How sad. Robert Guillaume died yesterday, at the age of 89. He played Benson the butler in “Soap” and “Benson”, and won an Emmy on each show for the role. Here’s Guillaume a few years ago talking about how he almost turned down the part when they asked him to do it. He thought that playing a butler might perpetuate harmful stereotypes. But instead he found ways to make the character interesting. It became a groundbreaking role, because the Emmys he won were the first by an African-American in both categories. Robert Guillaume also played Rafiki the monkey in “The Lion King”, and ended up doing a lot of voice acting later on because of that.