Emmy winning actor Robert Guillaume’s cause of death has been revealed, just a few weeks after his sad passing on Oct. 24 at age 89. We’ve got the details on what took the ‘Benson’ star’s life.
So sad! The death certificate has been released for beloved Benson star Robert Guillaume, who passed away on Oct. 24 in Los Angeles. The Blast obtained a copy of the document and it was determined that the star died from cardiac arrest. It was exacerbated by atrial fibrillation and hypertension, and the certificate also says that at some point in his life he had a pacemaker installed. Other sad details include that he was battling type 2 diabetes, and dementia. How heartbreaking! At the time of his death, his widow told the AP that his passing came as the result of complications of prostate cancer.
Guillaume was so popular on the ’70s ABC comedy Soap where he played family butler Benson DuBois, that his character got his own spinoff. Benson saw the character go to work on the household staff alongside a hapless state governor. Benson ran from 1979-1986 and saw him rise from butler to political aide to eventually the role of lieutenant governor. He’s beloved to a younger generation of fans as he provided the voice of Rafiki in the film version of Disney’s beloved classic The Lion King. He even won a Grammy in 1995 when he narrated film via audio and won Best Spoken Word Album for Children. See pics of the star, here.
With the live action version of The Lion King arriving in 2019, it’s so sad that Guillaume didn’t live to see what promises to be one of the most anticipated films in years. He has a long and productive life though, with great success on stage, TV and film, despite coming from a very poor and hard upbringing in St. Louis. In his 2002 autobiography Guillaume: A Life, the opening line of the book began, “I’m a bastard, a Catholic, the son of a prostitute, and a product of the poorest slums of St. Louis.” He found his ticket out when a music professor at Washington University recognized his amazing singing voice and helped put him on the path towards regional theater work. That in turn eventually led to his roles in TV. He survived a minor stroke in 1999 when he was star on the ABC sitcom Sports Night, and went on to become a spokesman for the American Stroke Association.
HollywoodLifers, send your thoughts to Robert’s family in this sad time.