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The Jeffersons

Paul Benedict

Harry Bentley

Unlike his alter ego Harry Bentley, Paul Benedict is not British. The New Mexico native was first recognized as The Number Painter on Sesame Street before he became George Jefferson's wacky neighbor.

 

With his tall stature and prominent features (the latter due to suffering acromegaly), Benedict is a busy character actor. He was the man mistaken for Mort Guffman in the Christopher Guest mockumentary Waiting for Guffman and was the memorable professor in The Freshman. Other films include The Goodbye Girl, Arthur 2: On the Rocks, This Is Spinal Tap, The Addams Family and Guest's folk parody A Mighty Wind. On TV, he has been on The Drew Carey Show, Tales from the Crypt, Murder, She Wrote, A Different World, Kojak and Maude.

He had an illustrious Broadway career, most recently as the mayor in the revival of "The Music Man" and Al Pacino's only co-star in Eugene O'Neill's "Hughie." In the final season of The Jeffersons, Benedict directed an episode called "The Truth Hurts." Benedict passed away on Dec. 1, 2008 at the age of 70.

Character Bio

Before Seinfeld had Kramer, George Jefferson had Harry Bentley; the affable Englishman who lives next door to the Jeffersons. A friendly chap with a bad back, he is fond of George and often turns to "Mr. J" to walk on his spine, though he is frequently confused by George's verbal put-downs. A translator for the U.N., Bentley disappears for a couple of years for a stay in Russia, but returns and moves back into his old apartment (thanks to the Jeffersons). He has a penchant for the ladies and an ability to get in trouble with matters of the heart.