Jessica Tate's sharp-tongued former butler, Benson DuBois, moves up in the world, becoming first the governor's "director of household affairs," then the state's budget director, then lieutenant governor and candidate for the executive mansion.

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Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 3 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Benson DuBois (159 episodes, 1979-1986)
...
 Governor Eugene Xavier Gatling / ... (159 episodes, 1979-1986)
...
 Miss Gretchen Wilomena Kraus / ... (159 episodes, 1979-1986)
...
 Katherine 'Katie' Olivia Gatling / ... (158 episodes, 1979-1986)
...
 Clayton Runnymede Endicott III (135 episodes, 1980-1986)
...
 Peter 'Pete' John Downey / ... (96 episodes, 1980-1985)
...
 Denise Florence Stevens Downey / ... (72 episodes, 1981-1985)
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Storyline

In this spinoff of "Soap", Benson DuBois is sent out West to serve as butler to widowed state governor Gene Gatling, an honest but bumbling servant of the people. Although he has his rivals in German maid Kraus and persnickety aides Clayton and Taylor, Benson, armed with an acerbic wit and plenty of smarts, becomes the Governor's close friend and helper, and eventually is elected Lieutenant Governor! Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@soltec.net>

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Comedy | Family

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Release Date:

13 September 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Poderoso Benson  »

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4:3
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Trivia

The exterior shot used used for the governor's mansion was a private mansion in Pasadena, California. It is the Bundy House, located at 1365 South Oakland in Pasadena. It was designed by T. Beverley Keim in 1913. The original interior of the house is entirely intact, including a fabulous domed art glass window overlooking the grand entrance. See more »

Goofs

In the episode "Fools Gold" the blueprints Benson was hiding in his robe weren't visible in early shots (long or close-up) of the scene, but can be clearly seen sticking out of his robe right before he takes them out to show the Governor. See more »

Quotes

Clayton Runnymede Endicott III: I make money the old-fashioned way. I inherit it.
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Connections

Spun-off from Soap (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Coming to TV Land!
25 May 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I watched Benson before I saw any episodes of Soap so I never knew the connection. I remember watching an episode with the lovely Katherine Helmond guest starring reprising her soap role. Her character's date ends up dead and it could be scandalous. Her character turns to Benson for help. Of course, he helps out rather than let his beloved friend in trouble. His character's rise from governor's head housekeeper to Lieutenant Governor is a bit unrealistic but he makes it believable for the audience. I remember him winning an Emmy. I think it's a first for an African American actor to win for Best Actor in a Comedy Series. I remember cast of characters including an understated actress named Inga Swenson who played Olga. Peter Noble who played the widowed Governor very well. Rene Aubernois who played Benson's nemesis. I won't write enemies because they weren't. I remember them being at odds with each other. I loved Didi Conn who played secretary and the man who played her on screen husband. They left before the show ended after 7 seasons. I also remember Missy Gold, Tracey's Gold's older sister, who played the Governor's daughter. I'm kind of sad that it's been twenty years since it left our airways. Friday nights were never the same on the ABC network. Good shows like Benson are hard to come by nowadays.


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