William "Billy" Benedict

William Benedict (April 16, 1917 – November 25, 1999) was an American actor, perhaps best known for playing "Whitey" in Monogram Pictures' The Bowery Boys series.[1]

William Benedict
William Benedict.
Born(1917-04-16)April 16, 1917
DiedNovember 25, 1999(1999-11-25) (aged 82)
Years active1935–1992
Spouse(s)Dolly Benedict (1969-?)

Early years

Benedict was born in Haskell, Oklahoma,[2] After his father's death when Benedict was 3 years old, his mother supported him and his two sisters.[3] He took part in school theatricals, and on leaving school he made his way to Hollywood.


Benedict's first film was $10 Raise (1935) starring Edward Everett Horton, which launched Benedict on a busy career. The blond-haired Benedict almost always played juvenile roles, such as newsboys, messengers, office boys, and farmhands.

In 1939, when Universal Pictures began its Little Tough Guys series to compete with the popular Dead End Kids features, Billy Benedict was recruited into the cast. These films led him into the similar East Side Kids movies (usually playing a member of the East Side gang, but occasionally in villainous roles). The East Side Kids became The Bowery Boys in 1946, and Benedict stayed with the series (as "Whitey") through the end of 1951.

Other films included My Little Chickadee (1940) starring W. C. Fields and Mae West, The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster (1955), The Sting (1973) and Farewell, My Lovely (1975). Benedict never shook his juvenile image completely, and continued to play messengers and news vendors well into his sixties. He also worked often in television commercials.[4]


Benedict died at age 82 on November 25, 1999, at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center,[4] following heart surgery.[1]

Selected filmography


  1. Lentz, Harris M. III (2000). Obituaries in the Performing Arts, 1999: Film, Television, Radio, Theatre, Dance, Music, Cartoons and Pop Culture. McFarland. p. 18. ISBN 9780786452040. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  2. Mayer, Geoff (2017). Encyclopedia of American Film Serials. McFarland. p. 49. ISBN 9780786477623. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  3. Keavy, Hubbard (May 3, 1935). "Screen Life In Hollywood". Altoona Tribune. Pennsylvania, Altoona. p. 6. Retrieved May 28, 2017 via Newspapers.com.
  4. Staff. "William Benedict Character Actor, 82", The New York Times, November 30, 1999. Accessed March 30, 2009.
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