Benedict was very active in the theatre community at Harrow School, and started his acting career with roles in Shakespearean plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, where he played Titania. He continued to pursue acting at univeristy, where he studied Drama at the University of Manchester, which he followed with a Masters in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Despite being heavily involved in theatre, Benedict was also interested in the small screen and had several small roles on Heartbeat, Spooks and Silent Witness. His big break came in 2010, when he was cast as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show, Sherlock opposite the actor Martin Freeman.
The pair were reunited on the set of The Hobbit, as Benedict was cast as the voice of the dragon, Smaug and the Necromancer next to Freeman's Bilbo Baggins. In 2014, it was announced that he would voice Shere Khan in the Disney remake of The Jungle Book, alongside Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale.
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