Ashley Benson

Ashley Benson

Benson at the 38th People's Choice Awards red carpet on January 11, 2012
Born Ashley Victoria Benson
(1989-12-18) December 18, 1989
Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, model
Years active 1999–present

Ashley Victoria Benson (born December 18, 1989)[1] is an American actress and model, known for her role as Hanna Marin on the mystery television series Pretty Little Liars. She has also portrayed Abigail Deveraux on the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives, Mia Torcoletti on the supernatural television series Eastwick, and Brit in the 2012 crime thriller film Spring Breakers.

Early life

Ashley Victoria Benson was born and raised in Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, California,[2] the daughter of Shannon (née Hart) and Jeff Benson. She has a sister, Shaylene who is a year older and Sandy who is 13 years old She started dancing competitively in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical at age four. She also enjoys singing, and has appeared in several musicals. At age four, she was asked to audition to sing solo at four Christmas services at her church.[3] At five, she modeled in dance catalogs, and at age eight, she began modeling under The Ford Modeling Agency in print advertisements. She also appeared in a Lil' Romeo music video as a schoolgirl in 2002. She made a brief appearance in the Zoey 101 episode "Quinn's Date" in March 2005. She has also appeared in the music videos for NLT's "That Girl", One Call's "BlackLight", and Hot Chelle Rae's "Honestly".


1999–2008: Career beginnings and Days of our Lives

In 1999, Benson started pursuing an acting career. She began working and appearing in a number of commercials, but quickly made the transition into film and television acting. In 2004, Benson signed a three-year contract with the NBC daytime soap opera Days of Our Lives, and on November 12, 2004 began her role as Abigail "Abby" Deveraux, the oldest child of supercouple Jack Deveraux and Jennifer Horton, until May 2, 2007. She explained that, because of the number of episodes filmed a day, "you can't really mess up; you have to know all of your lines", and that she did not get a break from work.[4]

She played a witch disguised as a cheerleader in a 2008 episode of the CW series Supernatural. In films, she was one of the Six Chicks in 13 Going on 30 (2004), and appeared as Carson in Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), the fourth installment of the Bring It On franchise. To land the lead role, she had to end her contract with Days of our Lives:

I got off it, I mean I had talked with the producers about doing this film, and they weren't going to let me do it... I had just passed up so many opportunities where I could have done a film. So this big thing just came up, and I ended up getting to do this. I'm happier that I got off the soap though. I mean I give all my credit to them, because I have learned so much from being on soap operas and working with amazing actors who've been on there for like thirty, forty years. It was an honor to work with them. It's definitely given me all my background. But getting off the soap opera helped me a lot too, because I can move on to bigger and better things. So I am definitely thankful I got to be on a soap opera though.[4]

She recalled working on a movie set instead of a soap opera set "definitely weird", because she would spend days working on one or two scenes, whereas on the Days of our Lives set, she filmed two or three episodes a day.[5] For Bring It On: In It to Win It, she had to attend cheerleading practice, which was "hard for [her], because [she is] afraid of heights."[5] Nonetheless, she was "glad" to do her own stunts, even though she "wasn't expecting for it to be so hard."[6]

In 2008, she appeared in the Lifetime original film Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal, where she played head cheerleader Brooke of the Fab Five, which is based on a true story which took place at McKinney North High School in Texas. She "loved" working with her onscreen mother Tatum O'Neal, from whom she learned about acting.[7] Furthermore, she was excited to land a supporting role in Bart Got a Room, which aired mainly on film festivals in 2008 before having a limited release in 2009, because it allowed her to work with William H. Macy.[5]

2009–present: Eastwick and Pretty Little Liars

Benson at a screening for Spring Breakers in February 2013

Benson starred in ABC's 2009 television series Eastwick.[8][9] The show was based on John Updike's novel, The Witches of Eastwick, and the 1987 film adaption of the same name. Her character, Mia, was the teen-aged daughter of Roxie Torcoletti (Rebecca Romijn). The series was short-lived and only lasted thirteen episodes before ABC cancelled the series due to low ratings but has since gained a cult following.

In December 2009, Benson was cast as Hanna Marin in the freeform mystery-thriller teen drama series Pretty Little Liars, based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. Marin is the "diva" and "It girl" of the group, having taken Alison's place as the most popular girl at Rosewood High in Alison's absence. The series premiered to 2.47 million viewers with Benson's performance being praised by critics. In 2010, Benson starred in the television film Christmas Cupid alongside Christina Milian and Chad Michael Murray, which also aired on ABC Family.[10]

In January 2012, Benson was cast in the film Spring Breakers, after Emma Roberts dropped out due to creative reasons.[11] The film centers on four college students who are arrested and bailed out by a drug and arms dealer, who sends them out to do some dirty work on spring break.[12] The film co-starred Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and James Franco. Filming took place in March and April 2012, and the film was released in March 2013.[13]

Benson became the face of evening-wear designer Faviana in January 2013.[14]

In the January 21, 2013 episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Benson appeared as Carly Whittaker, Barney Stinson's half-sister who dated Ted Mosby.

