Benson Cast

Series Description

The Benson TV show was a 30 minute comedy series on ABC about an African-American butler (Benson) with a "tell it like it is" attitude who goes to work for a dim-witted (but really nice guy) Governor. While actually hired only to head the Governor's household, Benson quickly uses his intellect and fortitude to help the Governor deal with his wacky staff in a "no nonsense" way that the Governor just isn't capable of pulling off himself. To say the least, the staff was not happy with the meddling from this meddling butler!

Benson Cast

Robert Guillaume .... Benson DuBois
James Noble .... Governor Eugene Xavier Gatling
Missy Gold .... Katherine "Katie" Olivia Gatling
Inga Swenson .... Miss Gretchen Wilomena Kraus
Rene Auberjonois .... Clayton Runnymede Endicott III (1980-1986)
Ethan Phillips .... Peter "Pete" John Downey (1980-1985)
Didi Conn .... Denise Florence Stevens Downey (1981-1985)
Billie Bird .... Mrs. Rose Cassidy (1984-1986)
Bob Fraser .... Senator Leonard Tyler (1983-1986)
Caroline McWilliams .... Marcy Hill (1979-1981)
Lewis J. Stadlen .... John Taylor (1979-1980)
Donna LaBrie .... Senator Diane Hartford (1985-1986)
Jerry Seinfeld .... Frankie (1980-1981)

Benson Trivia

The Benson TV show was a "spin-off" of the series, "Soap". Benson was sent by his employer on Soap to work for her cousin, a state Governor. And in a very rare occurrence, Benson actually remained on the air longer than the series which inspired it! Soap lasted 4 seasons and 85 episodes but Benson lasted 7 seasons and 158 episodes. On episode #122, "Scenario", a computer network called "ARPANET" was accessed to get needed information. ARPANET was the precursor to the internet which was used by the U.S. government. This was the first network series to show the use of the "internet".

Missy Gold played the role of the Governor's daughter on Benson. Missy's sister Tracey Gold played the role of a daughter on the series, "Growing Pains"! They even played those roles for a while simultaneously. Growing Pains' first season coincided with Benson's final season.

WARNING - SPOILER!: The Governor came to appreciate Benson's assistance with non-household tasks so much that he promoted his to State Budget Director, and then eventually to Lieutenant Governor!

Jerry Seinfeld's role as Frankie on the series was his very first acting role!

On the final episode of Benson, the Governor was running for re-election and Benson was running against him! Three different endings for that episode were shot ... one with the Governor being re-elected ... one with Benson being elected ... and one with a third candidate winning. Even though the episode was titled, "And the Winner Is", when it aired the episode ended without revealing the winner! Apparently, none of the three endings were found to be acceptable so they just left the ending off!

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