“Benson,” a sitcom that aired from 1979 to 1986, left an indelible mark on television history. The show centered around the sharp-witted butler Benson DuBois, played by Robert Guillaume, and his adventures working for the eccentric Governor Eugene Gatling and his family. Let’s take a look at the cast then and see where they are now.
Robert Guillaume (Benson DuBois)
Guillaume’s portrayal of Benson, the quick-witted butler who rose from servant to state budget director, was the heart of the show. Post-“Benson,” Guillaume continued to thrive in the entertainment industry, winning critical acclaim for his role in “Soap” before landing his own spin-off series, “Benson.” He remained active in acting, voice work, and even authored a memoir. Sadly, Guillaume passed away in 2017, leaving behind a legacy of talent and inspiration.
James Noble (Governor Eugene Gatling)
Noble played the role of the bumbling yet lovable Governor Gatling. After “Benson,” Noble continued acting, appearing in various TV shows and theater productions. His dedication to the craft remained steadfast until his passing in 2016, leaving behind a legacy of memorable performances.
Inga Swenson (Gretchen Kraus)
As the no-nonsense German housekeeper Gretchen Kraus, Swenson’s portrayal added depth to the show. Post-“Benson,” Swenson continued her career in theater and occasional TV appearances. She notably appeared in Broadway productions and received acclaim for her stage performances.
Missy Gold (Katie Gatling)
Gold played the role of Katie Gatling, the Governor’s intelligent and precocious daughter. After “Benson,” Gold continued acting, making appearances in various TV shows throughout the ’80s and ’90s. However, she eventually stepped away from the spotlight to focus on other endeavors.
Ethan Phillips (Pete Downey)
Phillips portrayed Pete Downey, the head of the governor’s mansion staff. Following “Benson,” Phillips had a successful career, notably appearing in the “Star Trek: Voyager” series as Neelix. He remained active in both TV and film, showcasing his versatility as an actor.
Rene Auberjonois (Clayton Endicott III)
Auberjonois played the role of the pompous and sophisticated Clayton Endicott III. Following his time on “Benson,” Auberjonois continued to build a prolific acting career. He became a household name with roles in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and continued working in film, television, and theater until his passing in 2019.
Caroline McWilliams (Marcy Hill)
McWilliams portrayed Marcy Hill, the governor’s press secretary. After “Benson,” McWilliams continued to act, appearing in various TV shows and films throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Her career encompassed a range of roles, showcasing her talent and versatility.
Then and Now: A Snapshot of their Lives
The cast of “Benson” ventured on diverse paths after the show’s conclusion. While some continued to grace screens and stages, others pursued different passions or stepped away from the limelight.
Legacy of Talent and Impact on Television
“Benson” left an enduring mark on television, blending humor with social commentary. The show’s memorable characters and witty dialogue endeared it to audiences, earning critical acclaim and a dedicated fanbase.
Personal Evolution and Professional Contributions
Beyond their roles on “Benson,” the cast members navigated the ever-evolving landscape of the entertainment industry. Some diversified their careers, exploring new creative endeavors, while others found success in continuing their acting journeys.
The legacy of “Benson” endures as a testament to the talent and camaraderie of its cast. Their performances, etched in television history, continue to be cherished by audiences, reflecting the timeless appeal of a classic sitcom that entertained and inspired.