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Go Back   Dirk's Works > Dirk Benedict: The Man, the Myth, the Legend > Parts, Roles, Performances > Battlestar Galactica > Battlestar Galactica Classic

Battlestar Galactica Classic For discussions about the classic Battlestar series which starred Dirk as the one and only "Starbuck". NO Ron Moore show posts here please.

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Old 04-29-2015, 02:01 AM   #1
ojai22
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Default COSMIC COWBOY/Playgirl April 30 1979


DIRK BENEDICT: The Cosmic Cowboy Catches On



By Louis Baggell


Odds are, Dirk Benedict ~~ handsome, blue~eyed Lieutenant Starbuck of Battlestar Galactica ~~ is going to do for cheroots what Hunter Thompson did for Wild Turkey bourbon. Before Thompson began touting the wonders of Wild Turkey in books like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, no one under the age of thirty would touch the stuff; today it's virtually replaced tequila as the drink of the age.


Though I'm not sure that teenagers will take to puffing on cheroots instead of reefers, the stock of the stumpy little cigar is definitely up thanks to it's almost permanent place in the lips of Benedict. That cheroot is a symbol of Dirk Benedict, of the casual offhand attitude he's taken to the roles he's had in his brief career as an actor, and of his overall attitude toward life.


Consider, for a moment, the improbable path that led Benedict to the role of the woman~chasing, often buffoonish Lieutenant Starbuck.

Born in 1945 in White Sulphur Springs, Montana, a boondock town of only 1400 souls, son of a lawyer/outdoorsman, Benedict grew up immersed in the Great Outdoors.

"My father told me never to work just to make money," Benedict said in a recent interview in People magazine.

Benedict began his working life as a small boy on an uncle's ranch and, "by the time I was ten I drove a tractor, lived in the bunkhouse and learned to smoke cigars and drink just like any of the 'hands.' It's the kind of background that gives a kid a real sense of reliance."


Benedict, who describes himself as " a simple guy who grew up hunting ducks and eating elk meat," was also president of his high school class, a straight A student and an All~State athlete.

"I could have been a lawyer or a doctor, but I didn't have the interest," he says.


What he did have an interest in was acting, but he went about it in a somewhat perverse manner. As a member of the freshman football team at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, Benedict was challenged by his fellow teammates to try out for the spring musical. He got the part and never went back to the football team. At Whitman he majored in classical music and drama, and eventually found himself working summer stock in the Midwest, acting in King Lear and Mr. Roberts.

Benedict went on to study at London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and, after spending some time in Sweden, landed the role of Abelard opposite Diana Rigg in Abelard and Heloise. That was in 1971 and it was to be the high point of Dirk Benedict's acting career until his role as Starbuck. Following Abelard and Heloise. Benedict played guest roles on TV shows like Hawaii Five~O, acted in a short~lived TV series called Chopper One and played a man who turns into a cobra in the grade~B thriller, Ssssssss.


By 1974. Benedict had had enough of his slipping career and gave it all up to travel across the country via thumb power. He returned from his months on the road with a fervent desire to stay at home in his lakefront house in Montana, fish and write a vegetarian cookbook. This idyllic life was interrupted by a call from Galactica producer, Glen Larson, who convinced Benedict ~~ who says he doesn't care a whit for modern technology or science fiction, and who doesn't own a TV set ~~ to come to Hollywood to play the role of Lieutenant Starbuck.

After auditioning for and landing the part of Starbuck, Benedict finally went to see Star Wars for the first time to see what his role was all about. The role of Starbuck in the hands of Benedict emerged as a mixture of Han Solo with big dollops of the Marx Brothers, Dobie Gillis, and Bob Cummings. Besides being a swashbuckling cosmic cowboy, Benedict acts as the show's much-needed comic relief and romantic interest ~~ an improbable combination which he somehow manages to pull out of his space helmet week after week.

"I admit I'm a flirt." says Benedict, whose flirting onscreen continues offscreen at the same frenetic pace. "So is Starbuck . . . but he's really inept. The women are always two steps ahead of him."


His newfound fame notwithstanding, Benedict insists that he's still just a country boy who just wants to hang around the homestead in Montana. And although he's been sighted around Hollywood acting escort for, of all people, Marie Osmond, (who's fourteen years his junior), Benedict insists that he's not going to be an actor all his life.

"My dream is to be well~known," he says, "and then become anonymous."


.
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Old 09-02-2017, 10:07 PM   #2
Ludlum'sDaughter14
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Default Re: COSMIC COWBOY/Playgirl April 30 1979

Is this the article you were talking about, VBS?

Interesting how he fudged the events between the first and second acting sessions. In the midst of BSG it seems reasonable that he wasn't ready to publicize his experience with healing from cancer as well as a lot of other things. I got the feeling that during BSG he was still playing defense regarding his identity. Then over the next several years, as he became more used to the idea of being famous and using it for a purpose, he started proactively sharing the experiences he felt were important and could make a difference for other people.

This article also made me laugh. Apparently Dirk's "flirting onscreen continues offscreen at the same frenetic pace." I'm curious whether Dirk actually said something to that effect or whether it was the journalist's conjecture based on Dirk's previous statement. Because that is an interesting mental picture. Flirting at a frenetic pace.
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:42 PM   #3
LittleMonkeyDog
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Default Re: COSMIC COWBOY/Playgirl April 30 1979

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludlum'sDaughter14 View Post
Then over the next several years, as he became more used to the idea of being famous and using it for a purpose, he started proactively sharing the experiences he felt were important and could make a difference for other people.

This article also made me laugh. Apparently Dirk's "flirting onscreen continues offscreen at the same frenetic pace." I'm curious whether Dirk actually said something to that effect or whether it was the journalist's conjecture based on Dirk's previous statement. Because that is an interesting mental picture. Flirting at a frenetic pace.
An excellent decision in my humble opinion.

I had to laugh as well and was wondering the exact same thing.
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Old 09-03-2017, 01:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: COSMIC COWBOY/Playgirl April 30 1979

That's the first time I've read that article, and that phrase jumped out at me too. Lol

That, and Dirk's statement about wanting to be famous and then anonymous again...
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Old 09-03-2017, 02:48 PM   #5
Vballspieler
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Default Re: COSMIC COWBOY/Playgirl April 30 1979

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ludlum'sDaughter14 View Post
Is this the article you were talking about, VBS?

Interesting how he fudged the events between the first and second acting sessions. In the midst of BSG it seems reasonable that he wasn't ready to publicize his experience with healing from cancer as well as a lot of other things. I got the feeling that during BSG he was still playing defense regarding his identity. Then over the next several years, as he became more used to the idea of being famous and using it for a purpose, he started proactively sharing the experiences he felt were important and could make a difference for other people.

This article also made me laugh. Apparently Dirk's "flirting onscreen continues offscreen at the same frenetic pace." I'm curious whether Dirk actually said something to that effect or whether it was the journalist's conjecture based on Dirk's previous statement. Because that is an interesting mental picture. Flirting at a frenetic pace.
No, it's a different article, but I like this one as well.

Here's a snippit of it.
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