Artist and Performer - Robert Guillaume

Robert Guillmaume
Robert Guillaume


Robert Guillaume was born on November 30, 1927. A distinguished, dapper veteran of stage musicals, Robert Guillaume was nominated for a Tony Award for his starring role as Nathan Detroit in the 1976-77 all-black revival of "Guys and Dolls". After numerous small screen appearances, he came to prominence on the sitcom "Soap" (ABC, 1977-79) as the acerbic, insolent butler Benson, a role that won him a supporting Emmy in 1979. His character was spun off onto a long-running series of his own, "Benson" (ABC, 1979-86), for which the actor copped a second Emmy in 1985. In the late 70s and early 80s, Guillaume starred in three TV-movies with Gary Coleman, one of which he co-produced. He returned to the sitcom format with "The Robert Guillaume Show" (ABC, 1989), cast as a marriage counselor romantically involved with his white secretary (Wendy Phillips). Guillaume's active TV schedule has limited his film appearances, which began with a role in the blaxploitation flick "SuperFly TNT" (1973). "Lean on Me" (1989) offered the actor one of his best film roles, as the superintendent of schools trying to give support to maverick high school principal Joe Clark (Morgan Freeman). Guillaume was not even seen in his biggest hit, though, voicing the mystical baboon Rafiki in Disney's "The Lion King" (1994) and all its sequels .
With his second wife Donna Brown Guillaume, he executive produced and co-starred in "You Must Remember This", a 1992 PBS "Wonderworks" entry. Between 1994 and 1997, the Guillaumes also produced "Happily Ever After", a seriesof ethnically diverse animated fairy tales, for which he also served as narrator.

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