Robert Guillaume of ‘The Lion King’ Dies at 89

  • The star voiced Rafiki in 'The Lion King'

Robert Guillaume, the voice of Rafiki in ‘The Lion King’ died on Tuesday at the age of 89. The actor also received two Emmy Awards for portraying the acidic butler Benson on ABC sitcoms.


Guillaume was born Robert Williams in St. Louis on Nov. 30, 1927, and raised by his maternal grandmother.

Throughout his career, Guillaume played distinguished characters resolutely defying racial stereotypes on ABC’s critically acclaimed Aaron Sorkin series Sports Night, on which he played Isaac Jaffe, the managing editor of a ESPN-style news program. He also received a Grammy Award for his Rafiki vocals on a spoken-word album for children.

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