Emmy-winning actor Robert Guillaume died on Tuesday. He was 89.
Guillaume voiced Rafiki in The Lion King and Isaac Jaffe in Sports Night. He was also known for his role as Benson in Soap and its spin-off Benson.
Guillaume's wife, Donna Brown Guillaume, told the Associated Press that the actor died after a battle with prostate cancer. He passed away at his home in Los Angeles.
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Guillaume's time in the Benson role made him a beloved and acclaimed member of the TV community. He was won the supporting actor Emmy for Soap in 1979 and the lead actor Emmy for Benson in 1985.
"The minute I saw the script, I knew I had a live one," he said in 2001. "Every role was written against type, especially Benson, who wasn't subservient to anyone. To me, Benson was the revenge for all those stereotyped guys who looked like Benson in the '40s and '50s (movies) and had to keep their mouths shut."
His most beloved film role was as the primate Shaman Rafiki in the Lion King franchise. He voiced the role in the original film and its two sequels. The voice role also lead to Guillaume's only Grammy award. His work on the original film's read-a-long tie-in was awarded with the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
He also had on-screen roles in Lean on Me, Big Fish and Spy Hard.
Outside of acting, Guillaume was involved in campaigns for the American Stroke Association after suffering a stroke on the Sports Night set in 1999.