Ben Shields was raised in eastern Kansas, finally landing in suburban Kansas City - on the Kansas side. His mother is a critical care nurse, and his father is a senior partner in a law firm. He is a great, great grandson of an undertaker who created one of the first mortuaries in Kansas in 1890, and a grandfather was a decorated WWII pilot. He is a distant nephew of the legendary Betsy Ross. Shields began acting at the age of eleven, when he was cast as an understudy in "Oliver" at Kansas City's Starlight Theatre. He went on to perform in every major production in school, then went on to college and received a theatre degree from Northwestern University.
After college Ben worked in theatre, television, film, and voiceover. He attended The Second City Training Center in Chicago and also received training from acclaimed teacher and actress, Uta Hagen. While in Chicago, he was seen at the Royal George Theatre, Shakespeare Repertory, Organic Theater, Apple Tree Theatre, Victory Gardens, among many others. Ben was among the cast of two productions that received Jeff Awards for Best Production. He followed these up with moving to Los Angeles, where he has since appeared on television series, including House M.D., Eleventh Hour, The Unit, Jericho, among others, as well as appearing and voicing on commercials, video games, and L.A. theatre stages.
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Citizens United | PEN Productions | Sean Garrett, d.
Mindbender | Nandar Productions | Andre LeBlanc, d.
God’s Marble | Crazy Igor Productions | Charles McNamara, d.
Weight: 155 lbs
Hair Color: Blond
Games People Play | Recurring | BET Networks | Janice Cooke & Rob Morrow, d.
Do Not Disturb | Co-Star | Fox | Gary Halvorson, d.
House M.D. | Co-Star | Fox/NBC-Universal | David Straiton, d.
Wicked Wicked Games | Guest Star | MyNetwork TV | Terry Cunningham & Dennis Dimster, d.
Jane Fonda in the Court of Public Opinion | Supporting | Edgemar Center for the Arts | Terry Jastrow, d.
Conquest of the South Pole | Lead | Odyssey Theatre | Steve Pickering, d.
Assassins | Lead | Apple Tree Theatre | Gary Griffin, d.
Macbeth | Supporting | Shakespeare Repertory | Bill Brown, d.
Northwestern University, Major in Theatre, B.S.
The Second City Training Center | Improvisation | Chicago
Uta Hagen | Acting Intensive | Chicago
Allan Miller | Acting | Los Angeles
Ben recurs in 4 of the 10 episodes of season one of BET's Games People Play, now available on BET.com, Xfinity Stream, and other streaming sites.
“An abundance of comic invention and actor energy…Best of the whole bunch is a taciturn and self-reflexive janitor with a doctorate in anthropology, played with wit and intelligence by the splendid Ben Shields.”
"An appealing gift for underplaying."
“Hilarious and multidimensional, Ben Shields as Trefusis reveals a keen sense of comic timing.”
"Gives the traditionally weak character of Malcolm a palpable, layered strength.”
“Shields endows a not always sympathetic role with genuine decency.”
“As the foiled Trefusis, Ben Shields forges ahead in bumbling egotistical bliss. Through his hapless sense of wounded idealism, however, he is capable of evoking pity.”
“It's performed at perfect pitch; James Pelton's deft staging features a crackerjack cast whose dead-on accents and wizard timing never waste a witticism. Ben Shields gets magnificently mixed-up as Shaw's foolish firebrand."
“The cast is terrific; notably…Ben Shields as the obsessed Hinckley.”
“Ben Shields’ wonderfully introverted, boyish, self-deprecating John Hinckley contrasts nicely with Daniel Allar’s terrifically coarse, big-mouthed Samuel Byck.”
“Ben Shields is a worthy Malcolm.”
Copley News Service
“The Bailiwick cast…throws itself into the play with irresistible exuberance. They deliver Shaw's often convoluted comic speeches with ease and authority…Everyone in the cast is good and several are outstanding. Maggie Carney remains the best comic character actress on the area theater scene. Carney's equals include Ben Shields as the moneyed revolutionary Sidney.”
“Each character is rich…each performance beyond 'acting'.”
“The ensemble is superb.”
“Ben Shields and Janelle Snow give outrageous interpretations of their wildly diverse roles.”
Gay Chicago Magazine
“Particularly impressive are Elizabeth Kline, Doug Long, Janelle Snow and, especially, Ben Shields as the assorted bargain-hunters who rifle through and bicker for bits of Joe and Kate’s life.”