Having become a sought-out name after his breakthrough in 1998’s ‘Beloved,’ Wes Bentley’s career took off with a bang in 1999 with his role as Ricky Fitts in ‘American Beauty.’ This role not only put him in the spotlight but also earned him a BAFTA nomination.
Sam Mendes’ black comedy-drama film opened the way for parts in many big projects for the 45-year-old actor. Still, his fortune couldn’t go as high as one would think.
Bentley In ‘Beloved’
Wes Bentley’s path in acting began with a challenging role in ‘Beloved’ decades ago. For his role as ‘schoolteacher’s nephew’ in the horror-drama directed by Oscar-winning Jonathan Demme, the then-19-year-old actor had to manhandle a co-actress playing a slave.
Hesitant to play the part at first, Bentley embraced the role with his father’s help and gained Hollywood’s attention, making his way to other big productions.
His Roles As Ricky Fitts
Bentley got his part in ‘American Beauty’ after competing against top actors under the age of 25. Dropped out from the Julliard School’s Drama Division like Mendes, the actor impressed the director at first sight by attending the audition with a Polaroid instead of a professional shot.
Bentley received multiple nominations as Ricky Fitts in the late ’90s and early 2000s and won three of them: Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards for Most Promising Actor, and National Board of Review for Best Make Breakthrough Performance.
The Actor’s Other Notable Works
Beyond ‘American Beauty,’ Bentley has shown his range through various roles. He got parts in popular productions, including ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘Interstellar,’ ‘The Four Feathers,’ ‘Ghost Rider,’ and ‘P2.’
His versatility also shone in television as Jamie Dutton in ‘Yellowstone’ and with his notable performances in ‘American Horror Story,’ where he played multiple characters across different seasons.
His Struggles With Addiction
On the other hand, Bentley’s journey hasn’t been without its struggles. Following his early success, the actor faced a challenging battle with drug and alcohol addiction.
His first marriage to Jennifer Quanz ended in 2009 because of this issue, which led him to get arrested in 2008. Having had problems on film sets, he almost quit acting to become a drug dealer.
Bentley’s Comeback And Current Net Worth
The actor eventually recovered from his addiction but lost a lot of money during this period, as he mentioned in a New York Times article a few years ago. Still, he managed to rebuild his life and career by appearing in the off-Broadway production of ‘Venus in Fur’ by David Ives.
After that, Bentley appeared in many shows and films, including the ones mentioned above, and remained sober to this day. Meanwhile, Celebrity Net Worth reported his net worth as $3 million.