Lucille Benson


Lucille Benson was a plump, distinctive, and marvelously quirky character actress with a heavy down-home Southern accent who portrayed an offbeat and enjoyable array of colorful supporting dotty old lady roles in both films and TV shows alike. Benson was born on July 17, 1914 in Scottsboro, Alabama. She was adopted and raised by her aunt after her mother died of tuberculosis. Lucille graduated from Jackson County High School, where she was valedictorian and president of her class. Benson attended both Huntingdon College in Montgomery and Northwestern's School of Drama in Evanston, Illinois. She worked briefly as a teacher prior to moving to New York to pursue an acting career in the 1930's. Lucille appeared in the Broadway plays "The Doughgirls," "The Day Before Spring," "Happy Birthday," "As the Girls Go," "Hotel Paradiso," "Period of Adjustment," and "Walking Happy." Benson acted in the Tennessee Williams play "Orpheus Descending" at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami, Florida and co-starred alongside Donald O'Connor in a three month Las Vegas stage production of "Little Me." She made her film debut in the 1959 feature "The Fugitive Kind." Lucille was memorably funny and spirited as the flaky lady at the Snakerama in Steven Spielberg's terrific made-for-TV thriller classic "Duel." She later parodied this particular part in the hilariously raucous "1941." Benson gave a splendidly creepy and delightful performance as wacky fleabag hotel owner Aunt Martha in Paul Bartel's deliciously perverse horror exploitation oddity "Private Parts." Other noteworthy film roles include tough lifer prison inmate Billie in "Women in Chains," Billy Pilgrim's mother in "Slaughterhouse-Five," the eccentric Janet Poole in "The Devil's Daughter," stern, but friendly whorehouse madam Peg in "The Concrete Cowboys," and the doddery Ms. Elrod in "Halloween II." Lucille had a recurring role as hotel manager Lilly Sinclair in the sitcom "Bosom Buddies." Among the TV shows Benson made guest appearances on are "Alice," "Simon & Simon," "The Love Boat," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Little House on the Prairie," "Eight is Enough," "The Waltons," "Wonder Woman," "Cannon," and "Bonanza." She also acted in TV commercials. Lucille Benson died at age 69 from liver cancer on February 17, 1984.


Movie Name Release Date
Μονομαχία – Duel (1971) November 13, 1971