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His paternal grandparents both did some acting when they were young.
The show became an overnight success and it put Mc Kenzie on the map as Ryan Atwood. C.', Mc Kenzie made his feature film debut in 'Junebug' opposite Amy Adams.
The film received high praise at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
From 1997-2001, he attended the University of Virginia, where he majored in Foreign Affairs and Economics.
Mc Kenzie got into acting during his first few years at the University of Virginia, where he appeared in "Measure for Measure" and "Zoo Story." After graduation he moved to New York and appeared off-Broadway in "Life is a Dream" at the So Ho Rep.
In 2003, FOX premiered the television series The O.
C., about affluent teenagers with stormy personal lives who reside in scenic Orange County, California.
He also appeared in a pivotal role in the 2007 film '88 Minutes', which starred Al Pacino.
Mc Kenzie's first starring role in a feature film was in the 2008 indie release 'Johnny Got His Gun.' The movie premiered at the Paramount Theater in Austin, TX, Mc Kenzie's hometown, prior to playing art houses where it garnered excellent reviews for his solo performance.
Ben Mc Kenzie was born Benjamin Mc Kenzie Schenkkan in Austin, Texas on September 12, 1978, to Mary Frances (Victory), a poet, and Pieter Meade Schenkkan, an attorney. Ben is of Dutch Jewish (from his paternal grandfather), English, and Scottish descent.
He attended Austin High School, and played wide receiver and defensive back for the school's football team.
Additionally, he performed in numerous productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, including "Street Scene" and "The Blue Bird." He relocated to Los Angeles in late 2001.
His early TV appearances included roles on The District, JAG and Mad TV.