Legendary 'Benson' Actor Robert Guillaume Dies at 89
R.I.P. a true legend
Legendary actor Robert Guillaume, who is best known for playing Benson on Soap and then the spin-off named after the butler, died on Tuesday morning at the age of 89. According to his wife, Donna Brown Guillaume, Robert died at his Los Angeles home. He had been battling prostate cancer.
Guillaume had a long, distinguished career as an actor. He became a household name when he played Benson for three seasons on Soap and then the self-titled spin-off for seven seasons. Guillaume won Emmys for both shows, a supporting actor on Soap and then a lead actor Emmy for Benson. Interestingly enough, Guillaume had reservations about playing the character, but he changed his mind. Luckily he did because over the years the character evolved from a butler to someone who was running for Governor.
After the show ended, Guillaume appeared on a number of movies, including Lean on Me, The Meteor Man, First Kid, Spy Hard, and Big Fish. He also did the voice for Rafiki in Lion King. In 1998 he returned to television, starring in Sports Night. Guillaume memorably had a stroke on set, a scenario they worked into the script:
The stroke he suffered during Sports Night was written into the show. This was his return.
RIP Robert Guillaume pic.twitter.com/eURutArNo8
— Kevin T. Porter (@KevinTPorter) October 24, 2017