Beverly Bentley, originally of Atlanta, Georgia, began her career in 1951 in New York appearing on live television. She is a member of AEA, AFTRA, and SAG. She made her theatrical debut Off-Off Broadway in 1955 where she appeared as Connie Bliss in Clifford Odets’ The Big Knife, directed by mentor Nola Chilton.
In 1957, she made her Broadway debut at the Plymouth Theater in Peter Ustinov’s Romanoff and Juliet directed by George S. Kaufman. She also appeared in The Heroine in 1963 at the Lyceum Theater, where she exhibited rare gifts as a comedienne and received rave reviews. Off-Off Broadway saw her in Tennessee by Romulus Linney, When I Was Your Age directed by Pamela Berlin, both at The Ensemble Studio Theatre. Transatlantic Bridge at Playwright’s Horizon and The Ballad Of The Sad Cafe at Image Theatre. Off-Broadway she appeared in Deer Park by Norman Mailer.
Some of her film credits include A Face In The Crowd (1957) by Elia Kazan, SCENT OF MYSTERY (1966), co-starring Peter Lorre, and Denholm Elliott; C.H.U.D. (1984), Religion, Inc. (1989) produced by Michael Mailer, with Sandra Bullock; and Painted Sun by Gary Wortzel. Television credits include Naked City, The Defenders, Norman Mailer’s Omnibus, Eurydice aka Point of Departure (title role with William Shatner as Orpheus), Tiger At The Gate as Helen Of Troy with Kate Reid and Anthony Quayle, and The Woman Rebel on PBS with Piper Laurie.
Married in 1963, she has two talented sons, Michael Mailer, a film producer, and Stephen Mailer, an actor; two of the most important productions she will ever be involved in In 1966, she was one of four producers who founded Act IV. She brought in the first play through her friend and fellow student Joe Chaikin, founder of Open Theater and collaborator with Sam Shepard. The play was Sharon Thie’s Soon Jack November.
She won critical acclaim for her portrayal of Alice in Mens Lives for the Provincetown Repertory Theater at Town Hall in July 1996. She is a member of the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference where she performed in five plays and went on to play the lead in Lloyd Richards’ world premiere of Shay by Anne Commire at the Carolina Playmakers in North Carolina. Recently she performed Love Letters by A.R. Gurney, co-starring wih Guy Strauss, at the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, The Lion in Winter for the Provincetown Theatre Company, as Eleanor of Aquitaine, Suppressed Desires, Tickless Time, Change Your Style by Susan Glaspell and George Cram Cook. She appeared in he production of A Celebration of Mary Heton Vorse at the Provincetown Library.
Bentley would like to thank all involved with Turner Classic Movies for bringing SCENT OF MYSTERY back to life. It’s a lovely reward to have your work recognized, to make people laugh, and be entertained. She hopes you enjoy the film.