With only a handful of stage and TV credits on his résumé, this Texas-born hunk became an overnight sensation as a bad boy on the prime-time soap The O.C.
and quickly (if prematurely) found himself being compared to Russell Crowe and James Dean. Although gossipmongers linked him to a number of starlets, including O.C.
siren Mischa Barton and Everwood's
Emily VanCamp, the actor seemed more focused on his career than his personal life and soon branched out into features, with supporting roles in Junebug
and 88 Minutes
. In 2009, McKenzie found himself back on the small screen---this time portraying a guy from a privileged background who becomes a cop and goes on patrol in L.A.'s rougher neighborhoods.Benjamin McKenzie Fast Facts:
- Played football in middle school with 2010 Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees.
- Moved to New York City three weeks before Sept. 11.
- Uncle Robert Schenkkan won the 1992 Pulitzer Prize for his play The Kentucky Cycle.
- Was a speaker at the 2004 Democratic National Convention.
- Second cousin is Sarah Drew, who played Hannah Rogers on Everwood.
- Started writing a blog for his cop drama Southland on tvguide.com in March 2010.
- Benjamin McKenzie Relationships:
- Nate Schenkkan - Brother
- Robert Schenkkan - Uncle
- Frances Schenkkan - Mother
- Pete Schenkkan - Father
- Zack Schenkkan - Brother
- University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (BA in Foreign Affairs and Economics, 2001)