The Pirates of Penzance. In the '70s, he became a minor heartthrob among the youth set, as a result of his appearances in such teen-related films as "Jory," "Jeremy" and "Ode to Billy Joe." He also played George Gibbs in a 1977 television version of Our Town. Still, his greatest screen achievement came in 1991, when he provided the voice of the Beast for Disney's "Beauty and the Beast." He also voiced subsequent video sequels of the animated classic.
Benson's writing credits include "Modern Love," a 1990 movie in which he stared with DeVito, and the 1993 film "Betrayal of the Dove," which he and his wife co-wrote.
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