In 2015, she starred in Ratter, playing Emma, a girl that's being stalked through her technological devices. Also, she appeared in Pixels as Lady Lisa, a fictional game character brought to life.

In 2016, Benson appeared in Elvis & Nixon as Margaret.


Film roles
Year Title Role Notes
2004 13 Going on 30 Six Chick
2005 Neighbors Mindy Short film
2007 Bring It On: In It to Win It Carson Direct-to-video
2008 Bart Got a Room Alice
2012 Spring Breakers Brit
2012 Time Warrior Stephanie
2015 Ratter Emma
2015 Pixels Lady Lisa
2016 Elvis & Nixon Margaret
2016 Chronically Metropolitan Jessie In post-production
Television roles
Year Title Role Notes
2002 Nikki Dancer Episode: "Working Girl"
2002 District, TheThe District Melissa Howell Episode: "Explicit Activities"
2002 West Wing, TheThe West Wing Girl Episode: "Game On"
2004 Strong Medicine April Episode: "Cape Cancer"
2004–07 Days of Our Lives Abigail Deveraux Role held: November 12, 2004 – May 2, 2007
2005 7th Heaven Margot 2 episodes
2005 Zoey 101 Candice Episode: "Quinn's Date"
2006 O.C., TheThe O.C. Riley Episode: "The Summer Bummer"
2008 Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal Brooke Tippit Television film
2008 CSI: Miami Amy Beck Episode: "Bombshell"
2008 Supernatural Tracy Davis Episode: "It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester"
2009–10 Eastwick Mia Torcoletti Main cast
2010–present Pretty Little Liars Hanna Marin Main cast
2010 Christmas Cupid Caitlin Quinn Television film
2012 Punk'd Herself Episode: "Heather Morris"
2013 How I Met Your Mother Carly Whittaker Episode: "Ring Up!"
2013–14 Ravenswood Hanna Marin 2 episodes
2014 Family Guy Dakota (voice) Episode: "Brian's a Bad Father"
2015 Barely Famous Herself Episode: "Bananas Foster"
Music video roles
Year Title Artist Role
2002 "True Love" Lil' Romeo Schoolgirl
2007 "That Girl" NLT
2008 "We Don't Have to Look Back Now" Puddle of Mudd
2010 "BlackLight" One Call
2012 "Honestly" Hot Chelle Rae Ryan Follesé's love interest

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
Young Hollywood Awards Cast to Watch (with Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale and Shay Mitchell) Pretty Little Liars Won
Youth Rock Awards[15] Rockin’ TV Actress Won
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards Actress Most in Need of a New Agent (with Rachel Korine, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens) Spring Breakers Nominated
Capricho Awards Best Make Out (with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens) Nominated
Best International Actress Pretty Little Liars Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss (with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens) Spring Breakers Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star – Female Pretty Little Liars Won
Candie's Choice Style Icon Herself Nominated
People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Pretty Little Liars Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Summer TV Star: Female Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress: Drama Won
Choice TV: Chemistry (with Tyler Blackburn) Won
People's Choice Awards Favorite Cable TV Actress Pending


  1. "Ashley Victoria Benson, Born 12/18/1989 in California". California Birth Index. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  2. Townsend, Adam (December 17, 2007). "Anaheim Hills teen stars in cheerleading movie". The Orange County Register. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2012.
  3. "Ashley Benson: Biography". TV Guide. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  4. 1 2 Emma (December 10, 2007). "Interview: Ashley Benson from Bring It On: In It To Win It – Page 3". FanBolt. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  5. 1 2 3 "Interview with Ashley Benson, October 2007". October 2007. Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  6. Emma (December 10, 2007). [` "Interview: Ashley Benson from Bring It On: In It To Win It – Page 1"] Check |url= value (help). FanBolt. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  7. "Ashley Benson: Learning New Things". Archived from the original on July 31, 2010. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
  8. Eastwick cast PopTower
  9. Eastwick bios, Mia Archived October 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  10. "ABC Family Announces Additional Casting for its Upcoming Pilots "Melissa & Joey," "Untitled Michael Jacobs Project" and "Pretty Little Liars."" (PDF). ABC Family Press Release. December 7, 2009. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  11. Peel, Sarah (January 31, 2012). "Ashley Benson Replaces Emma Roberts in Spring Breakers With Selena Gomez". BSCkids. Archived from the original on January 22, 2015. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  12. Sartor, Ryan (November 14, 2011). "Rachel Korine (Yes, Harmony's Wife) Joins 'Spring Breakers'". IndieWire. Archived from the original on July 2, 2016. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  13. Durbin, Jonathan (May 7, 2012). "Girls Gone Wild". Interview. Archived from the original on May 17, 2012. Retrieved February 7, 2013.
  14. Stone, Rachel (January 7, 2013). "Ashley Benson is The New Face Of Faviana". BWW Fashion World. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved January 7, 2013.
  15. "Ashley Benson wins 2011 Youth Rock Award For Best Actress" Announced". Youth Rock Awards. December 8, 2011. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 8, 2011.

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