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Benjamin Walker ( 1982 - )  Category ( Actor_Actress ) [suggest a correction]
 

It's the way Hollywood operates. Despite his skein of successes in Hollywood and on Broadway, actor Ben Walker has gotten far more attention in 2009 for becoming the fiancee of an obscure young actress with the unlikely name of Mamie Gummer.

Why? Because Mamie is the daughter of Meryl Streep, making the upcoming marriage akin to a royal wedding. And Mamie won't have to worry about her husband finding work, because Walker has demonstrated the ability to take his creative talents in a number of different directions.

Born (1982) and raised in Cartersville, GA and educated at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Traverse City, MI and Juilliard's Actor Training Program, Walker first attracted public notice as a standup comedian. Somehow, that led him into movies (Kinsey, The Notorious Bettie Page, Flags of Our Fathers) and then to Broadway, beginning with his appearance in "Inherit the Wind" in 2007.

He was still in his final year at Juilliard when was signed to play Liam Neeson's title character at 19 in Kinsey.

“I was so over-stimulated that I don't really remember much of it,” he later said. “I had no idea what I was doing. They had a prosthetic nose glued to my face, and here I was running around with my pants down on a movie set. I was petrified. It was truly wild.”

Despite his youth, he got the role of Andrew Jackson in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" in 2007, a musical in which he put his tenor voice on display. The quirky interpretation of Jackson's life and misdeeds became a cult favorite, and led to another retro role in "Les Liaisons Dangereuses," that of Laura Linney's boy toy. He also got to do some sword fighting, and the production was nominated for six Tony awards.

It's also where he met Mamie Gummer.

Through it all, Walker has managed to continue his comedy, in part with a New York TV show called "Find the Funny."

“Yeah, I tell dirty jokes,” Walker told Broadway.com. “The first two years of Juilliard, they don't allow you to perform for the public, and that was bothersome. So I started doing open mics. It was a little late-night thing I could do and not tell anybody about. I don't think any teachers are going to show up at Gladys' Comedy Hole! But it's kind of grown into this beast.”

"We love him," said Meryl Streep.


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