Veteran entertainment journalist Robin Leach, who – for decades – famously showed us the lifestyles the rich and famous, has died. He was 77.
Leach suffered a stroke last year in Cabo San Lucas and had been hospitalized since Nov. 21, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he worked as a celebrity columnist.
“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,” announced columnist John Katsilometes on Twitter.
Said the family in a statement:
“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. Everyone’s support and love over the past, almost one year, has been incredible and we are so grateful. Memorial arrangements to follow.”
A beautiful life, indeed, hobnobbing with the glitterati and giving us a rare glimpse into the lives of the 1%ers who enjoyed over-the-tops ’80s-style excess.
“The more eye-popping and outrageous, the better,” Leach told Askmen.com in 2007. “We wanted to make your mouth drop. 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.”
Born on Aug. 29, 1941, Leach wrote for The Harrow Observer while he was attending the Harrow County School for Boys, earning $6 a week at the newspaper after he graduated. He went on to become the youngest editor at London’s Daily Mail at 18, then wrote for the New York Daily News, Ladies’ Home Journal, People and The Star after moving to the U.S. in 1963.
“I wanted no other job than to work in newspapers,” he told the Las Vegas Sun in 2011. “I was fascinated by the process of collecting information, talking to people and having the story appear in a paper that would be delivered in your letterbox.”
After appearing on CNN and helping to launch the syndicated Entertainment Tonight news show, Leach co-created Lifestyles with producer Al Masini. The program helped usher in the era of celebrity-focused reality series and culture.
Leach parlayed his fame into appearances in such films as She-Devil (1989) and Free Money (1998) and on TV programs like Hotel and A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle.
(Photo: Avalon Red)