Robby Benson, the iconic adolescent idol, celebrates his 67th birthday today. The actor is well-known for his parts in films such as “Ice Castles,” “The Chosen,” “Harry and Son,” and even “Beauty and the Beast” as the Beast’s voice, and he penned the screenplay for “One on One.”
Benson gained popularity as a youngster and became a well-known actress at a young age. He won two Golden Globes throughout his profession, and the actor expanded his skill set by producing and directing. Benson worked on several prominent films and TV series, having iconic pieces like “Friends” and “Sabrina” to his name.
Yet, one of Benson’s most important achievements was most likely the Broadway staging of “The Pirates of Penzance.” Although the play was a success, it has special meaning for Benson since it is where he met and fell in love with his wife, Karla DeVito, with whom he had two children, a boy, Zephyr Benson, and a daughter, Lyric Benson.
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The two had a tough start, with work regularly conflicting in their relationship, but they remained with each other and made it work. For their 40th anniversary, Benson shared a photo of himself with his wife on Facebook, saying how “fortunate” he is to have her with him, particularly given his health issues.
We've been married 40 years! I am the luckiest man on the planet Earth – or as lawyers say, "and in all universes and galaxies in perpetuity!"Posted by Robby Benson on Thursday, 14 July 2022
Benson might not have survived all of his life’s trials if it hadn’t been for his wife. Despite leading a healthy, active lifestyle, the artist has had many open-heart surgery throughout the years. At the age of 28, his aortic valve was substituted with a bovine valve during his first operation.
All appeared to be in order, however after 13 years of living an active life with his valve replacement, Benson’s bovine valve began to malfunction. As a result, he underwent another round of open-heart surgery. Sadly, the second procedure was bungled, necessitating additional surgeries between 1998 and 2010.
As soon as he awakened after his second operation, he had trouble breathing. Furthermore, his hands were strangely chained to the bed, and despite Karla’s protests, the sadistic nurse refused to free him. She ultimately unlocked his hands and took out his breathing tubes. Only then could he tell her he was in excruciating pain.
Despite his dreadful second operation, he continued to work on new projects and care for his family. Throughout this period, he had trouble breathing and sensed something wasn’t right. Despite this, he persisted, realizing that his family depended on him to provide for them. As a result, he began writing and created two books and a musical.
Benson recognized that something was wrong with his breathing by the time he had his third operation. He began to experience increasingly concerning symptoms and discussed them with his wife. Fortunately, Karla was always encouraging and willing to listen and assist him in finding a long-term solution.
He eventually went in for what doctors suspected was stenosis. But, after his third operation, doctors discovered that a valve had been sewed on wrongly, causing all of his issues. Luckily, the procedure went smoothly, and everything appeared to be OK. Throughout it all, DeVito remained by his side. Benson stated that she has been his advocate and has guided me through everything. He does not believe he would have been able to make it without her.
Benson then underwent his fourth open-heart surgery in 2010. He had relocated away from Los Angeles with his family by then and was teaching at the Tisch Academy of Arts. His final operation was a success, and he remarked to his wife that they can manage anything when they’re together, look into one another’s eyes, and have each other.