'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' host Robin Leach dead at 76

Robin Leach, the celebrity journalist best known for hosting the glitzy TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was less than a week away from his 77th birthday.

Leach had been hospitalized since November 2017 after suffering a stroke in Cabo San Lucas. On Monday, he had another stroke while in hospice care in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the publication Leach had been working for as a columnist since 2016.

TV personality Robin Leach during the 2015 Billboard Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (Photo: Bryan Steffy/BMA2015/Getty Images for dcp)

In a statement, Leach family members said, “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.”

Several of his celebrity friends also paid tribute to Leach.

The London-born entertainment journalist started his career at 15 years old, writing for a local newspaper before moving to the Daily Mail, where at age 18 he became the publication’s youngest Page One editor. He moved to the U.S. in 1963 and worked for the New York Daily News, Ladies Home Journal, and People, eventually helping launch the syndicated celebrity news show Entertainment Tonight.

He got his big break in 1984 as host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, which ran for a decade. Leach gave viewers a glimpse into the extravagant lifestyles of movie stars, athletes, and business moguls, signing off each episode with his catchphrase, “Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.”

Here’s hoping he’s enjoying a little of both, wherever he is.

Watch Dana Carvey impersonate Robin Leach on SNL:

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