Robin Leach, the entertainment reporter best known for showcasing celebrities’ extravagant wealth on Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, died Thursday at age 76. The journalist, who was under hospice care at the time of his death, had been hospitalized since November 21st after a stroke, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
John Katsilometes, Leach’s fellow columnist at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, broke the news on Twitter. “Sad to report the death of famed celeb reporter, friend and colleague #RobinLeach @ 1:50 a.m. in #LasVegas,” he wrote. “He would have been 77 Wednesday. He suffered a second stroke Monday. He [was] in hospice care. He’d been hospitalized since Nov. 21, after suffering a stroke in Cabo San Lucas.”
Leach’s family issued a statement after the journalist’s passing. “Despite the past 10 months, what a beautiful life he had,” they tweeted. “Our Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle and friend Robin Leach passed away peacefully last night at 1:50 a.m. 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.”
Leach was born August 29th, 1941 in London, England and began working as a reporter for The Daily Mail as a teenager. He moved to the U.S. in 1963 and wrote for several print publications and TV networks, but his most famous gig was as host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which profiled celebrities’ lavish homes and possessions and doled out “champagne wishes and caviar dreams” from 1984 to 1995.
Leach, known for his distinctive voice, became a pop culture fixture in his own right. (The Notorious B.I.G. even shouted him out on the 1994 single “Juicy,” rapping, “I made the change from a common thief/ To up-close and personal with Robin Leach.”) The journalist moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1999 and later wrote for several location publications, including the Review Journal, which hired him in 2016 to help bolster their celebrity coverage.
“We wanted to make your mouth drop,” Leach said in 2007 of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. “That was the main effect. One picture was worth a thousand words, so if you had more pictures, the less you would have to say.”