Actor Ben Shenkman was born on September 26, 1968 in New York City. He graduated from Brown University, and later left with an MFA degree in 1993 from New York University. He began his acting career immediately after, appearing in an episode of Law & Order, and later making his film debut in the Robert Redford-directed feature Quiz Show. His early career was marked by occasional minor roles in films such as Eraser, Camp Stories, The Siege, Pi and Thick as Thieves; he later took the lead role in the unsuccessful romantic comedy 30 Days, released in 1999.
Shenkman would gain more prominence at the start of the 2000s. During this time, he intensified his television appearances, with recurring roles in Ed, Law & Order and Love Monkey. He also appeared in several independent films, such as Requiem for a Dream, Chasing Sleep and Americanese. He gained wider acclaim in 2003, when he joined the cast of the acclaimed miniseries Angels in America. His portrayal of gay Jew Louis Ironson, as well as of the Angel Oceania, earned him nominations for an Emmy and a Golden Globe. His first regular television role was in Canterbury’s Law, a legal drama which premiered in 2008 and lasted for only six episodes.
Shenkman also had a successful theater career. His most notable stage role was as Harold Dobbs in the Broadway play Proof, where he co-starred with eventual Angels in America co-star Mary-Louise Parker. It earned him a Tony nomination in 2001. Since then, he has appeared in Damages as Curtis Gates and was seen in the 2010 film Blue Valentine. Later that year, he was cast as Jonathan in NBC's The Paul Reiser Show.
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