, and auditioned for the role of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (1977), but lost the role to Mark Hamill. He received critical acclaim for his role as the hockey player, Nick Peterson, in Ice Castles (1978). In Walk Proud (1979), he played a Chicano gang member. Other notable performances include Death Be Not Proud and Lucky Lady, both in 1975, and One on One co-starring Annette O'Toole in 1977. Also in 1977 came the TV movie The Death of Richie, co-starring actor Ben Gazzara.
In 1981, he costarred with Rod Steiger in the film The Chosen, based on the Chaim Potok book of the same name. Also in the early 1980s, he appeared as a young man with a learning disability in the made-for-television film Two of a Kind, along with George Burns playing the role of his "Grand-Poppy". In 1984 he co-starred among others with Paul Newman in Harry and Son, and in 1987 with Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in The End. In Disney's animated feature film Beauty and the Beast, Benson demonstrated his vocal abilities by providing the voice of Beast. Some critics claim he did such a good job the voice was nearly unrecognizable as Benson's.
He would later reprise the role in the Kingdom Hearts role-playing game series. This role led to other voice work for animated features, including the widely popular Prince Valiant cartoon series, as well as the heroic Able Squad leader J.T. Marsh on Exosquad. Benson also lends his voice to some computer and video game work, such as the voice of Prince Alexander in the computer game King's Quest VI: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow. Benson directed over 100 sitcom episodes including Friends, Sabrina, an entire season of Ellen, and two seasons of Thunder Alley.
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