Paul Benedict

Paul Benedict, who gained fame as the quirky English neighbor of the family in the TV sitcom "The Jeffersons," but remained faithful to the stage throughout his long career, died Dec. 1, 2008, on Martha's Vineyard. He was 70. The cause of death was not known at press time. Mr. Benedict was not English; he was born Sept. 17, 1938, in Silver City, NM. But with his long jaw, toothy smile and tweedy accent, he convinced millions of viewers of the "The Jeffersons" that he was more British than Jeeves. His character, Harry Bentley, was one of several oddball neighbors who frequently shattered the peace of the sitcom's upwardly mobile African-American family, led by the irascible George Jefferson. Bentley would sometimes ask the diminutive George to walk on his back to relieve muscle tension.

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  • Born: Sep 17, 1938 in Silver City, New Mexico
  • Death: Dec 1, 2008 in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts