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'Benson' is dead

Thursday, October 26, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) — Robert Guillaume, who played the sharp-tongued butler in the TV sitcoms Soap and Benson , has died at age 89.

Guillaume died at home Tuesday in Los Angeles, according to his widow, Donna Brown Guillaume. He had been battling prostate cancer, she told The Associated Press.

Among Guillaume's achievements was playing Nathan Detroit in the first all-black version of Guys and Dolls, earning him a Tony nomination in 1977. He became the first African-American to sing the title role of Phantom of the Opera, in a Los Angeles-based production, and was the voice of the shaman-slash-mandrill Rafiki in the film version of The Lion King.