Longtime film and stage actor Robert Guillaume passed away today at the age of 89. Guillaume led a career of more than 50 years, most-famously known for his role as Issac Jaffee on the comedy drama Sports Night. He’s also well-known as Benson on the TV-series Soap and the spin-off Benson. And the younger generation, may know his name as the voice of Rafiki in the 1994 animated classic The Lion King.
After 50 years performing on film, television, stage, let’s see how much money Guillaume has earned…
Robert Guillaume Net Worth as of 2018: $5 Million
Robert Guillaume’s net worth is estimated at $5 million by most sources. He has both a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He’s the winner of two Primetime Emmys; one in 1979 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for the sitcom Soap, and another in 1985 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy series for the show Benson. Guillaume also won a Grammy Award in 1995 for The Lion King Read-a-long Book, which earned him a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album for Children.
1959 – 1990s
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News Reelz: Award-winning actor from stage and screen Robert Guillaume died today at the age of 89. Known best for his roles on the iconic sitcoms Soap and Benson, Guillaume died at his home Tuesday after battling prostate cancer. His widow, Donna Brown Guillaume made the announcement today to the Associated Press. . . As a black actor, Guillaume broke ground in the theater scene, performing in the first all-black version of Guys and Dolls His role as Nathan Detroit in the musical earned him a Tony Award nomination in 1977. In addition to many stage roles, Guillaume played the first black actor to play the title role in Phantom of the Opera during the Los Angeles production. . . His television career spanned many decades, but it was his role on ABC’s Soap (1977-1979) and the spin-off series Benson (1979-1986) that earned him recognition. He won an Emmy for both shows playing the acerbic, dry-witted butler Benson Du Bois. He also starred in the short-lived critically acclaimed Aaron Sorkin series Sports Night (1998-2000 where he played television executive Isaac Jaffe. . . His TV career was diverse and plentiful throughout the decades with roles in Good Times, The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, A Different World, All in the Family as well as The Robert Guillaume Show. He also appeared in the television mini-series North and South as abolitionist Fredrick Douglas. . . Film audiences may recognize his vocal talent as the voice of Rafiki in Disney's The Lion King. . . Crazy thing is his episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air re-ran last night and I watched it before crashing out. He plays a car salesman who gets Will to briefly quit school and work for him. . . You'll be missed!🙏😢🙏.R.I.P.
Robert Guillaume was born on November 30, 1927 in St. Louis, Missouri. His real name is Robert Peter Williams. But when he began his acting career, he used the stage name “Robert Guillaume,” a name that would stick with him for the rest of his career. “Guillaume” is French for “William.”
By 1959, Guillaume was touring the world as a cast member of the Broadway musical Free and Easy. In 1961, he made his Broadway debut in Kwamina. In 1977, he received a Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his critically-acclaimed performance in Guy and Dolls.
From 1977 to 1979, Guillaume played a butler named Benson on the ABC sitcom Soap. He later received his own spinoff series with a show named after his character, Benson, which aired even longer than the original series (from 1979 to 1986). Guillaume appeared in a number of other popular TV series throughout his career, including Good Times, The Jeffersons, Saved By The Bell: The College Years, and The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air.
1990s – Present
Guillaume is also a well-known voice actor. He provided his voice for The Lion King animated series, playing the role of the wise Rafiki. His voice also appeared in The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze, as the character Mr. Thicknose.
The actor has also lent his voice to the video game Half Life 2 and its sequels, as he plays the role of Eli Vance.
Guillaume passed away on Monday, October 24, 2017, as a result of prostate cancer.
Died at the age of 89 last year, Robert Guillaume was best known for his role as the butler Benson, a character which will remain etched in our hearts.