Ben Stein

Biography: Ben Stein (Benjamin J. Stein) was born November 25, 1944 in Washington, D.C., (He is the son of the economist and writer Herbert Stein) grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and attended Montgomery Blair High School. He graduated from Columbia University in 1966 with honors in economics. He graduated from Yale Law School in 1970 as valedictorian of his class by election of his classmates. He helped to found the Journal of Law and Social Policy while at Yale. He has worked as a poverty lawyer in New Haven and Washington, D.C., a trial lawyer in the field of trade regulation at the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C., a university adjunct at American University in Washington, D.C., at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. At American U. He taught about the political and social content of mass culture. He taught the same subject at UCSC, as well as about political and civil rights under the Constitution. At Pepperdine, he has taught about libel law and about securities law and ethical issues since 1986.

In 1973 and 1974, he was a speech writer and lawyer for Richard Nixon at The White House and then for Gerald Ford. (He did NOT write the line, "I am not a crook.") He has been a columnist and editorial writer for The Wall Street Journal, a syndicated columnist for The Los Angeles Herald Examiner (R.I.P.) and King Features Syndicate, and a frequent contributor to Barrons, where his articles about the ethics of management buyouts and issues of fraud in the Milken Drexel junk bond scheme drew major national attention. He has been a regular columnist for Los Angeles Magazine, New York Magazine, E! Online, and most of all, has written a lengthy diary for ten years for The American Spectator. He also writes frequently for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, op. ed. and almost every other imaginable magazine.

He has written and published sixteen books, seven novels, largely about life in Los Angeles, and nine nonfiction books, about finance and about ethical and social issue in finance, and also about the political and social content of mass culture. He has done pioneering work in uncovering the concealed messages of TV and in explaining how TV and movies get made. His titles include A License to Steal, Michael Milken and the Conspiracy to Bilk the Nation, The View From Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Days, Hollywood Nights, DREEMZ, Financial Passages, and Ludes. His most recent book is the best selling humor self help book, How To Ruin Your Life. He has also been a longtime screenwriter, writing, among many other scripts (most of which were unmade ) the first draft of The Boost, a movie based on Ludes, and the outlines of the lengthy miniseries Amerika, and the acclaimed Murder in Mississippi. He was one of the creators of the well regarded comedy, Fernwood Tonight.

He is also an extremely well known actor in movies, TV, and commercials. His part of the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off was recently ranked as one of the fifty most famous scenes in American film. Starting in July of 1997, he has been the host of the Comedy Central quiz show, "Win Ben Stein's Money." The show has won seven Emmies. He appears regularly on the Fox News Channel talking about finance. He is currently a celebrity judge on the CBS hit, Star Search.

He is also at presently at work on a detective show for CBS. He lives with his wife, Alexandra Denman ( former lawyer,) his son, Tommy, four cats and two large dogs in Beverly Hills.
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Ben Stein's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
Average career score: 40
Highest Metascore: 62 Santa vs. the Snowman
Lowest Metascore: 20 Son of the Mask
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 2 out of 4
4 movie reviews
Title: Year: Credit: User score:
20 Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed Apr 18, 2008 Written By / Himself - Host 3.6
20 Son of the Mask Feb 18, 2005 Dr. Neuman 6.7
62 Santa vs. the Snowman Nov 1, 2002 'Spunky' The Elf 10
60 Ferris Bueller's Day Off Jun 11, 1986 Economics Teacher 8.2