Robert Guillaume, most well-known in the gaming world as the voice of Half-Life 2’s Eli Vance, has died at the age of 89. He had been suffering from prostate cancer.
Guillaume was one of the most successful black actors on American television, most famous for his role as butler Benson DuBois in sitcoms Soap and Benson, which ran between 1977 and 1986. Guillaume won two Emmys for his roles on the show. Younger audiences may also know him as the voice of The Lion King’s Rafiki.
In 2004, Guillaume voiced Eli Vance in Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episodes, forever carving himself a place in gaming history. On Twitter, Half-Life 2’s writer Mark Laidlaw paid tribute to Guillaume, saying “I am very sorry to hear about the demise of Robert Guillaume. I learned a lot from him about writing to the specific strengths of an actor.”