Benedict's manager, Kristin Tarry, confirmed news of his passing to reporters from USA Today on Monday. She had represented Benedict for over 20 years, and said that it was an incredible loss that drove home the severity of the coronavirus pandemic. Tarry's agency, TCG Artist Management, posted a tribute to Benedict on Twitter as well. "It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family," it read.
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear client Jay Benedict, who this afternoon lost his battle with COVID-19. Our thoughts are with his family ❤️— TCG ArtistManagement (@TCGArtist) April 4, 2020
Benedict was born in Burbank, California, but he did much of his most lauded work in the U.K. and Europe. He worked extensively in theater, including some touring companies and productions where he shared the stage with stars like Pierce Brosnan.
To the wider world, Benedict was perhaps most recognizable for the 1986 film Aliens, where he played Newt's father in a small appearance. Benedict had a long career both before and after that seminal sci-fi film, however, going all the way back to the British TV series Emmerdale in the 1970s.
Benedict had an eclectic career, though with a clear focus on genre fiction. One of his biggest recent hits was The Dark Knight Rises in 2012 — the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. Before that, he played Brandon in the 1997 hit Double Team, alongside Dennis Rodman, Jean Claude Van Damme and Micky Rourke.
Benedict even dabbled in voiceover work throughout his career, making him a recognizable voice to many people who may have grown up with his work. In the early 1990s, played a captain in the English-language dub of the anime series Project A-Ko, helping the genre establish a firm foothold in the U.S.
Benedict was married to actress Phoebe Scholfield, and they had two sons — Freddie and Leopold. The two also worked together translating movies between French, Spanish and English, and running an ADR/Loop group called Sync or Swim. Benedict is survived by another daughter from a previous marriage as well.
Shocked to hear one of our most brilliant actors and kind lovely man Jay Benedict has passed. Married to my lovely friend Phoebe Scholfield #AlloAllo My heart goes out to her and her family at this sad time #PhoebeScholfield @FreddieBenedict #LeoBenedict #SyncorSwim #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/YJ7nn25ftv— Vicki Michelle (@vickimichelle) April 5, 2020
Benedict was mourned by friends, colleagues and fans on social media this week. The actor would have been 69 years old in just a week. For the latest on the coronavirus pandemic, visit the CDC's website.