‘Hill Street Blues’ Emmy Nominee Taurean Blacque Dies @ 82

Taurean Blacque of Hill Street Blues, the show for which he was Emmy-nominated, died Thursday, July 21, following what THR called "a brief illness."

He was 82.

Gracing Jet (he's in the back) with the Generations cast (Image via Jet)

Born May 10, 1940, in Newark, Blacque was a trained stage actor who was involved in Black causes from early in his life, especially in the theater.

Blacque made his TV debut on What's Happening!! in 1976, and also appeared on such popular shows as Sanford and Son (1977), Charlie's Angels (1978), The Bob Newhart Show (2 episodes, 1978), Good Times (2 episodes, 1977 & 1978), Taxi (1978), The White Shadow (1979) and The Love Boat (1979).

He was also in the films House Calls (1978) and Rocky II (1979).

From 1981-1987, he appeared in 144 episodes of the smash NBC drama Hill Street Blues, playing unconventional, toothpick-loving Det. Neal Washington, a performance for which he received an Emmy nomination. At the beginning of each episode, it was his voice that told views, "Previously on Hill Street Blues ..." a spotlight voice gig he won thanks to "my melodic voice."

That voice also won him a small part in the Disney flick Oliver & Co. (1988).

From 1989-1990, opposite Vivica A. Fox, Blacque played Henry Marshall on the soap Generations, becoming a part of the first-ever Black-family storyline that was an anchoring part of a soap opera from its first episode.

He continued to work, mainly on TV, including as a series regular on the cop show Savannah (1996-1997).

Blacque made his final TV appearance on an episode of Kevin (Probably) Saves the World in 2018.

Apart from acting, he was an internationally recognized advocate for adoption, serving in 1989 as the U.S. national spokesman for the cause. In his personal life, he adopted 10 kids and had two of his own.

He is survived by his 12 kids, 18 grandkids and two great-grandkids.

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