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James Noble dead: Benson actor dies at 94

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Everett Collection

James Noble, best known for his role as Governor Eugene Gatling on Benson, has died, The New York Times reports. Noble passed away on Monday at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut after suffering a stroke. He was 94.

Born in Dallas, Texas, on Mar. 5, 1922, Noble began his career as a stage actor, making his Broadway debut in a 1949 production of The Velvet Glove. The actor went on to play John Hancock in the stage musical 1776 and appear as a reverend in the 1972 cinematic adaptation.

For seven seasons on the ABC sitcom Benson, Noble played Governor Gatling, who absentmindedly presided over an unnamed state. The professional relationship between Robert Guillaume’s Benson DuBois and Noble’s governor was the centerpiece of the series. The actor’s other TV credits include episodes of The Love Boat, Perfect Strangers, Law & Order, and One Life to Live.

Noble is survived by his daughter, Jessica Katherine Noble Cowan.