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Amber Benson

Happy Birthday To Amber Benson, 34 Yesterday !

Sunday 9 January 2011, by Webmaster

Date of Birth :8 January 1977, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Birth Name : Amber Nicole Benson

Height : 5’ 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Biography

Amber Benson was born on January 8, 1977 in Birmingham, Alabama. As a young girl, she studied singing, dancing as well as acting. While still in her teens, she was involved in productions at the local community theatre. Her family moved to Los Angeles soon afterwards in 1992 so she could pursue a career in acting.

Her first movie role was a minor part in King of the Hill (1993), where she played a good-natured, epileptic teenager and hotel resident which was set in 1930s Depression-era Indiana, which was immediately followed by another supporting part of Cheyenne, the best friend of Alicia Silverstone in The Crush (1993). A string of roles followed with her acting in three made-for-TV "Jack Reed" detective movies playing the daughter of the title detective as well as other minor and bit parts in Imaginary Crimes (1994), S.F.W. (1994) and Bye Bye Love (1995).

She’s also acted in a number of independent film productions and film shorts including Take It Easy (1999), Deadtime (1999), Don’s Plum (2001), Hollywood, Pennsylvania (2001). But Amber is probably best known for playing Tara, the shy, withdrawn witch and love interest of Willow for three seasons on the series "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997) from early 2000 to 2002.

Amber has also tried her talent at writing and directing, starting in 2001 with the little-seen independent comedy-drama Chance (2002), where she played the title character. She has also wrote various stage plays as well as the scripts for other independent movie productions like The Theory of the Leisure Class (2001) and Ghosts of Albion: Legacy (2003) (TV).


Has had roles in movies with actors whom she would later join on the cast of "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997): Lindsay Crouse and Eliza Dushku in Bye Bye Love (1995) and Seth Green in Big Party (1998).

She is most proud of her work in the film King of the Hill (1993), her appearances as ’Tara’ on "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997) and her own movie project Chance (2002).

Loves to read and spends a lot of her "down time" on set reading. Lists some of her favourite authors as Ray Bradbury, Susan Cooper, Marion Zimmer Bradley, J.K. Rowling (the ’Harry Potter’ series) and Christopher Golden (the ’Body of Evidence’ series).

Lives in Los Angeles with her mother, her dog Pennsylvania (aka Penny) and her cat Benneton (aka Benny).

She traveled to Romania to film the movie Taboo (2002).

In 2001, at the age of just 24, Amber directed, wrote, produced and starred in her own movie called Chance (2002). It was presented at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.

She was born on Elvis Presley’s birthday (January 8th) in 1977 (the year of Elvis’ death.)

Wrote a comic book based on the characters of Willow and Tara as part of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books series.

Amber was to return to "Buffy" in the 7th season, (following Tara’s death) playing a being posing as Tara Maclay. However, negotiations with the show fell through. Her decision not to return was at least in part because creator Joss Whedon wanted her to play a villain masquerading as her slain character, Tara. Knowing how Tara’s death had upset so many of her fans, Amber did not want to further traumatize them by having the character seemingly return from the grave, but being evil. The character was retooled and the role went to Azura Skye reprising her role of Cassie Newton instead.

Amber Benson arrived late at a "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997) convention in June, 2003, because a deer ran into her mother’s car in upstate New York.

According to "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997) producer Marti Noxon, series creator Joss Whedon originally rejected her for the role of "Tara", feeling she wasn’t the proper physical type. But Noxon insisted that she be allowed to read for the part again, and it was at the second audition that Whedon realized she would be perfect for the part.

Has a publishing deal along with author Christopher Golden to write a series of original novels based upon their animated BBCi film, "The Ghosts of Albion".

Wrote a vignette for Dark Horse Comics’ "Tales of the Slayer" graphic novel, with Joss Whedon and other Buffy TV and comic writers. Benson wrote about a vampire slayer from The French Revolution period, who accidentally killed a man.

At age 6, she danced in the Alabama Ballet Company’s production of "The Nutcracker." She was also a member of the Birmingham Children’s Theater.

Parents are Ed and Diane Benson. Her younger sister, Danielle, is an artist.

She suffered a badly broken foot in early 2004 when landscapers left a barrel full of discarded sod in her yard, and she tried to move it to the curb and it fell on her foot. She had to film her part in Intermedio (2005) on crutches as a result.

Joss Whedon originally wanted to resurrect Amber’s character, Tara, in the series finale of "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997). Buffy was to be given one wish, which she would agonize over for the entire episode. Finally, she would step aside to reveal Tara for the final shot.

Shares a birthday with director Francesco Roder and actress Sarah Polley.

She sang on two tracks of fellow "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997) co-star, Anthony Head’s solo CD project, "Music for Elevators".

As a young teenager, co-anchored (along with A.J. McLean, later of the Backstreet Boys) the pilot for a proposed television news program aimed at kids. However, the pilot was not picked up.

