Robert Guillaume, who won Emmys for playing the same character on two different ABC sitcoms, has died. The New York Times reports that Guillaume died today at his home in Los Angeles of complications from prostate cancer. He was 89.
Guillaume had reportedly been dealing with cancer for 25 years.
“Mr. Guillaume’s most well-known character was Benson DuBois, who began as a caustic butler on the sitcom ‘Soap,’ which ran from 1977 to 1981, and later worked for, and eventually campaigned against, the governor of an unspecified state on the spinoff ‘Benson’ (1979-86),” The Times reports.
Guillaume won a Primetime Emmy in 1979 for his performance as Benson on “Soap,” and won another one for the same character, this time on the show “Benson,” in 1985. He was also nominated four additional times for “Benson.”
“Mr. Guillaume grew up in poverty and spent years working odd jobs, from streetcar driver to postal worker, with little hope that acting could become a career,” The Times reports. “The difficulties he overcame helped inspire the character that made him famous, he said.”
Here’s a brief clip of Guillaume reflecting on his life and career in an interview from 2016 for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network …