James Noble (1922 - 2016)

James Noble, the actor who played the absent-minded Gov. Eugene Gatling on the 1980s hit TV sitcom "Benson," died March 28 in Norwalk, Connecticut, according to multiple news sources that include The New York Times. He was 94.

The show, which starred Robert Guillaume as the butler turned lieutenant governor, has shown up in syndication on the Nick at Night and TV Land cable channels.

Noble's acting credits include stints on Broadway, most notably in "The Big Knife," "The Velvet Glove," and "A Far Country."

Noble appeared on daytime TV soap operas including "The Brighter Day," "The Edge of Night," "As the World Turns," "Another World," "The Doctors," and "A World Apart."

His acting wasn't limited to the small screen. His film credits include "The Sporting Club," "Dragonfly," "10," "Being There," and "Airplane II."


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Noble was born March 5, 1922, in Dallas, Texas. He studied acting at Southern Methodist University before joining the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war, he continued studying drama, this time in New York City under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

He was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 50 years, the actress Carolyn Coats, in 2005. He is survived by their daughter, Jessica Katherine Noble Cowan.

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