Robin Leach, a journalist best known for being the host of “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” died Thursday night, according to Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes. He was 76.
Leach had been hospitalized since mid-November after suffering a stroke in Cabo San Lucas.
"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.," Leach's family told Katsilometes in a statement. "Everyone’s support and love over the past, almost one year, has been incredible and we are so grateful. Memorial arrangements to follow. With love, Steven, Gregg and Rick Leach."
Leach, who lovingly signed off each episode of his show with his signature catchphrase of "Champagne wishes and caviar dreams," died just days before of what would have been his 77 birthday.
The famed journalist moved to Las Vegas in the late '90s and spent two decades there covering celebrity events for multiple outlets.
“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.”
The British-born personality worked for various publications like People magazine, The New York Daily News and The Daily Mail before landing his big break in 1984 with "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous."
The syndicated show ran from 1984 to 1995.
“The more eye-popping and outrageous, the better,” Leach told Askmen.com of his show. “We wanted to make your mouth drop. That was the main effect. One picture was worth a thousand words, so if you had more pictures, the less you would have to say.”
Leach always insisted his outrageous persona was strictly for business, saying he was actually very down to earth.
"The cartoon character, that’s not who Robin Leach is,” he told the New York Times in 1990. “And when I wake up in the morning, I wink at myself because I like me — I know who I am. And when it’s time to send the cartoon character off, I just send him on his way."