Robert Guillaume, most known for playing the role of Benson on the ABC sitcom Soap and its spinoff, Benson, is dead at 89.

His wife confirmed the news to the AP. The actor was battling prostate cancer.

He also notably portrayed Issac Jaffe in Sports Night and voiced Rafiki on The Lion King. 

He earned a Tony nomination for his role in Guys & Dolls and two Emmys for his work on the sitcoms.

In the role of Benson, a role which he was not fond of at the beginning, his character went from becoming a cook to the lieutenant governor.

“When I got the role of Benson, I was not the happiest camper,” Guillaume said on an installment of Oprah: Where Are They Now? that aired in January 2016. “I had reservations, because you’re serving food, you’re serving the family and all that sort of thing. … It’s like nothing has changed since the 1800s.

“But the more I examined the role and read the script, I figured out a way to take some of the stench off the idea.”

We send condolences to his family and loved ones.