Paul Benjamin has sadly passed away at the age of 81. He was famous for many character roles but was best known for his role in Spike Lee’s ‘Do the Right Thing’ (1989) where he showcased his acting prowess.
However, his career began in 1969 when he appeared for the first time in ‘Midnight Cowboy’ alongside other stars such as Jon Voight (Angelina Jolie’s father) and Dustin Hoffman. Despite its original X rating, the film went on to win three Oscars and seven nominations. Benjamin’s role was a New York City bartender. With the role under his belt, he then went on in 1972 to star in ‘Across 110th Street’ beside Anthony Quinn, Anthony Franciosa and Yaphet Kotto. Now becoming a household name, in 1979, he was cast in a supporting role in ‘Escape from Alcatraz’ alongside icon Clint Eastwood.
It wasn’t until ten years later when he hit the big money when he was cast in ‘Do the Right Thing’, a film concerning racial tension in Brooklyn. His role was a corner man who went by ‘ML’.
Since then, he has had roles in television and film, keeping him in the limelight.
It was Spike Lee who spread the tragic news that Benjamin had passed – sharing an image of him in ‘Do the Right Thing’ on Instagram. He gave a short message in respect to the actor, noting that he had died just two days prior to the 30th anniversary of the film. He ended the post by stating ‘Rest in Paradise’.