Julie Benz (41) is an American actress from Pittsburg, PA who is known best for her roles in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997-2000), “Angel” (2000-2004), more recently  “Desperate Housewives” (2010), and Rita Bennett from “Dexter” (2006-2010). She decided to purse acting as a young teenager and went on to study the performing arts at NYU. After graduating from NYU she moved out to Los Angeles where she began landing smaller roles in TV shows and films, however it was her role in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” that really launched her career.

Her most notable role was in the hit Showtime original series “Dexter”, which really propelled her career forward. She takes on the character of Rita Bennett, who later changes her name to Rita Morgan after marrying the shows primary character Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall). She is introduced into the show as a single mother of two whose story of her previous abusive relationship unfolds as the major plot progresses. After meeting, Dexter and Rita quickly establish an intimate relationship, which then led to marriage and the birth of Rita’s third child Harrison. However, their marriage tragically ended when Rita was murdered by a serial killer named Arthur Mitchell (John Lithgow) as a way to seek revenge on Dexter. The role of Rita ended up earning Benz the 2006 Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress

She is currently working on the second season of her newest TV series “Defiance” which airs on the Syfy Network. The show takes place in 2046 after the fall of modern government and the establishment of a new order on earth, heavily inspired by the arrival of an alien race. Benz takes on the role of Mayor Amanda Rosewater, the mayor of Defiance, a futuristic adaptation of St. Louis. The second season of “Defiance” is currently being shot in Toronto and will be back on the Syfy Network in June of 2014.

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