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Robin Leach Dead at 76
Robin Leach, best known as the host of the long-running TV series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, died on Thursday at the age of 76. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where he worked as a celebrity columnist, Leach suffered a stroke in November 2017 while in Cabo San Lucas.
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.
— John Katsilometes (@johnnykats) August 24, 2018
Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous ran in syndication for 11 years between 1984 and 1995, highlighting the extravagant homes (and exorbitant wealth) of its subjects. Created by veteran producer Al Masini, Lifestyles was one of the first shows on television that focused on the lives of the one percent—although its in Reagan Era beginnings, the show did not view its subjects with a critical lens. Many of its locations were luxury resorts, and the show served as a marketing tool. It was also on an episode of Lifestyles that Donald Trump commented on his then-one-year-old daughter Tiffany’s legs and breasts (while cupping his then-wife Marla Maples’s on screen).
All of that was punctuated by Leach’s posh, haughty British accent as he introduced the homes. His voice was his trademark, and it brought a certain levity to the show—making it a curious entity that would ultimately pave the way for MTV Cribs and VH1’s The Fabulous Life Of… Without Lifestyles, we arguably wouldn’t have many of the luxury and glamour-based TV series we have today, from House Hunters International to the many iterations of the Real Housewives franchise. And while the show didn’t create our collective interest in the rich and famous, it definitely encouraged our voyeurism by serving us a delectable meal that we wouldn’t be able to consume on our own.