Robin Leach, celebrated entertainment journalist who made it possible for television fans of the 80s and 90s to get a rare insight into the lives of those with "champagne wishes and caviar dreams," has reportedly passed away. He was 76 years old.
"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.," said the family in a statement. "Everyone’s support and love over the past, almost one year, has been incredible and we are so grateful. Memorial arrangements to follow."
Leach, a veteran journalist who had his start at The Harrow Observer, paved the way for many of the entertainment news outlets we have today.
The London native was the youngest editor of the daily at just 18 years old, before moving to the United States in 1963 and working for a number of well-respected publications, including New York Daily News, People, The Star and Ladies' Home Journal.
"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."
Despite having a passion for print news, Leach didn't limit himself to just that medium. He went on to work for CNN and eventually launched Entertainment Tonight.
His fascination with celebrities and their lives is what inspired him to co-create Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, a show that is often credited for making celebrity-focused reality shows trendy.
"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."
Additionally, Leach was also one of the driving forces behind the Food Network during its early days. He also dabbled in acting, making appearances in films and shows like She-Devil (1989), Free Money (1998), Hotel and A Perry Mason Mystery: The Case of the Lethal Lifestyle.
In 1999, he moved to Las Vegas, where he worked as a celebrity columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 2016 up until his health began to decline last year.
The writer and TV host had been hospitalized since November 2017, after he suffered a stroke in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. He was then moved to hospice care, where he died from the complications of a second stroke, according to columnist John Katsilometes.