Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous host Robin Leach (image via Viceland), a longtime celebrity journalist in both senses of the phrase, died Friday morning in hospice care. He was less than a week shy of 77.
The colorful, overbearing presenter, who hosted his signature show from 1984-1995, suffered a stroke in November in Mexico and never fully recovered.
In a statement, his family said:
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.
Based in Las Vegas during his later years, he was an entertainment reporter for The Las Vegas Review Journal. In his 55-year career, he had written for a slew of publications, from The Daily Mail to People, also co-hosting segments on Today.
In 1993, Leach had his Geraldo moment when he hosted Madonna Xposed for FOX, offering the Queen of Pop the opportunity to call in to the live show at any time in order to refute any unflattering allegations. The show's guests wound up lauding Madonna personally and professionally, and she never picked up the phone.
So sad to hear about the death of the wonderful broadcaster and media personality @Robin_Leach He was the life of the party and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” was a great show that placed him indelibly in showbiz history. pic.twitter.com/LerPbekjxk
— Joan Collins (@Joancollinsdbe) August 24, 2018
Leach was a far-right conspiracy theorist who spoke of "dark-side Democratic operatives" he claimed were "planting violence" in the lead-up to the 2016 election.
Leach's rhapsodizing over "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" exemplified the excesses of the '80s, but proved timeless with the election of Donald Trump, of whom the London-born Leach was a massive supporter.