Actor Robert Guillaume, best known for his title role in the TV series Benson, passed away in his Los Angeles home on Tuesday (Oct. 24), CNN confirms. He was 89 years old.
According to his wife, Donna Guillaume, the actor was battling prostate cancer up until his death. “He kinda went the way everyone wishes they could, surrounded by love and in his sleep,” she said. She added that he loved making music and entertaining people.
Guillaume starred as the butler Benson DuBois in Benson from 1979 to 1986, winning an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy in 1985. The actor was also recognized as the voice of Rafiki in the beloved 1994 Disney film The Lion King. He holds additional credits in A Different World, Sports Night and Lean on Me.
Robert Guillaume is survived by his wife and four children, who spent time visiting their father in his final weeks of life, CNN reports. “He was a good father and a good husband. He was a great, great person,” his wife stated.