Private Benjamin (1981–1983)

TV Series  |   |  Comedy
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The misadventures of a spoiled young woman who joins the army and her friends.

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3   2   1  
1983   1982   1981  
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »


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Complete series cast summary:
 Pvt. Judy Benjamin (39 episodes, 1981-1983)
 Sgt. Ted Ross (39 episodes, 1981-1983)
 Capt. Doreen Lewis (37 episodes, 1981-1983)
Robert Mandan ...
 Col. Lawrence Fielding (16 episodes, 1982-1983)


Based loosely on the 1980 film of the same name, this series follows Private Judy Benjamin, a spoiled socialite, as she struggles through army life. Though she becomes popular with her fellow recruits, her lack of discipline earns the wrath of her superiors. Most of the humor in the series derived from Benjamin and her friends' attempts to evade the watchful eye of their sergeant. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

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Release Date:

6 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La recluta Benjamín  »

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Did You Know?


Polly Holliday was added to the cast after 'Eileen Brennan' was injured in an automobile accident and was intended as a short-term replacement character. However the show was cancelled after Holliday had appeared in just two episodes. See more »


Capt. Doreen Lewis: [singing] Happy days are here again! No more Private Ben-jamin...
See more »


Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.52 (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Last of the Unfunny "Comedies"
4 September 2004 | by (Kansas City, MO) – See all my reviews

Throughout the 1960's and 1970's, the unfunny sitcom was a staple of network television. Shows like "Family Affair" and "The Brady Bunch" laid it on thick with the laugh track, but no jokes ever emerged and nothing funny ever happened in them. They were the television equivalent of the "Family Circus" comic strip.

Coming along in 1981, after Mary Tyler Moore, Mash and All in the Family seriously raised the bar on TV comedy, Private Benjamin was a throwback to those earlier sitcoms. Based on an actually funny movie, the series strained hard, with an omnipresent laugh track, to make Judy Benjamin's klutzy mistakes look like they were high comedy. Hal Williams and Eileen Brennan were pulled in from the movie, but just seemed strained in the series. Brennan in particular seemed like she was SCREAMING ALL THE TIME.

Lorna Patterson, coming off the truly funny movie Airplane, is cute but adds nothing to the mix.

They don't make 'em like this anymore, thank goodness.

5 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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