'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' host Robin Leach dies at 76
Leach had been hospitalized since mid-November after suffering a stroke in the Mexican resort city of Cabo San Lucas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal
Robin Leach, the entertainment journalist best known for his work on the television series 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous', died late on Thursday night. He was 76.
Leach had been hospitalized since mid-November after suffering a stroke in the Mexican resort city of Cabo San Lucas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he was working. He had been in hospice care after suffering a second stroke on Monday, the paper added.
The news of his death — just days before his 77th birthday — was confirmed by John Katsilometes, a columnist in the publication. “Sad to report the death of famed celeb reporter, friend and colleague #RobinLeach @ 1:50 a.m. in #LasVegas,” tweeted Katsilometes.
Sad to report the death of famed celeb reporter, friend and colleague #RobinLeach @ 1:50 a.m. in #LasVegas. He would have been 77 Wednesday. He suffered a second stroke Monday. He in hospice care. He'd been hospitalized since Nov. 21, after suffering a stroke in Cabo San Lucas.— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) August 24, 2018
“Despite the past 10 months, what a beautiful life he had. Our Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle and friend Robin Leach passed away peacefully last night at 1:50 a.m.,” the family said in a statement, which was also tweeted by Katsilometes.
“Everyone’s support and love over the past, almost one year, has been incredible and we are so grateful. Memorial arrangements to follow. With love, Steven, Gregg and Rick Leach.”
Statement from #RobinLeach family: "Despite the past 10 months, what a beautiful life he had. Our Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle and friend Robin Leach passed away peacefully last night at 1:50 a.m." 1/2— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) August 24, 2018
Leach gained international fame as the host of the syndicated series 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,' which helped define the wealth and excess of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was this show that set the stage for a flood of celebrity-focused reality TV shows. The beloved British host would lovingly sign off each episode with his signature catchphrase, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”
Born in London on August 29, 1941, Leach enjoyed a successful career as a newspaper reporter before turning his sights to chronicling the lives of the rich and the famous.
He worked for various publications such as People magazine, The New York Daily News and The Daily Mail before landing his big break in 1984 with 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.' The show became so popular that it turned Leach into a celebrity and multimillionaire himself. He first appeared on screen in 1980 when he joined CNN’s 'People Tonight.'
Leach realised at a very young age that he wanted to be a journalist. When at Harrow County School for Boys, he began reporting for The Harrow Observer. The paper hired him when he was only 15 years old.
Later, he left to work at the Daily Mail, where he became the publication’s youngest Page One editor at age 18.
Variety described Leach's distinctive British accent as Cockney mixed with Manchester. He was also known for his outrageous persona, which he insisted was "strictly for business", saying he was actually very down to earth.
"The cartoon character, that’s not who Robin Leach is,” he told the New York Times in 1990. “And when I wake up in the morning, I wink at myself because I like me — I know who I am. And when it’s time to send the cartoon character off, I just send him on his way."