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Norwalk's James Noble Dies At 94, Played Gov. Gatling On 'Benson'

James Noble, at right front, played Gov. Gatling on "Benson" for several years.
James Noble, at right front, played Gov. Gatling on "Benson" for several years. Photo Credit:

NORWALK, Conn. — James Noble -- a Norwalk resident who was perhaps best-known for his long-running role of Gov. Eugene X. Gatling on the sitcom "Benson" -- died on Monday, March 28, at Norwalk Hospital, as reported by Hollywood Reporter. He was 94.

As the Hollywood Reporter noted,

'Benson,' which ran for seven seasons (1979-86), starred Robert Guillaume as the title character, the same role he played on ABC's 'Soap.' (Both comedies were created by Susan Harris.) On the spinoff, Benson started out as Gatling's director of household affairs but eventually became lieutenant governor.

Benson and Gatling then ran against each other for governor, a race that went undecided when the series ended with an unresolved cliffhanger.

Noble was a native of Dallas and Navy veteran of World War II. He also studied under Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio in New York, according to the Hollywood Reporter. He worked as an assistant stage manager, then moved into acting, first on the stage, then in film and TV.

He is survived by his daughter, Jessica Katherine Noble Cowan, and he was predeceased by his wife of nearly 50 years, actress Carolyn Coats.

For the Hollywood Reporter's full story, click here.

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