Robert Guillaume, Benson & The Lion King Star, Dies Aged 89

25 October 2017, 12:13 | Updated: 25 October 2017, 14:18

Robert Guillaume pictured in 1991

The Emmy award-winning actor, who was the voice of Rafiki, passed away in his home on Tuesday following a battle with prostate cancer.

Robert Guillaume has died aged 89.

The late actor - who voiced mandrill Rafiki in The Lion King - passed away on Tuesday (24 October 2017) at his home in Los Angeles after a battle with prostate cancer.

Guillaume won two Emmy Awards for his role as butler Benson DuBois in Soap in the late 1970s as well as in his own character's spin-off Benson between 1979 and 1986.

He was also well known for voicing the wise Rafiki in The Lion King for the original movie in 1994 and then in various spin-offs and video games including a second instalment, The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride.

In his long career, Guillaume was nominated three years in a row for the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical for 'Benson' as well as racking up an impressive six Emmy nominations.

For the television series Sports Night, in which he played Isaac Jaffe, he was nominated for three Image Awards, two Online Film & Television Association Awards and a Screen Actors Guild Award alongside his fellow cast members including Josh Charles, Felicity Huffman, Peter Krause, Sabrina Lloyd and Joshua Malina.

Robert Guillaume is survived by his wife Donna Brown Guillaume and his four children.

Photo credit: Chris Martinez/AP/Press Association Images