'The magic that has always characterized the life and work of Robert Guillaume vibrates on the pages of this book. His talent and his values mark him as a man for all seasons.' Sidney Poitier 'It has been said, A person s talent can never be more or less than they are as a human being. Having worked with and watched Robert Guillaume since 1959, I am proud and deeply touched to see that the rich life he lives is captured on the pages of this book.' Quincy Jones 'Robert Guillaume is an enlightened being. His eloquence of thought and elegance of being dignify the man, giving me enormous pride in our long friendship. When you read this book about an extraordinary talent, Emerson's words will come to mind. What a new face courage puts on everything. ' Vidal Sassoon 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.