Robert Guillaume was born Robert Williams in St. Louis. Before pursuing an acting career, he studied at St. Louis University and Washington University and served in the United States Army. Guillaume made his television debut in the series “Soap”, playing the butler, Benson DuBois, from 1977 to 1979. That series’ success led him to a spinoff series, “Benson”, which ran until 1986. He won Emmy Awards for both series. A later TV role as television executive Isaac Jaffe on “Sports Night” (1998-2000), allowed Guillaume to break new ground when the stroke that he suffered in real life, along with his subsequent recovery, was written into the scripts of the show for his character.