Although his actress wife Paula Prentiss became a star by the early 1960’s….it took Richard Benjamin almost fifteen years to establish his screen persona….but the wait was rewarding….when after extensive work in theater as actor and director….along with his participation in the cult TV series He & She in 1967….in which he co-starred with Paula….he won the starring role in the screen adaptation of Philip Roth’s best-seller, Goodbye, Columbus in 1969. That was followed by roles in Diary of a Mad Housewife in 1970….The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker in 1971….and another Roth adaptation Portnoy’s Complaint in 1972…..which turned him into a prominent “archetype of East Coast Jewish intellectual agony”….as critic Jonathan Romney defines him. But his forte was comedy….and he won a Golden Globe when he repeated his stage role in the film version of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys in 1975. Although he continued to perform….Benjamin turned to direction after the 1980’s with the highly acclaimed comedy My Favorite Year in 1982.
Paula Prentiss (born March 4, 1938) is an American actress best known for her film roles in Where the Boys Are, Man’s Favorite Sport?, The Stepford Wives, What’s New Pussycat?, In Harm’s Way, The Black Marble, and The Parallax View….and the cult television series He & She.
Paula Prentiss and Richard Benjamin were hosts of Saturday Night Live in 1978….as seen in this opening monologue herewith….as their comedic talents were showcased during the height of their careers.