*“Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.” That was the catchphrase of Robin Leach, the man who will forever be associated with the 80s TV show that ogled the lavish lives rich and famous people otherwise known as “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” who passed away early Friday morning in Las Vegas. Leach had reportedly been hospitalized since Nov. 21 following a stroke. He was 76.
His death, first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal – the newspaper that Leach had working for most recently – quoted a family statement that said the journalist died “peacefully at 1:50 a.m.”
“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,” said a statement from Leach’s son Steven, which is also attributed to Robin’s sons Gregg and Rick Leach.
Leach moved to Las Vegas in 1999, and spent most of the last two decades chronicling star-studded events around town, most recently for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, and for the Las Vegas Sun and publications in the Greenspun Media Group.
“I wanted no other job than to work in newspapers,” he told The 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.”
According to the Review-Journal, his big break came in 1984 with the debut of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” a program he created with the legendary television producer Al Masini. The syndicated show, which ran from 1984 to 1995, focused on celebrities’ lavish homes and favorite destinations. Many cultural observers point to “Lifestyles” as a turning point that opened the door for other celebrity-centric reality shows, including “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”
“I had done a lot of show business reporting in Britain and it was an area of journalism that I thoroughly enjoyed covering,” he said. “The foibles of famous people, their need for applause … that they would be willing in a sense put their life or careers on the line every time they did a show or played a concert or made a film or performed in a play. … There were always stories to be found with those people.”
Read/learn MORE about the death of Robin Leach at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.