(RADIO ALICE) – If you remember the late 70’s, early 80’s sitcoms Soap or Benson, you remember the wise-cracking butler Benson DuBois, played by Robert Guillaume. The 89-year-old actor died Tuesday, October 24th at his Los Angeles home.
At the time of his death, Guillaume had been battling prostate cancer, according to his widow, Donna Brown Guillaume.
Though he was best known for his role as Benson, Guillaume’s voice is well known as the shaman/mandrill Rafiki in Disney’s The Lion King. From 1998 to 2000, Guillaume also played the role of an executive producer, Isaac Jaffe on the Aaron Sorkin comedy/drama series, Sports Night. While filming the series, Guillaume suffered a minor stroke that left very little damage. After his hospital stay, he underwent physical therapy to regain his strength.
Guillaume was married twice. From 1955 to 1984, he was married to Marlene Williams. Together, the couple had two sons. Guillaume re-married to Donna Brown in 1986 and had a daughter, Rachel. In 1990, his son Jaques died at the age of 33 of AIDS.
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