Robert Guillaume, Voice of Rafiki in ‘The Lion King,’ Dies at 89

The Lion King

We have some sad news to pass along this evening. Variety is reporting Robert Guillaume has passed away at the age of 89. Guillaume is best known for his title character role on the sitcom, Benson, and voicing Rafiki in the classic Disney movie, The Lion King.

Guillaume was also cast in several other television, movie, and Broadway roles. Some of his television accolades include the ABC Sitcom, Sports Night, and The Robert Guillaume Show. He was featured in movies such as Meteor Man and Spy Hard. On Broadway, he starred in Cyrano – The Musical and Phantom of the Opera. 

Guillaume won several awards during his career including a spoken recording Grammy for his role as Rafiki in The Lion King.

Guillaume was originally born “Robert Peter Williams” in St. Louis, Missouri. He changed his name after he he decided to peruse his acting career. He is survived by his wife, one son (another died in 1990), and three daughters.

Our condolences go out to his friends and family.




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