Robin Leach, the host of the syndicated celebrity profile show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, has died, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, where Leach worked, first reported. He was 76. He had reportedly been hospitalized since November after suffering a stroke.
"Sad to report the death of famed celeb reporter, friend and colleague #RobinLeach @ 1:50 a.m. in #LasVegas," tweeted John Katsilometes, a columnist at the Review-Journal. "He would have been 77 Wednesday. He suffered a second stroke Monday. He was in hospice care. He'd been hospitalized since Nov. 21, after suffering a stroke in Cabo San Lucas."
Leach was best known as the host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which celebrated the opulent homes and travel destinations of celebrities and businesspeople. It ran from 1984 to 1995 and introduced his catchphrase "champagne wishes and caviar dreams" into the lexicon and was an early, influential entry in the reality TV genre.
Leach was born on August 29, 1941 in London. He moved to New York in 1963 and wrote for publications including the New York Daily News and People, for which he wrote the first 11 cover stories, before moving to Los Angeles and getting his start as a TV contributor. He helped start Entertainment Tonight in the early '80s and was a correspondent there until he left to create Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Later on, he was the host of 2007's The Surreal Life: Fame Games, and appeared as himself on well over a hundred shows, both nonfiction and scripted. His most recent appearance was on the sitcom Great News, playing a fictionalized version of himself. He moved to Las Vegas in 1999 and returned to events-about-town reporting.
He is survived by three sons, Steven, Gregg and Rick.