From the late eighties through the early nineties of the previous century, there was a certain syndicated TV show that was said to be a precursor to the present-day slate of “reality programming”. This was “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, produced by TPE and distributed by CBS. From 1984 to 1995 (and a later-period name change), the series was a showcase of how the world’s wealthy lived, such as the heavyweights of business, entertainment and sports. It was memorable due to its host, British writer and entertainment reporter Robin Leach. Those who recall the show were shocked to learn of his passing last week.
CNN tells us that Robin Leach, who hosted prototypical 80s-90s reality show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”, has died August 24 at the age of 76. His publicist confirmed that the entertainment new personality had succumbed to complications from a stroke that he had suffered last November 2017. A fellow writer of Leach’s at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, John Katsilometes, elaborated on his Twitter page that the stroke happened when the reporter, at the time working at the Review-Journal as a columnist, was vacationing at the Baja peninsula resort city of Cabo San Lucas.
Family members and relatives of Leach issued a statement on his death. “Despite the past 10 months, [following the stroke] what a beautiful life he had. Our Dad, Grandpa, Brother, Uncle and friend Robin Leach passed away peacefully last night at 1:50 AM,” went their announcement next day. “Everyone’s support and love over the past, almost one year, has been incredible and we are so grateful.” Figures from the entertainment world were quick to express their condolences on social media.
Born in August 29 of 1941, Robin Leach seemed destined to be a man of mass media. He started as a school paper editor and then a tabloid reporter before arriving at UK broadsheet the Daily Mail at age 18, its youngest page-one reporter in their publishing history. Leach immigrated to the United States in 1963, writing for a number of major American publications before hitting the television screen. His decision to maintain his distinctive London accent became a boon in his career as a TV personality, particularly when he became host to “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous”. Leach also hosted a number of other documentary features such as “Madonna Exposed” in 1993 about the Queen of Pop, and “Maxed Out” in 2006 about the US credit card industry.
Such was the impact of Robin Leach in reporting about the world’s wealthy people that among those paying tribute on his death are several of the rich and famous friends he has covered in the past. All are joining in greeting the departed personality with his own trademark signoff line: “Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams.”
Image courtesy of Today Show