Is Ben Glenroy Based on a Real Actor? Is He Dead or Alive?

Ben Glenroy is the focal point of Hulu’s ‘Only Murders in the Building‘ season 3, which follows Charles, Mabel, and Oliver, a group of amateur sleuths and true crime podcast enthusiasts who come together to solve murder mysteries in their apartment complex. The third season sees the trio as they try to uncover the mystery of actor Ben Glenroy’s death. However, the confusing opening events raise questions about Ben’s demise and whether he is dead or alive. Similarly, the compelling case will make viewers curious whether Ben Glenroy is based on a real actor. SPOILERS AHEAD!

Ben Glenroy Is Not Based on a Real Actor

Ben Glenroy is an actor introduced in the final moments of ‘Only Murders in the Building’ season 2. He is the lead in Oliver Putnam’s comeback play but seemingly dies during the opening night performance. In the series, actor Paul Rudd (‘Ant-Man’) plays the role of Ben Glenroy, who is almost certainly a fictional character similar to Steve Martin’s Charles-Haden Savage. Ben is formally introduced in the series’ third season premiere and appears flamboyant and self-centered. The series goes the full length in giving Rudd’s character the fictional treatment by including several references to Ben’s career, mainly comprising fake movies and tv shows. The series has taken a similar approach to establish Charles’ acting career, separating the character from the actor playing the role.

Notable among Ben’s body of work is his time on the sitcom ‘Girl Cop.’ Ben also has a starring role in the blockbuster franchise ‘Cobro,’ in which he plays a half-cobra, half-human character. Moreover, Oliver’s play marks Ben’s first foray into Broadway theater. Therefore, finding a real-life actor with a similar filmography is extremely difficult, implying Ben is a completely fictional character. Instead of directly being based on a real actor, the character plays on the stereotypes of Hollywood stars. Ben is portrayed as an insecure actor who loves the limelight and mistreats people in his chase for fame and attention. Hence, Ben Glenroy is a stereotypical Hollywood actor. Ben, being the victim of the third season’s murder mystery, only furthers the character’s fictional presence. It also leaves room to unravel the nuances behind his self-centered persona.

Ben Died Twice

The cliffhanger ending of season 2 sets up the mystery surrounding Ben’s death. The same sequence is recapped in the third season premiere and depicts Ben collapsing on the stage on the opening night of Oliver’s new play. However, the episode’s ending reveals that Ben is still alive. He returns to the Arconia and announces his survival to his crew at Oliver’s apartment. Ben claims he was dead for some time after swallowing too hard on his tongue, but the paramedics and doctors succeeded in reviving him. Nonetheless, the episode ends with Ben falling down an empty elevator shaft and dying.

Ultimately, the opening sequence, which sees Ben dying on the stage, turns out to be a fake-out. However, he actually dies at the episode’s end. Moreover, Charles and Mabel’s poking around reveals that Ben was killed by someone on the crew of Oliver’s play. Furthermore, Ben returning to the Arconia and dying in the building continues the show’s titular trend. The original fake-out death serves as a good misdirection for the viewers and shakes up the formula of mystery and comedy the show has perfected over the first two seasons. Lastly, Ben is almost certainly dead, and his death will serve as the central conflict of the third season.

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