Ben Jorgensen, known for his role as gay teenager Kevin Sheffield on All My Children in the 1990s, has died at the age of 51 from suicide, his friend said in a Facebook post. In his professional career, Jorgensen also went by the name Ben Monk.
According to Jorgensen’s IMDb page, he played the role of Kevin Sheffield on All My Children between 1995 and 1998. In 1995, Jorgensen appeared in the Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Basketball Diaries.
One Friend Said in a Facebook Post That Jorgensen’s ‘Mental Suffering Is Over & I Hope He Is at Peace’
Brian Gaskill, who played the role of Bobby Warner on the now-defunct soap, broke the news late on October 6. Gaskill wrote in his Facebook post, “My understanding is it was suicide. I have heard he suffered from Bipolar disorder but as I have not spoke to him in years I do not know all the details.” Gaskill paid tribute to Jorgensen’s “courage to play a gay teenager” when “it was nowhere near as common to have representation as it is today.” In addition to being part of an award-winning storyline, Gaskill wrote, “mostly we just had some good times back then.”
Another friend said that Jorgensen took his own life in his mother’s home in the United Kingdom, while another said, “His mental suffering is now over and I hope he is at peace.” That friend added, “Ben’s non-stop creativity, excitement, and absurdity never stopped.”
Jorgensen Moved to New York City From Australia in 1977
In the same year as The Basketball Diaries, Jorgensen appeared in the movie The Break alongside screen legend Martin Sheen. Jorgensen said in a 2019 interview with Greenpointers.com that the movie was poorly received by critics and as a result was not widely distributed. Jorgensen said, “I flew to Miami for the premiere with Rae Dawn Chong and the movie had limited distribution for one sad weekend.”
In that interview, Jorgensen said that he moved to New York City from Australia in 1977. At the time of the interview, Jorgensen was living in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. Jorgensen said, “I feel that I’ve returned to the 70s in Greenpoint, it reminds me of the artistic vibe with a local flavor that used to be in SoHo.” Jorgensen also said that his first acting gig was a role in a Calvin Klein “Obsession” commercial.
Jorgensen Studied at HB Studio & New York University
Jorgensen’s IMDb page says that the actor was born in London, England, in July 1969. In 2020, Jorgensen appeared in the mini-series, A Wilderness of Error, a series dealing with the case of Dr. Jeffrey MacDonald, the Green Beret who was found guilty of murdering his wife and two children in 1970. Jorgensen also appeared in As the World Turns.
Jorgensen said on his Facebook page that he studied at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and at HB Studio, an iconic New York City acting school. On his Backstage profile, Jorgensen said that he studied under Austin Pendleton at HB Studio. Jorgensen says on that profile that he graduated from a film course at New York University in 1991.