Summary

  • Uncle Ben has been a crucial character in Spider-Man’s story, appearing in various forms across movies, TV shows, and animation.
  • Multiple actors have brought Uncle Ben to life, from voice actors like Frank Welker to live-action stars like Cliff Robertson and Martin Sheen.
  • The character of Uncle Ben often appears in flashbacks or dream sequences, serving as a guiding force for Peter Parker in his life as a hero.

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The character of Uncle Ben has always played an important role in Spider-Man‘s story, and across his movie and TV history many actors have slipped into the role. Spider-Man has long been considered one of the world’s most iconic Marvel heroes, and his story is one that is almost as famous as the character himself. Almost every Spider-Man movie, TV show, comic book, and video game features the character of Uncle Ben in one way or another. His death is considered a crucial moment in Peter Parker’s story and one of the main contributing factors to his continued life of crime-fighting.

Just as many actors have played Spider-Man, many actors have also played Uncle Ben. Though Uncle Ben isn’t always featured directly in every Spider-Man movie and TV show, he’s usually referenced in one way or another and often appears in dream sequences or flashbacks, even if his death happened off-screen. As a result, the character of Ben Parker has seen many actors cast in the role, from relatively minor voice acting to a full blockbuster appearance. With that in mind, here is every actor who has played Uncle Ben, either in live-action or in animation.

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9 Frank Welker Voiced Uncle Ben Back In The ‘80s

Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (1981-1983)

Uncle Ben, Peter Parker, and Aunt May in Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends

As Frank Welker is one of the most prolific voice actors in the industry, it’s perhaps unsurprising that he has lent his voice to the character of Uncle Ben. From 1981 to 1983, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends aired, with Welker voicing Uncle Ben in the animated series. Considering that it came relatively early in Spider-Man’s timeline of movies and TV shows, Welker earned himself yet another milestone credit as the first actor to voice the character of Spider-Man’s adoptive father figure.

8 Brian Keith Voiced Uncle Ben In The ‘90s

Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998)

Brian Keith's Uncle Ben inspiring Peter Parker to get up in Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Spider-Man: The Animated Series

Cast
christopher daniel barnes , Jennifer Hale , Saratoga Ballantine , Edward Asner , Rodney Saulsberry , Linda Gary , Julie Bennett , Joseph Campanella , Gary Imhoff , Neil Ross

Release Date
November 19, 1994

Seasons
5

Spider-Man: The Animated Series ran for five seasons across four years, and Uncle Ben appeared multiple times, voiced by Brian Keith. In the show, Uncle Ben was seen only in flashbacks and visions as an advisory spirit and as part of an alternate universe storyline involving Spider-Carnage and a reality bomb. Brian Keith was perhaps better known for his role in the 1961 film The Parent Trap and in the crime drama Hardcastle and McCormick.

7 Cliff Robertson Was The Original Live-Action Uncle Ben

Spider-Man (2002)

As the actor who first played Uncle Ben in live-action in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Cliff Robertson is often considered the quintessential Uncle Ben. Robertson’s Ben Parker comprises all the classic elements of the character: he’s Peter Parker’s father figure and guardian, and he dies after being killed by a thief that Peter could have stopped. His death is the driving force behind Spider-Man’s hero story across the whole trilogy, with Robertson appearing in all three movies via flashbacks. He was also featured via archive footage in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse.

6 Ed Asner Voiced An Older Uncle Ben

The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008-2009)

Ed Asner's Uncle Ben and Peter Parker in a photo in The Spectacular Spider-Man

Uncle Ben was also briefly featured in The Spectacular Spider-Man, where he was voiced by Ed Asner. This version of Uncle Ben was killed by a burglar while defending Aunt May during a home invasion and appeared via a memory unlocked by the Venom symbiote. The vision of Ed Asner’s Uncle Ben is what helps Peter fight back against the symbiote’s influence, making Ed Asner’s short role a particularly important one in the hero’s wider arc despite only one appearance.

5 Greg Grunberg Voiced Ultimate Uncle Ben

Ultimate Spider-Man (2012-2017)

Greg Grunberg as Uncle Ben with Peter Parker in Ultimate Spider-Man

Ultimate Spider-Man, based on the series of comics of the same name, is a retelling of Spider-Man’s origins. As such, the first episodes of the show chronicle the events of Uncle Ben’s death, with the character voiced by Greg Grunberg. He also later appears in another episode as an illusion conjured by Nightmare. Grunberg is also known for his role on Heroes as Matt Parkman, as Eric Weiss on Alias, Temmin “Snap” Wesley in the Star Wars sequel movies, and Phil in A Star is Born in 2017. Grunberg is a friend and regular collaborator of J.J. Abrams.

4 Martin Sheen Played Uncle Ben In The Live-Action Reboot

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

2012 saw Spider-Man rebooted in live-action, with Andrew Garfield replacing Tobey Maguire in the lead role. This new Peter Parker got a new Uncle Ben, this time played by Martin Sheen rather than Cliff Robertson. Martin Sheen’s role alongside Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man is far from his most iconic, despite the character’s importance to the narrative. Sheen is better known for his starring roles in Apocalypse Now and as fictional President Jed Bartlett on The West Wing.

3 Clancy Brown Briefly Voiced Wild West Uncle Ben

Ultimate Spider-Man season 4, episode 17, “Return to the Spider-Verse, Part 2” (2016)

Clancy Brown as Uncle Ben in the Wild West in Ultimate Spider-Man

During Ultimate Spider-Man’s run, another actor also voiced Uncle Ben. When Peter Parker is transported into a Wild West dimension, he meets an alternate cowboy version of Uncle Ben voiced by Clancy Brown. This alternate-reality version of his Uncle had been brainwashed by Doc Ock Holliday and forced to act as the villain’s enforcer. Clancy Brown’s list of credits in both live-action and voice roles is extensive, and despite being known for a number of different movies and TV shows, he also briefly lent his voice to Ultimate Spider-Man’s Ben Parker.

2 Patton Oswalt Voiced Uncle Ben In Animated Flashbacks

Spider-Man (2017)

Peter Parker with Patton Oswalt's Uncle Ben in a flashback in Spider-Man (2017)

2017 saw the release of another animated retelling of Peter Parker’s story, simply titled Spider-Man. This version of the hero also features an Uncle Ben, voiced by Patton Oswalt. Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben Parker is primarily featured in flashbacks, giving advice to his young nephew, which proves valuable in his later life as a hero. Patton Oswalt is no stranger to Marvel productions, having also starred in Blade: Trinity and as the voice of the eponymous villain in M.O.D.O.K., among his other work as a comedian and actor.

1 Adam Scott Played A Younger Ben Parker

Madame Web (2024)

Adam Scott as Ben Parker, wet from jumping into a river in Madame Web

Madame Web

Director
S.J. Clarkson

Release Date
February 14, 2024

Despite the events of the film occurring long before Spider-Man’s own hero career, Madame Web’s cast also features its own iteration of Uncle Ben. This Ben Parker is played by Adam Scott and is a younger version of the character during his days working as a paramedic in New York who is partnered with Dakota Johnson’s Cassie Webb. Adam Scott’s Ben Parker is only technically “Uncle” Ben in the film’s final moments when his nephew Peter is born to his sister Mary. By introducing a younger Uncle Ben, Madame Web was able to keep its version of the character fresh.

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