Celebrities | Pop Culture | 80s
His Small Part In 'Ferris Bueller' Became Iconic, But Where Is Ben Stein Now?
The words "Bueller...Bueller...Bueller?" can only be read in one way, and with that simple, monotone delivery, a star was born.
Ben Stein played the economics professor in the iconic John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and that role managed to launch his career in a way that you may not expect for someone with such a small part.
Sure, he's on screen for less than five minutes, but it's the delivery you remember. Yes, obviously the other characters are more present, and you can remember some of the more iconic moments as well, but it's Stein's line that is probably the most quoted.
But for someone with such an iconic voice, a lot of people had a hard time keeping up with the accomplished man. He's done a lot in his life, with most of his impressive achievements happening nowhere near a camera.
He was a lawyer
Stein actually hasn't been an actor his whole life, he began his adult life pursing a legal career. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1970, and acted as a lawyer for several years.
He actually became a real life professor for a while, talk about art imitating life, but he didn't find total satisfaction in the court room or the classroom so he switched careers.
He worked extensively in politics
Stein actually worked as speechwriter for one of the most infamous presidents of all time: Richard Nixon.
He's actually written about his time working with Nixon, and Stein was very ready to defend him.
"Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible? He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POWs, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Agency. Does anyone remember what he did that was bad?
Oh, now I remember. He lied. He was a politician who lied. How remarkable. He lied to protect his subordinates who were covering up a ridiculous burglary that no one to this date has any clue about its purpose.
He lied so he could stay in office and keep his agenda of peace going. That was his crime. He was a peacemaker and he wanted to make a world where there was a generation of peace. And he succeeded."
Then he moved to Hollywood
After his time in politics he made the transition to the world of movies, but he didn't start out as an actor.
Stein was a creative consultant for a few projects, hoping to bring some credibility to the pictures, but was bit by the acting bug in 1984.
He has his first role as a salesman in The Wild Life two years before he would play the teacher in Bueller, but after that he started to see everything pick up.
After that movie premiered, he started acting in several different projects a year, apparently that iconic voice of his becoming his ticket to the big leagues.
He was in movies like Ghostbusters II, TV shows like The Wonder Years and even animated shows like Animaniacs.
His own game show
Stein became the host of his own game show in 1997 that lasted for six seasons. It was called Win Ben Stein's Money and he co-hosted it with Jimmy Kimmel.
The trivia-based game show had a grand prize of $5,000 that could be awarded to the contestant if they beat him in trivia, or if they failed, the money would go to Stein.
However, it wasn't actually his money like the title of the show would suggest. The disclaimer at the end of the episode cleared it up saying that the money was actually from a pool, and only at the end of the season would Stein actually get the prize if there was anything left.
Still a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
He has written a lot of books
The lawyer/actor/political specialist has written 17 books on everything from his time in Hollywood to advice on managing your finances.
His most recent release was in 2012, called How to Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio.
He doesn't act much anymore, except for one bizarre role
Since 2012, the actor has instead been taking part as a panelist on the Fox News Channel's show called Cavuto on Business.
The only acting role he's had in the last decade was actually just this year in The Last Sharknado: It's About Time.
His views are often controversial, and he remains heavily involved with politics, which obviously leads to people becoming very opinionated about the actor. However, we will always remember him for his iconic role as the nameless economics professor, who seemed even more bored than his students.
Source - The America Spectator / Wikipedia / Biography