I have so many wonderful memories as a child, but several of my favorites involved TV and Robert Guillaume.
I was just 5 years old when SOAP debuted on ABC, and I remember sitting with my family watching the show (even though it was deemed quite risque at time) and I remember two characters specifically that would set me into fits of giggles every single time. Jodie Dallas, played by Billy Crystal, and Benson, played by Robert Guillaume.
These two characters were so funny, so amazing, that I enjoyed the show until it went off the air in '81 and further enjoyed later in reruns on TV Land.
(Let me be clear, the entire cast of SOAP was great, in fact, I feel like it was the Seinfeld of its time, the way the whole ensemble worked together.)
When Guillaume got his own show with Benson, I was so excited and a huge fan
Robert Guillaume was amazingly talented in so many ways, but it wasn't until 1990 that I realized how incredible of a singer he was. How?
I saw him play the lead role in The Phantom of the Opera at the Ahmanson Theatre.
Guillaume had just replaced the iconic Michael Crawford and many were skeptical about him stepping into the role. Now, I had seen Michael Crawford as the Phantom about a year before, and he was, of course, amazing, but I was SO excited to see Guillaume in the role.
I was floored, he was phenomenal. He didn't try to be Michael Crawford, he didn't try to be the same kind of Phantom he was....he made the part completely his own and blew me away with his performance and his singing. I still have goose bumps thinking about it.
I have seen Phantom about 10 times in total, and Robert Guillaume is still my very favorite Phantom.
Rest in Peace, Robert, I for one, will miss you.