Patricia Ben Peterson, born (c. 1959) in Portland, Oregon, was for two decades a Broadway and regional theater actress. In the fall of 2003, while still in demand as a performer, but finding that performing was no longer the source of fulfillment it had been for her, she returned to school for two years to earn her Master's in geriatric social work.
Peterson's father was Portland attorney Edwin J. Peterson, who was later (in 1979) appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court, and served as its 39th Chief Justice from 1983 to 1991. Both he and his wife Anna were, and continue to be active supporters of the performing arts: Justice Peterson's undergraduate degree was in Music, and, after moving to Salem to join the Supreme Court, he played the French Horn as a member of the Salem Pops Orchestra.
She lives in New York City, and works as a geriatric social worker at the Lillian Booth Home, a facility for retired and incapacitated former theater workers in Englewood, New Jersey, run by The Actor's Fund. In July 2007, she was profiled in a New York Times article on continuing education and mid-life career changes. (As of May 2010, Peterson's mother Anna Peterson, a 2003 winner of the Salem Chamber of Commerce's First Citizen Award, was running for Mayor of Salem, Oregon.)