Robert Guillaume, Star Of 'Benson,' Dies At 89

Actor Robert Guillaume poses for a portrait in circa 1977. (Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

Robert Guillaume, Star Of 'Benson,' Dies At 89

Rest in peace.

Published October 24, 2017

We lost another legend. Robert Guillaume, who was a television and theater legend, passed away today. He was 89.

Born in St. Louis on November 30, 1927, Robert Guillaume is most famous for playing Benson DuBois in Benson from 1979 to 1986. He was a wise-cracking butler who always had a comeback for the family he worked for. The role earned him three Golden Globe nominations and two Emmy awards, making him the only Black man to win for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.

Guillaume was also the voice of Rafiki in 1994's The Lion King, and he appeared in countless films including Lean on Me with Morgan Freeman. In 1977, Guillaume earned a Tony nomination for his performance in Guys and Dolls. 

In 1999, Guillaume suffered a stroke, but that didn't stop him from acting. He kept working up until 2013.

Robert Guillaume reportedly died of prostate cancer. Our condolences go out to his friends, family and fans.

Written by Renee Samuel

(Photo: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

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