Rita is Dexter’s sweet, naïve and emotionally downtrodden girlfriend, a struggling single mom with two kids. To Dexter, Julie is a kindred, damaged spirit and the two form a sweet courtship that provides a strange sense of normalcy in his upside-down world.
Julie Benz is best known for her role as the evil vampire ‘Darla’ which she originated on The WB’s Buffy The Vampire Slayer and continued on the hit series Angel. A WB favorite, she also had a recurring role on the cult series Roswell. Benz’s other television roles include the lead in the dramatic thriller Circle Of Friends for Lifetime, starring with Marsha Mason in the Hallmark feature The Long Shot and starring in the Dream Works/Steven Spielberg miniseries, Taken, for the Sci Fi Channel. Her episodic work includes: Navy:NCIS, Peacemakers, King Of Queens, Supernatural and CSI: Miami. Benz’s film work includes a starring role in the independent film Kill Your Darlings, a dark “road trip” comedy about suicide; she appeared with Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets; played ‘Ursula’ in George Of The Jungle 2, and starred with Rose McGowan in the Tri-Star feature Jawbreaker. Benz recently co-starred with Bill Bellamy and Shemar Moore in the Sony/ Screen Gem feature The Brothers. Benz can also be heard as the voice of ‘Captain Miranda Keys’ in the popular video game Halo 2.
Born in Pennsylvania, Julie Benz’s father is a Pittsburgh surgeon and her mother is a figure ice skater. The family settled in nearby Murrysville, when Julie was two, and she started ice skating at age three. She competed in the 1988 U.S. Championships in junior ice dancing with her partner David Schilling, coming in 13th. Her older brother and sister, Jeffrey and Jennifer, were in the 1987 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dancing and competed internationally. When Julie was 14, she had a bad stress fracture and had to take time off. By 1989, with her figure skating career over, Julie turned to acting and got involved in the local theater where she got a role in the play “Street Law”. Her first movie role was a small, credited, speaking part in in the Black Cat episode in the Dario Argento/George A. Romero co-direction horror flick, Due occhi diabolici (1990) playing in one scene alongside Harvey Keitel. A year later, she got a role on a TV show called “Hi Honey, I’m Home”. After graduating from high school, Julie entered New York University to study acting there. After graduation, Julie moved to Los Angeles to further pursue her career and landed some small roles in movies and TV shows including a guest appearance on “Married with Children” (1987) and in the Aaron Spelling TV pilot Crosstown Traffic. In 1996, Julie auditioned for the role of “Buffy” in the series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (1997), but lost out to Sarah Michelle Gellar. However, she was offered a small role as a vampire girl in which she did such a good job that her part was expanded to a few more episodes in playing the vampire “Darla”.