Robert Guillaume (Actor) as Benson - Benson
Robert Guillaume 1
Updated: 3/26/2006

Name: Robert Guillaume

Birth Name: Robert Williams

Born: November 30 1927, St. Louis, Missouri

Claim To Fame: While Robert has had many, many roles throughout his career, I think everyone knows him as Benson. Benson started out on the show SOAP as the butler for the Tate family. Who can forget whenever the front door-bell sounded his sarcastically put question, "You want me to get that?"

Family Life: Donna Brown Guillaume (1984 - 2005) 1 child
Marlene Williams Divorced in 1983 2 sons

Info: Robert won Emmy Awards for both 'SOAP' and 'Benson'. He also appeared as marriage counselor Edward Sawyer on 'The Robert Guillaume Show', Detective Bob Ballard on 'Pacific Station', and television executive Isaac Jaffe on 'Sports Night.' Robert suffered a mild stroke on January 14, 1999, while filming an episode of the latter series. He recovered and his character was also depicted as having had a stroke.

Trivia: One of his sons died of AIDS in 1990 at age 32.

He replaced the original Phantom (Michael Crawford) in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical "The Phantom of the Opera". There was some controversy in his casting and some tickets were returned to protest his selection as lead actor even before his first performance. His run ended up to be popular with audiences and critics.

Robert also has the distinction of being the first black actor to appear as the Phantom.

He was once engaged to actress Fay Hauser.

In addition to 'The Phantom of the Opera,' Robert appeared on the Broadway stage many a times. In 1977 he was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor (Musical) for a revival of "Guys and Dolls."

Served in the military... in the Army

Robert Guillaume 2
Where Are They Now: Robert fought back from his stroke and his recovery has been amazing. In fact he was back to work just a few weeks after he suffered his stroke.

Still active in the industry although most roles for him are now that of voice ones. He has even done a voice for the Video game Half Life.

Most recently he co-starred in the straight to video film, 'Jack Satin.'

Write To Robert Guillaume:
Robert Guillaume
c/o Alan David Management
8840 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly, Hills, CA 90211-2277


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