29 August 1941
|Died||24 August 2018 (aged 76)|
|Resting place||Palm Memorial Park, Las Vegas, NV|
|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 has often been 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.
Leach and Lifestyles has been referenced and parodied many times in music, TV and films.
GO Magazine was a North America-wide free newspaper/magazine that was distributed between 1967 and 1969.