Calendar » Get Out

Benson Gets the Blues

Karamu honors Robert Guillaume . . . while it still can.

by

comment
Veteran TV and stage actor Robert Guillaume will relive his theatrical memories at tonight's inaugural Karamu House Hall of Fame Inductions. "It fills me with dread," admits the 78-year-old Guillaume, best known as the butler-turned-politico on Soap and its spin-off, Benson. "I don't necessarily want to be honored, because it signals a certain event in your career — that it may be over soon. It's as if they're saying, 'We want to honor you before you check out.'" In addition to Guillaume, Karamu inducts nine other alumni tonight, including founders Rowena and Russell Jelliffe. Late choreographer Hank Nystrom, who worked with Guillaume in an all-black Karamu production of Carousel in 1957, is also honored.

In the '70s, Guillaume was a Broadway regular who scored a Tony nomination for his role in Guys & Dolls. In 1977, he was cast in the satirical TV show Soap, for which he won an Emmy (he also won one for Benson). He's retired these days, Guillaume says. "But I just don't know it. I'm just waiting until someone asks me to go bungee-jumping."
Sat., Sept. 9, 5:30 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.