Robert Guillaume, star of "Benson," has died

Emmy Award-winner Robert Guillaume has died.

Guillaume, who was best known for his role as Benson DuBois on the long-running sitcom Benson, passed away at his Los Angeles home yesterday morning.

Guillaume's illustrious career spanned several mediums.  Shifting from stage to television at the outset of his career, his first big break was in 1977 when he landed his role as Benson the butler on the show Soap

This led to the immensely popular spinoff Benson, which ran until 1986 and made Robert Guillaume a household name.

Other TV credits include guest roles on Good Times, the Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, All in the Family, and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

Guillaume was also a prolific voice actor.  Most famously he lent his voice to the character "Rafiki" in Disney's animated classic The Lion King.

Perhaps one of Guillaume's most stellar performances (though also one of his most underrated) was as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical the Phantom of the Opera.

Robert Guillaume was 89 years old, and passed away just one month shy of his 90th birthday.

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