John Virginius Bennes III

Published 3:34 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

John Virginius Bennes III, 84, died from lung cancer on Feb. 1, 2018 at Linden Ponds Retirement Community in Hingham, Mass.

He was born Feb. 27, 1933 in New York City to John V. Bennes Jr. and Zara (Wolfinsohn) Bennes. His family moved to Hollywood, Calif., where he grew up with his sister, Gaye Bennes. He started his lifelong career as a character actor and performer on stage and screen at a young age, and continued acting throughout his life all over the country under the state name, “James Beard” and his birth name, John Bennes.

Survivors: his wife, Gracia M. Littauer; his son, Adam Bennes (Jennifer) of San Francisco, Calif.; his daughter, Lesley Bennes Blanton (Jim) of Winston-Salem; his sister, Gaye Bennes of Cambridge, Mass.; grandchildren, Shaun and Chad Watkins, Patrick Gordon, and Anna Bennes; cousins, Judith Parker, Dianth Capello, Laura and David Gabbe and David Hunt.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

His wishes were to have his body donated to science for research. Arrangements were made with Harvard Medical School to have that wish carried out.

A memorial and celebration of his life will be held later.