Actor Ben Shenkman received a Masters of Fine Arts degree from New York University in 1992, and soon launched an acting career, dividing his time between regional theater, film, and television work. He made his TV debut in 1993 in an episode of the courtroom drama series Law & Order, and, in 1994, appeared on the big screen for the first time with a small role in Robert Redford's film Quiz Show. Shenkman's career began to heat up later in the decade, when he won strong supporting roles in two breakout independent feature films, Pi and Jesus' Son, as well as the lead in 30 Days; he also landed a recurring role as Nick Margolis on Law & Order (not the character he played in his 1993 debut on the show). The actor remained in demand for his stage performances, as well, starring opposite Mary-Louise Parker in the Manhattan Theatre Club's successful 2000 production of David Auburn's Proof. In 2002, Shenkman was seen in the acclaimed film Personal Velocity: Three Portraits, and was cast in a recurring role on the hit comedy series Ed.