James Noble dead Benson
Courtesy of ABC

James Noble, best known for his role as Gov. Eugene Gatling on “Benson,” died on Monday in Connecticut, The New York Times reports. He was 94.

The actor died at Norwalk Hospital after suffering a stroke.

Noble — born March 5, 1922, in Dallas — began his stage career in the 1949 Broadway production of “The Velvet Glove.” The actor went on to play John Hancock in the musical “1776” and portrayed the Rev. John Witherspoon in its 1972 movie adaptation.

Noble played absent-minded Gov. Gatling for seven seasons on the hit 1980s ABC sitcom “Benson,” which focused on his character’s relationship with Robert Guillaume’s Benson DuBois.

His TV credits also included episodes of “The Love Boat,” “Perfect Strangers,” “Law & Order,” and the soap operas “One Life to Live,” “Another World,” “The Brighter Day,” “As the World Turns,” “The Doctors” and “A World Apart.” He also appeared in the films “One Summer Love” (1976), “10” (1979), “Promises in the Dark” (1979), “Being There” (1979), “Airplane II: The Sequel” (1982), “A Tiger’s Tale” (1987), “Paramedics” (1988) and “Chances Are” (1989).

He co-founded Open the Gate Pictures with actress Colleen Murphy in 2005.

Noble’s wife, actress Carolyn Coates, whom he met when they were both working on “Pygmalion,” died in 2005. He is survived by his daughter, Jessica Katherine Noble Cowan.

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