Has a three-book deal with Penguin Publishing. Her first original novel has been announced as "Death’s Daughter," the story of a young career woman in New York who finds out her dad is actually the angel of death.

Played in a band called Rhodestar with Hayley Taylor.

Lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend, actor/singer Adam Busch, whose character on "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997), Warren, shot and killed Tara, her character on "Buffy".

Had a mixed Christian and Jewish upbringing.

Attended the same grade in the same high school as Joey Fatone - Dr. Philips in Orlando, Florida.

Personal Quotes

If I wasn’t an actress I’d want to be a writer or else find a job where I got to read books and watch movies all day, everyday, for the rest of my life.

"I would love to develop my career on both sides of the camera in the way Woody Allen has done down the years." [Glasgow Evening Times, 22 January 2003].

[About her role as the lesbian "Tara" on "Buffy contre les vampires" (1997):] I got letters from girls saying that I changed their lives and I met people who would cry about it, and that had such an impact on me. You don’t realise what an impact television has on people. But when you get letters from young girls saying, ’I came out and I have a girlfriend now because of you’, it’s great.

[on her movie Chance (2002):] "The film was a while in coming. I spent a lot of time in my trailer on "Buffy" because they do so many stunts and CGI effects, so I’d just sit and write. I was tired of playing the love interest roles, but that’s all that’s written for women usually. "Buffy"’s the exception to that, but those kind of characters are few and far between, so I thought I’d better write one for myself." [Irish News, 27 January 2003]

[waxing philosophical about Tara not returning to "Buffy" in Season 7, so that Azura Skye took the part:] "They did approach me about coming back, but because my schedule has been so hectic they were having a hard time working everything out. Then it turned out that the character was going to be bad and I just didn’t want to do that to the fans. Too many people like her and they’ve already been traumatised by Tara getting killed." [January 27, 2003]

I’m really klutzy. I’m always tripping over stuff. I’m always trying to not walk into the camera. I was shooting a scene in a TV show and I kept sneezing. Glenn Frey of the Eagles was opposite me, and when we were filming, he said, "Can we please stop? Amber needs a Kleenex." That was really embarrassing, and I don’t mind sharing.

I’ve never purposely gone out to take somebody out. Well, maybe in elementary school I once did try to trip somebody.

I think when I cease to go to the bathroom, then I can call myself famous.

I would say if you think you could survive without being an actor - don’t do it. It’s a horrible, painful, wonderful but miserable business.

I started as a dancer when I was a little kid. I realized I didn’t like dancing as much as being onstage and having people clap for me. That’s how I segued into acting, the shortened version.

I admit it: I’m a freak who sits obsessively in front of my computer typing my name into Yahoo Search over and over again. I’m a closet Amberholic. Please help me!

I’m not going to throw up or over-exercise myself into oblivion to look like a model. People tell me, ’You’d work all the time if you just lost twenty pounds.’ What am I going to do, cut off my head?!

I just feel lucky to have grown up where I did because I think it gave me a nice base. Hollywood can really mess with your sense of self and I feel like coming from the South keeps me pretty grounded.

Books are what I escaped to when I was a kid, and books...unless they’re just really piss poor, I get swept up in them and I’m gone.

[On being perceived as "heavy"] I have breasts and hips and I am very happy that they are part of me. I weigh one-hundred eighteen and I am five foot four. If you saw me in real life, you would think I was on the thin side.

I’m not a very serious person at all.

I actually saw a ghost when I was sitting out on the porch of this beautiful house we were staying at in North Carolina. I was doing some writing, and I look up, and I see this woman in white go by, and I thought, ’That’s weird.’

Where Are They Now

(December 2004) Currently directing an as-yet-unnamed film she has written, which co-stars Christine Estabrook and James Leary.

(June 2005) Preparing the release of her new film, Lovers, Liars and Lunatics (2006), which she wrote, produced and directed.

(October 2005) Has just completed filming in North Carolina for _Mountain Time (2006)_, and is headed to Romania to film Gryphon (2007) (TV) for the Sci-Fi Channel.

(January 2006) Is currently filming Strictly Sexual (2008), as well as putting the finishing touches on her second "Ghosts of Albion" novel with co-author Christopher Golden, "Witchery".

(September 2006) Currently in Vancouver, B.C. filming a role for an as-yet-unannounced Lifetime channel original movie, and also preparing for the release of her latest book with co-author Christopher Golden, "Witchery," as well as a personal appearance in England at a convention at the end of the month.

(May 2007) Preparing to travel to Holland in June to shoot a thriller in which she’ll play an American military police officer. After returning to the United States, she will be in pre-production for a new horror film with actor Michael Madsen, tentatively titled Cross (2010/I).

(June 2008) She is now in Pennsylvania to film Another Harvest Moon (2009) and, afterward, will go to Louisiana, where she will co-direct the independent production, Drones (2010).