Robin Douglas Leach
29 August 1941
|Died||24 August 2018 (aged 76)|
|Occupation||Television personality, entertainment reporter, writer, columnist|
Robin Douglas Leach (29 August 1941 – 24 August 2018) was an English entertainment reporter and writer from London. Beginning his career as a print journalist, first in England and then in the United States, he became best known for hosting the television series Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous from 1984 to 1995. The show focused on profiling well-known celebrities and their lavish homes, cars and other materialistic details. His voice is often parodied by other actors with his signature phrase, "champagne wishes and caviar dreams."
Leach was born in London, the son of Violet Victoria (Phillips) and Douglas Thomas Leach, a sales executive. He attended Harrow County School for Boys, 10 miles (16 km) from London, where he edited a school magazine, The Gayton Times, at age 14. At age 15 he became a general news reporter for the Harrow Observer, and earned $6 a week after graduation. He started a monthly glossy town magazine at age 17.
Leach moved on to the Daily Mail as Britain's youngest "Page One" reporter at age 18. In 1963, he immigrated to the United States, maintaining his English accent throughout his life (which would become a trademark of his when he began working in television years later). He wrote for several American newspapers, including New York Daily News, People and Ladies' Home Journal, before launching GO Magazine in 1967 and then became show business editor of The Star.
Leach got his start in television as a regular contributor to AM Los Angeles, with Regis Philbin and Sarah Purcell on KABC-TV. Other television work includes reporting for People Tonight, on CNN and Entertainment Tonight and helping start Good Morning Australia, as well as the Food Network. Leach was also a guest at the World Wrestling Federation's WrestleMania IV, where he read the rules for the championship tournament. Leach hosted an exposé documentary of Madonna – Madonna Exposed – for the Fox network in March 1993. The documentary was a biography of Madonna, focusing on her career and publicity stunts. Before the documentary aired, he gave Madonna a cell phone number; he said that at any point during the airing Madonna could call Leach and argue any point. He also hosted the Lifestyles spinoffs Runaway with the Rich and Famous and Fame, Fortune and Romance, along with future Today Show host Matt Lauer. Leach hosted The Surreal Life: Fame Games on VH1 in 2007. He also served as the public address announcer for the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Starting in 1999, he resided in Las Vegas. He wrote for the Las Vegas Sun and the daily VegasDeluxe.com website from 2008 through June 2016, when he was hired by Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Leach appeared in the 2006 documentary film Maxed Out, which chronicled the rise of the credit card industry in the United States and the concurrent increased personal debt among working-class people. Leach remarked, "Nobody would watch Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown". The comment was highlighted by a review in The Baltimore Sun.
Leach died on 24 August 2018 at the age of 76 from complications of a stroke he had while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas on 21 November 2017. His death was announced through a family statement.
In popular culture
This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (August 2018)
Leach and Lifestyles has been referenced and parodied many times in music, TV and films.
- He is parodied in Ice Cube's skit song "Robin Lench" from the 1991 album Death Certificate.
- He is parodied by Dana Carvey on SNL's "Weekend Update" with Dennis Miller.
- He was parodied in the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Henny Youngman Day."
- He was referenced in the 2007 song "Glamorous" by Fergie featuring Ludacris. During his appearance in the song, Ludacris raps "Lifestyles so rich and famous, Robin Leach'll get jealous".
- He was also referenced in The Notorious B.I.G.'s 1994 single "Juicy".
- Good Charlotte has a song called "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" after Leach's show.
- "Robin Leach Biography (1941-)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
- Placido, Dani Di. "Robin Leach, Host of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,' Dies at 76". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-08-26.
- "GO Magazine". Musicradio 77 WABC. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
GO Magazine was a North America-wide free newspaper/magazine that was distributed between 1967 and 1969.
- "WWE comments on the death of WrestleMania IV celebrity guest Robin Leach", by Sean Rueter, Cageside Seats
- O'Connor, John J. (19 June 1986). "TV Reviews; 'Fame, Fortune and Romance,' A New Series on 7". The New York Times.
- Heffernan, Virginia (9 May 2003). "Matt Lauer Sees a Serious Place". Slate.
- Brooks, T.; Marsh, E.F. (2009). The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows, 1946-Present. Random House Publishing Group. p. 1338. ISBN 978-0-307-48320-1. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- "Las Vegas Review-Journal To Expand Focus On Celebrity, Entertainment News". Archived from the original on 19 September 2016. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- "Robin Leach's Las Vegas Celebrity Watch". Greenspun Interactive Media. Retrieved 19 December 2008.
- Weatherford, Mike (24 June 2016). "Robin Leach joining RJ to expand celebrity, lifestyle coverage". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
- Eileen Ambrose. "Movie about credit-card woes was to be a comedy". The Baltimore Sun.
- "Robin Leach, 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' Host, Dies at 76". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
- "RJ columnist Robin Leach recovering from mini-stroke". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
- "Dana Carvey as Robin Leach". Yahoo Screen. 4 September 2013. Archived from the original on 10 February 2015. Retrieved 22 May 2015.
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