Lordy, lordy, lordy. Ben Murphy still looks good. In fact, he looks better now at 66 than he did some 20 odd years ago when I first saw him on Lottery. I know, how can he look better? He does, trust me (see above picture for reference).
Ben was such a mainstay on television back in my formative years and I have always enjoyed watching him. Yeah, he is so handsome he could melt the chrome off a pipe just by looking at it, but aside from that, he's a good actor, lots of fun to watch and he made some great TV.
My fondest television memory of him is on the short lived series Lottery! which ran for one all-too brief season from 1983-1984. I was all of 12 then and he must have been one of my first big crushes because I still think about him. Yup. He's in good company too, along with Parker Stevenson, David Naughton and John Taylor of Duran Duran, this guy will always make my heart go pitter-patter.
Mystery Science Theater seemed to be keen on Ben Murphy too because they didn't just show one of his movies, they showed TWO! Now, that's love. Both the television movie Riding with Death (1976- this was actually two episodes from the short lived series Gemini Man pieced together – twice as much Ben for half the price!) and the non-TV horror movie Time Walker (1982) were featured. Both episodes were great additions to MST3K and it was probably the only way I was going to see the hard-to find Time Walker anyway, so I'm so glad they did it.
Ben first hit it big on the small screen in 1971 when he got the part of Jed 'Kid' Curry on the popular western series Alias Smith and Jones. I'm kind of embarrassed to admit it, but I've never seen this show, although I'm somewhat familiar with it. Season One is on DVD. I so need to pick it up, because it looks great.
From there he became a mainstay and made a few TV movies:
The Letters (1973)
This is the West that Was (1974)
The Secret War of Jackie's Girls (1980)
Uncommon Valor (1983)
The Cradle will Fall (1983)
OMG, I totally forgot he was in The Cradle will Fall with Lauren Hutton and James "Overacting King" Farentino. I must dig up my copy of that.
Anyway, I just got myself a pretty piss poor copy of the pilot for Lottery, and hope to do a little write up on the movie that started my love for all things Ben!
For now, you all will be able to enjoy him in a NEW movie called Terminal Trap which is currently in production. Also, last year he was in an episode of the John Laroquette Hallmark TV Movie series McBride titled Semper Fi. I like knowing that Ben has continued to act steadily through the years. Personally, I think he deserved a better career, but I'm just glad he's out there working. Warms the ticker, you know.
You can keep up with Ben at his website, which is full of all things Ben! It's a very good site, so visit and drool!