I'm Not Dead Yet

Summary: Actor Robby Benson helps patients and their loved ones navigate through open-heart surgery and recovery with knowledge and humor.
Air Date: 10/13/12
Duration: 10 Minutes
Host: Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Guest Bio: Robby Benson
Best known for starring in films such as "Ice Castles", "Ode to Billy Joe", "The Chosen", "Running Brave", in his own screenplay for the Warner Bros. basketball classic, "One on One" and to a new generation as the voice of Beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" actor, director, producer, writer, composer and entertainer Robby Benson has authored a new memoir I'm Not Dead...Yet!I'm Not Dead...Yet! is a funny, introspective look at surviving four open heart surgeries for a congenital valve defect while continuing a dynamic creative career in and out of Hollywood. Benson's goal with the book is to help patients of all kinds and their loved ones get through surgery and recovery with knowledge and humor. I'm Not Dead... Yet! was originally conceived by Benson for the iPad as a cutting edge use of technology to create a multi-media experience for the reader. The 'flagship' iPad version includes 20 songs, 4 career film clips, 5 slide shows of his photography scored by Benson himself and preface and epilogue read by the author. The Standard version of I'm Not Dead... Yet! is available in print and all e-reader/tablet formats now.

His four decades of show business versatility include producing and directing feature films and television series. Benson directed over 100 sitcom episodes and pilots, including episodes of "Friends" and an entire season of "Ellen." Most recently he helmed "Billy: The Early Years" (2009) casting actor Armie Hammer in his first starring role. Benson is also a two time Golden Globe nominated actor whom has co-starred with legends Paul Newman, Jack Lemmon, Burt Reynolds, Gene Hackman, George Burns and Rod Steiger to name a few. Benson starred on Broadway in "Zelda", "The Rothschilds" and the Joseph Papp production of "The Pirates of Penzance" where he met and fell in love with his co-star, Karla DeVito.Robby Benson has composed film soundtracks and has been the recipient of several RIAA Gold Records for song writing, most notably "We Are Not Alone" for John Hughes' seminal teenage film "The Breakfast Club." Most recently Robby collaborated with his daughter Lyric Benson co-writing, arranging, engineering and producing her debut album, Lyric's Love Light Revolution (2012). For the theatre, Mr. Benson wrote the libretto and score of his musical "Open Heart", which debuted in New York at the historic Cherry Lane Theatre and is published and licensed by Samuel French (2006).

Robby Benson added author to his career accomplishments with the release of his first book, Who Stole the Funny? A Novel of Hollywood, published by HarperCollins (2007). This book was praised by the Editor in Chief of Variety, Peter Bart, as "an irreverent and hilarious stroll down the dark alleys of Hollywood's TV landscape." Who Stole the Funny? made The Los Angeles Times bestsellers list (2007).Robby Benson is an advocate for heart research funding. He has spoken on behalf of the National Institutes of Health before the Senate Appropriations Committee in Washington, D.C. Representing the American Heart Association, along with Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and Senator Ted Kennedy, Benson spoke on behalf of the groundbreaking Kennedy/Hatch bill to ban the promotion of cigarettes to minors and prevent tobacco companies from advertising at sporting events.

His most valued professional accomplishment is that of College Professor, teaching for two decades at universities around the country. As Professor of Film at NYU's famed Tisch School of the Arts in the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television, Benson received the honor of being nominated for both New York University's Distinguished Teaching Award in 2006 and the David Payne-Carter Award for Teaching Excellence in 2010.Robby Benson and Karla DeVito have been happily married for 30 years and have two children, Lyric and Zephyr. Lyric attended NYU as a filmmaker, but graduated magna cum laude in Vedic Science from Maharishi University in 2006. She is a poet, writer and singer-songwriter heading to Nepal and Mt. Kailash, Tibet. Zephyr joined the freshman class at NYU in the fall of 2010. Finishing his first powerful screenplay at 19, he is traversing the long and winding road to his own multi-hyphenate career.
  • Book Title: I'm Not Dead ... Yet!
I'm Not Dead Yet
What is it like to survive multiple open-heart surgeries and live to tell about it? Listen to actor, director, and former teen heartthrob Robby Benson, who was born with a heart defect, and underwent his fourth open-heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in 2010. In his book I'm Not Dead ... Yet!, Benson shares a candid look at his journey from the Broadway stage and the big screen into the operating room.

His book, called a medical memoir, is insightful for longtime fans and a must-read for heart patients and their loved ones.
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