Martin Benson

Martin Benson Biography

Martin Benson as Mr Solo

Martin Benjamin Benson was a versatile and talented British character actor, known for his performances in films, theatre, and television.

He was born on August 10, 1918, in the East End of London to a Jewish family, and attended Tottenham Grammar School on a scholarship.

During World War II, Martin Benson served in the 2nd Searchlight, Royal Artillery, stationed in Cairo, Egypt, where he co-founded the Mercury Theatre with Arthur Lowe.


Martin Benson was best remembered for his role as Kralaholme in the original West End production of the musical The King and I, which he also played in the Oscar-winning film adaptation in 1956. He appeared in films for over six decades, playing mostly supporting characters or villains. Some of his notable films include A Shot in the Dark, Exodus, and James Bond film Goldfinger, in which he played Mr. Solo, the gangster who meets an unfortunate end at the hands of Oddjob.

In addition to his film work, Martin Benson had a prolific career in television, with roles in several popular shows, including The Verdict is Yours, The Jack Benny Show, and The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where he played Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz. He continued acting until his last appearance in the TV series Casualty in 2005.

Martin Benson was married twice in his lifetime and passed away in his sleep on February 28, 2010, from natural causes.