Guillaume: A Life

November 24, 2017|
Guillaume: A Life by Robert Guillaume
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Guillaume: A Life is the autobiography of esteemed Broadway, Hollywood, and television star Robert Guillaume. Ten months after suffering a stroke, Guillaume—perhaps best known as television’s Benson—began this autobiography with award-winning author and collaborator David Ritz.

The book goes beyond the recounting of a long and successful career to examine the forces that shaped the man: family, religion, race, and class. Startlingly candid and disarmingly self-aware, Guillaume seeks to know and understand himself, his treatment of the women in his life, and the choices he made along the way. He pursues the truth, however painful it may be, says Ritz, guided by two questions, “Who the hell am I?” and “What made me do what I did?”


Born in St. Louis in 1927 to a young, abused, unstable mother, and reared by a strong, hardworking grandmother, Robert Guillaume managed to move from the poverty and adversity of his youth to a rich, full career as an actor and a singer. Fierce determination and sharp focus enabled this man born to hardship and racial discrimination to study, learn, cultivate his natural talents, and succeed at the performance career he pursued with a vengeance. Guillaume first performed in the strict Catholic schools and churches to which his grandmother, who understood that education would be the key to any success he might achieve, sent him. There his love of classical music was nurtured, and he was encouraged to perform.

From a child longing for his mother’s love to a man unsure of the meaning of love for many of the women in his life, from a young performer struggling to succeed on Broadway and in Hollywood to a grief-stricken father watching his son die of AIDS, Robert Guillaume tells what it was like to realize celebrity and what he sacrificed in the process. Readers will savor the success story of this artist who achieved great recognition and fame, but who never lost sight of his beginnings. Appealing to all audiences, Guillaume is a revealing and poignant autobiography of an extraordinary and distinguished American thespian.
Coauthor David Ritz has collaborated with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, B. B. King, Smokey Robinson, Etta James, and the Neville Brothers on their life stories. He is a four-time winner of the Ralph J. Gleason Music Book Award. His lyrics include “Sexual Healing.”
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Title:Guillaume: A LifeFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:240 pages, 9 X 6 X 0.9 inShipping dimensions:240 pages, 9 X 6 X 0.9 inPublished:November 24, 2017Publisher:University of Missouri PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0826221610

ISBN - 13:9780826221612

Appropriate for ages: All ages

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