Dale Benson in a production of Leading Ladies at Theatre at the Center
Dale Benson in a production of Leading Ladies at Theatre at the Center
(Photo courtesy of Dale Benson's official Facebook page)

Dale Benson, beloved Chicago character actor for over five decades, will be presented with a Special Jeff Award at the 45th Annual Jeff Awards ceremony to be held on November 4 at Drury Lane Oakbrook. Benson is being honored with the award in recognition of his extended career in Chicago theater.

A member of Actors' Equity since 1959, Benson has performed on 25 stages in the metropolitan area of Chicago, as well as at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and on the Swan Stage in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, boasting a perfect performance attendance record. His favorite roles include Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Prince Nicki in My One and Only, various roles in Little Me (Jeff Award), Sylvia St. Croix in Ruthless, and Harry MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie. All of these shows were produced at Candlelight Dinner Playhouse.

Throughout his career, Benson has earned seven Jeff Award nominations and one Jeff Award in addition to a National Career Award from the National Society of Arts and Letters.

The 45th Annual Jeff Awards ceremony is produced by Equity Chair Merril Prager and directed by Michael Weber. The evening will feature live performances from the nominated Outstanding Musicals as well as several surprise appearances and presenters.