Robert Guillaume was a stage and screen actor best known for his role as Benson on the series Soap and the spin-off Benson. He was nominated for six Emmys and three Golden Globes for the role, winning two Emmys, one in 1979 and one in 1985.
Guillaume was also known for playing the character Isaac Jaffe on Sports Night, and he had roles on the series Sanford and Son, All in the Family, The Jeffersons, Good Times, The Love Boat, L.A. Law, The Addams Family, Diagnosis Murder, Burke’s Law, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Touched by an Angel, The Outer Limits, Moesha, 8 Simple Rules and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Additionally, Guillaume voiced the mandrill Rafiki in The Lion King and the series Timon & Pumbaa, as well as several Lion King videos and video games. He also appeared in the films Lean on Me, Spy Hard and Big Fish.
In 1977, he earned a Tony nomination for his leading role as Nathan Detroit in a revival of Guys and Dolls. He also replaced the original Phantom, Michael Crawford, in an L.A. production of The Phantom of the Opera, receiving accolades from audiences and critics alike.
Guillaume died October 24, 2017, in Los Angeles. He was 89.