Wes Bentley Biography

(Best Known for His Role as ‘Ricky Fitts’ in the Film ‘American Beauty')

Birthday: September 4, 1978 (Virgo)

Born In: Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States

Wesley Cook Bentley is an American actor who became famous overnight after starring in the Oscar-winning movie ‘American Beauty’. Born in Arkansas, Wes was interested in acting from a very young age and was a part of his school’s drama club. He also had his own Improv Comedy troupe that often participated in local and national competitions. His love for acting was encouraged by his family, and he attended the prestigious Julliard School of Drama in New York. During his stint in New York, he was performed in local theatres. He made his large-screen debut with the movie ‘Beloved’ but earned international acclaim after starring in ‘American Beauty’, a role that bagged him many awards. His other popular movies include ‘Interstellar, ‘The Hunger Games’, and ‘Lovelace’. His latest project is the American drama series ‘Yellowstone’ that has been renewed for the second season.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Wesley Cook Bentley

Age: 45 Years, 45 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Jacqui Swedberg (m. 2010), Jennifer Quanz (m. 2001–2009)

father: David Bentley

mother: Cherie Baker

children: Brooklyn Bentley, Charles Bentley

Born Country: United States

Actors American Men

Height: 5'11" (180 cm), 5'11" Males

Ancestry: German American, British American

U.S. State: Arkansas

More Facts

education: The Juilliard School

Wes Bentley was deeply influenced by acting and theatre in his early years. He was a regular part of his school’s drama club and often took part in various plays. He also founded an Improv comedy group called ‘B (3) + C’ along with his close friends. The group was a local hit, and they regularly participated in competitions across the state. As a young stage actor, he often played the roles of minors on stage, including starring in ‘La Cage aux Folles’ and ‘Oliver’. His mother noticed that Wes’s passion lay in acting, despite being a talented student overall, and she encouraged him to attend the Julliard School in New York after graduation. Despite not completing his higher studies at the drama school, Wes was often a part of the local stage plays and played minors roles in the productions of ‘Henry IV’ and ‘The Weavers’.
He made his debut in Hollywood in 1998 with Jonathan Demme's ‘Beloved’. Next, he was seen in the Oscar-winning movie ‘American Beauty’ (1999). The movie was critically successful, and Bentley’s role was appreciated as well. He earned several nominations and reputed awards, including winning the Chicago Film Critics Association Award and a National Board of Review Award. Over the next few years, he was seen in a few movies, including ‘Carving Out Our Name’ (2001), ‘The Game of Their Lives’ (2005), and ‘Ghost Rider’ (2007). Despite earning fame at the box office, his drug addiction hindered his career and he couldn’t be a part of many movies.
After being sent to rehab, he started recovering slowly and was the subject of the documentary ‘My Big Break’ (2009). He returned to the stage in 2010 after appearing in the award-winning play ‘Venus in Fur’ alongside Nina Arianda. Since then, he has a regular part of the industry and has appeared in well-faring movies. His most notable roles include his character as Seneca Crane in ‘The Hunger Games’ (2012), Doyle in ‘Interstellar’ (2014), and Erik in ‘Mission: Impossible – Fallout’ (2018). He worked alongside the famous director Terrence Malick in the experimental film ‘Knight of Cups’ in 2015.
He is also a regular feature in the ‘American Horror’ TV series and has appeared in several episodes over the decade. More recently, he was cast as Jamie Dutton, a lead character, in the drama TV series ‘Yellowstone.’ The first season of the series was well-received, and the second season is scheduled to be released in 2019. Bentley has stated that he looks forward to working with more directors and wants to explore the genre of comedy.
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Controversies & Scandals
Wes Bentley’s successful career in the 2000s was marred by his alcohol and drug addiction. He reached a point in his career where he chose to act only to subsist his drug problem. However, his behavior turned problematic and was questioned during the sets. This eventually resulted in an arrest in 2008. After this, he was ordered to join a 12-step program and was provided due counselling. Despite this, he relapsed and continued using heroin. Later, he recognized his helplessness and sought comfort and advice from his friends. Since then, he has been on a path to recovery. The documentary ‘My Big Break’ focuses on Bentley’s drug-riddled life and his struggle of staying alive as an actor. He has made a successful comeback in the industry and is currently sober.
Family & Personal Life
Wesley Bentley was born on September 4, 1978 to David and Cherie Bentley in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Both his parents are Methodist ministers. He has two older brothers, Jamey and Philip Bentley, and one younger brother, Patrick Bentley. He was married to the actress, Jennifer Quanz. from 2001 until 2009. The couple separated due to Bentley’s substance abuse problem. Bentley later married the producer Jacqui Swedberg in 2010. The couple has two children: Charles and Brooklyn. In his spare time, Bentley loves playing and watching soccer.

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