• 8 January 1920
  •  Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Richard Benedict


Actor/director Richard Benedict was born Joseph Sciurba in Sicily. He came to the US with his family when he was seven. He was a prizefighter before journeying to Hollywood to break into the movies. His stocky, somewhat menacing appearance got him tough-guy and henchman roles, although he did get the occasional second lead. His best-known role was as Leo Minosa, the man trapped in an abandoned mineshaft in Billy Wilder's tough look at unscrupulous journalism and how legitimate tragedies are turned into a media circus in Ace in the Hole (1951). In 1962 he began directing, and though he turned out a few features, the majority of his directing work was in series television.