Emmy Award-winning actor Robert Guillaume, best known as the title character in the TV sitcom Benson, is dead. He was 89.
His wife Donna Guillaume said that he had battled prostate cancer in recent years, reports cnn.com.
“He kinda went the way everyone wishes they could, surrounded by love and in his sleep,” Donna said.
She added that her husband really loved making music, entertaining and making people laugh. He treasured his role as Rafiki in Disney’s 1994 animated film “The Lion King,” she said.
Robert starred as the level-headed butler Benson DuBois on the sitcom Benson from 1979 – 1986. He won the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy for his performance in the role in 1985. Dozens of TV roles followed, including A Different World and Sports Night.
He is survived by four children, all of whom had spent time visiting with their father in his final weeks, Donna said.
“He was a good father and a good husband. He was a great, great person,” she said.