Dirk Benedict was born Dirk Niewohner in White Suphur Springs, Montana on March 1, 1945. There, Benedict spent his childhood participating in outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and football. At college in Walla Walla, Washington studying composition, Dirk Benedict accepted a dare to try out for Showboat — and won the lead. This gave Benedict a taste for acting, and he spent the next few years working on musical productions. After graduation Dirk Benedict trained under John Fernald, previously of London’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and then did repertory theater in Seattle and Ann Arbor, Michigan (roles included King Lear and Star-Spangled Girl. Dirk Benedict also created a Dixieland jazz band during this time.
While working on his first movie, Georgia, Georgia, in Sweden, Benedict discovered the benefits of being on a macrobiotic diet, and changed his lifestyle as a result. He also worked on Broadway productions such as Butterflies Are Free and Abelard and Heloise. Eventually Dirk Benedict made the switch to television, in roles on Chopper One and Hawaii Five-O. In the early ‘70s Benedict was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Refusing treatment from doctors, he cured himself by following the tenets of his macrobiotic diet. By the time Dirk Benedict was cast on Battlestar Galactica, he was cancer-free. He is also known for playing the ladies’ man/con man Templeton Peck aka Face/Faceman on The A-Team, which aired from 1983-1988. Dirk Benedict is a writer as well and wrote several motion pictures, two memoirs (including Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy) and has worked on many scripts.
More recently Dirk Benedict appeared as a contestant on the 2007 UK series Celebrity Big Brother. In 2010, Dirk starred in Prescription: Murder playing Lieutenant Columbo along with Patrick Ryecart and George Telfer. Benedict also made a cameo appearance in the 2010 film adaptation of The A-Team as Pensacola Prisoner Milt.
Dirk Benedict married actress Toni Hudson, whom he met during her guest star stint on The A-Team. They had two children, George and Roland, before Hudson left him. As an avid pilot, Dirk Benedict has also spent many hours in the air.