November 30, 1927 – October 24, 2017 (age 89)
Cause of Death: Prostate Cancer

“Oh yes, the past can hurt. But from the way I see it, you can either run from it, or… learn from it.”
-Rafiki, “The Lion King”

Robert Guillaume got his start in television in 1966. Over ten years later, he would get the starring role that would launch his career, playing the title character Benson DuBois on the series “Benson,” which went on for seven years. But the role that would make him iconic, at least in my eyes, was the voice of the wise baboon, Rafiki, from Disney’s animated film “The Lion King.” He would reprise the voice role years later in a television series titled “Timo and Pumba” as well as reappearing in “The Lion King 1 1/2,” which was a straight-to-DVD release. Although he starred in a hand full of theatrical films and dozens of television movies, to me, he will always be immortalized raising the newly born lion cub above the entire kingdom of animals.


1973 Super Fly T.N.T. Jordan Gaines
1980 Seems Like Old Times Fred
1984 Prince Jack
Martin Luther King
1987 Wanted: Dead or Alive Philmore Walker
1987 They Still Call Me Bruce V.A. Officer
1989 Lean On Me
Dr. Frank Napier
1990 Death Warrant Hawkins
1993 The Meteor Man Ted Reed, Jeff’s Father
1994 The Lion King
Rafiki (voice)
1996 Spy Hard
Agent Steve Bishop
1996 First Kid Wilkes
1998 The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride
Rafiki (voice)
1999 Silicon Towers Detective Green
2001 The Land Before Time VIII: The Big Freeze
Mr. Thicknose (voice)
2002 The Adventures of Tom Thumb & Thumbelina Ben (voice)
2002 13th Child Riley
2003 Big Fish
Dr. Bennett – Senior
2004 The Lion King 1 1/2 Rafiki (voice)
2008 The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry Mr. Barnes
2011 Satan Doc Bishop
2012 Columbus Circle Howard Miles
2013 Off the Beach (Short) Dr. Black


1966 Porgy in Wien n/a Television movie
1969 Julia Robert Barren Episode: “The Wheel Deal”
1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. Aaron Carothers Episode: “The Soft Phrase of Peace”
1975 Sanford and Son Albert Brock Episode: “Steinberg and Son”
1975 All in the Family Dr. Franklin Episode: “Chain Letter”
1975 The Jeffersons Charles Thompson Episode: “George Won’t Talk”
1975 Good Times
Fishbone – Theodopius P. Johnson Episode: “Requiem for a Wino”
1977-1980 Soap Benson DuBois 50 Episodes
1979 The Kid from Left Field Larry Cooper Television movie
1979-1986 Benson
Benson DuBois Main Role; 159 Episodes
1980 Bob Hope in the Starmakers The Singer Television movie
1980-1981 The Love Boat
Frank Belloque / Allan Curtis 3 Episodes
1981 Purlie
Purlie Victorious Judson Television movie
1982 The Kid with the Broken Halo Blake Television movie
1983 The Kid with the 200 I.Q. Professor Mills Television movie
1985 North And South
Frederick Douglass 6 Episodes
1986 John Grin’s Christmas John Grin Television movie
1986 Hotel
Frank Stoner Episode: “Shadow Play”
1987 Perry Mason: The Case of the Scandalous Scoundrel Harlan Wade Television movie
1987 William Tell
Nolan Ben Sunniman Al Hedrem 2 Episodes
1989 The Penthouse Eugene St. Clair Television movie
1989 The Robert Guillaume Show Edward Sawyer 12 Episodes
1989 Fire and Rain Carter Television movie
1991-1992 Pacific Station Det. Bob Ballard 13 Episodes
1991-1992 A Different World Dean Winston / Prof. Murphy 3 Episodes
1992 Fish Police
Det. Catfish (voice) 6 Episodes
1992 Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story Police Commissioner Television movie
1992 L.A. Law Edward Rollins Episode: “Diet, Diet My Darling”
1992 Jack’s Place Ted Sill  Episode: “Romance Takes a Curtain Call”
1992 Driving Miss Daisy
Hoke Colburn Television movie
1992 Mastergate Sydley Sellers Television movie
1992 You Must Remember This Uncle Buddy Television movie
1993 The Addams Family Mr. Corblarb  Episode: “Color Me Addams”
1993 Diagnosis Murder Father Morrissey  Episode: “Miracle Cure”
1993 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Dr. Arthur Hemmings Episode: “A Question of Ethics”
1994 Burke’s Law
Eugene Sayers  Episode: “Who Killed the Fashion King?”
1994 Captain Planet and the Planeteers Citizen (voice)  Episode: “Bug Off”
1994 The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Pete Fletcher  Episode: “You’d Better Shop Around”
1994 Greybounds Robert Smith Television movie
1994 Cosmic Slop (Segment: “Space Traders”)
Gleason Golightly Television movie
1995 Children of the Dust Mossburger Television mini-series
1995-1999 Timon & Pumbaa Rafiki (voice) 12 Episodes
1995-2000 Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child Narrator (voice) 36 Episodes
1996 Lamb Chop’s Chanukah and Passover Surprise Robert Television movie
1996 Run for the Dream: The Gail Devers Story Reverend Devers Television movie
1996 Panic in the Skies! Rob Barnes Television movie
1996 Pandora’s Clock Ambassador Lee Lancaster Television mini-series
1996 Sparks n/a Episode: “Porky’s Revenge”
1996 Promised Land Martin Woolridge Episode: “Christmas”
1996 Crystal Cave Merlin Television movie
1996 Alchemy Merlin Television movie
1997 Goode Behavior Dr. Baxter Episode: “Goode Daddy”
1997 Touched by an Angel Judge Dawes Episode: “Jones vs. God”
1997 Merry Christmas, George Bailey Mr. Gower Television movie
1998 The Outer Limits Mr. Brown Episode: “Monster”
1998 His Bodyguard Garrett Television movie
1998-2000 Sports Night Isaac Jaffe 45 Episodes
2000 Moesha Arthur Episode: “All This, and Turkey Too”
2002 The Proud Family Dr. Parker Episode: “Behind Family Lines”
2003 8 Simple Rules Cody Grant Episode: “Every Picture Tells a Story”
2004 Century City Judge Episode: “To Know Her”
2008 Storyline Online  n/a Episode: “Guji Guji”
2008 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Sonny Bridges Episode: “Young Man with a Horn”
2013 Wanda Sykes Presents Herlarious Historian n/a

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