Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Gunslinger: Ben Murphy

One of the things the Web does so well is to honor the past. There are so many films, TV shows and actors that touch our lives, but so often many are forgotten. In addition to spreading sarcasm and 'news', Twitter for me has been about getting reminders of people and things I have forgotten about. Last week, someone posted the above shot of actor Ben Murphy.

I have to admit, I don't recall ever really seeing or watching anything Ben was in. One of his most famous roles, in the television series Alias Smith and Jones, aired before I was born. Yet, with the net, I was familiar with Ben and seeing his images on various sites and blogs had me curious to learn more about him. First off, he's staggeringly good looking. Ben's sexy smile, his adorable dimples and that head of curly hair have me stop to pause every time I see one of his images.

Not his greatest look.... but still a fun 70's publicity shot

The first time the world beyond the actors Arkansas birthplace saw his sexy face was in the uncredited role as 'shaving man' in the 1967's The Graduate. (below) Although uncredited, many clearly took notice and Ben soon began regular role in film and on television. After his turn in Alias Smith and Jones in the early 70's, Ben went to to appear in 70's TV shows including Gemini Man and The Chisholm's in through the 80's in The Winds of War, Lottery and the short lived prime time soap Berrengers.

Although I don't think I saw one episode of any of the shows I just mentioned, I do remember noticing Ben in magazines and promotional images from his many projects. Ben's work in the 90's was mostly guest starring turns on shows including Life Goes On, In The Heat of the Night, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, Pacific Blue and Silk Stockings

Throughout the 2000's, Ben continued to appear on screen and regularly on television with roles on Judging Amy, NCIS, JAG, The District and The Drew Carey Show. Ben's last official credit was in the 2010 drama, The Genesis Code.

Ben left acting after that for what he describes as a return to being a private citizen. He steps back in the lime light now and then for Hollywood shows, usually for fans of Alias Smith and Jones. Ben isn't sitting on his front porch however, the Southern Californian actor has always played tennis and currently travels on the USTA singles and doubles circuit.

Ben really focused on his tennis game during a 1980 actors strike, spending all of the time he would have been in front of the camera on the tennis court. In 2016, Ben consistently ranked in southern California’s top ten Men’s 70 Singles Seedings as well as the Men’s 70 Doubles Senior Grand Prix for southern California.

One of the most interesting things to me about Ben, especially in his images, is not just how hot he usually look, but also how happy he usually appears. So many actors seem to go for that serious, dramatic, almost constipated look in publicity shots, but with Ben, he is often smiling. Given how magic his smile is, it's a wise choice. I think that smile is what has always drawn me to his images whenever I see them.

A more recent shot of Ben, looking as studly as ever! You can check out more images of Ben on his Official Website run by two of his friends.

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