Robert Guillaume Dead Benson

Benson's Robert Guillaume Dead at 89

Emmy winner Robert Guillaume, who starred in ABC’s Soap and its spinoff Benson, has died at the age of 89.

Guillaume passed away Tuesday at his Los Angeles home of complications from prostate cancer, according to our sister site Variety. He is survived by his wife, Donna Brown Guillaume, and four children.

His best-known role was as the wise-cracking butler Benson DuBois on the ABC soap-opera parody Soap, which debuted in 1977; Guillaume won an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy in 1979. That same year, his Soap character got his own ABC spinoff: Benson, where Benson moved on to handle the personal affairs of Governor Gatling (James Noble), eventually becoming a government official himself. Benson ran for seven seasons, with Guillaume racking up five more Emmy nominations, taking home a second trophy in 1985.

In the late ’90s, Guillaume had a memorable supporting role on Aaron Sorkin’s ABC comedy Sports Night, playing TV executive Isaac Jaffe. He also voiced Rafiki the monkey in the Disney animated hit The Lion King. His most recent TV roles include CSI, 8 Simple Rules and Moesha.