Champagne Wishes And Caviar Dreams To Robin Leach On His Passing

Television host Robin Leach and actor Dennis Hopper arrive at a CineVegas event on June 16, 2006 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for CineVegas)

Robin Leach, the host of "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," has died at the age of 76. Leach had reportedly suffered a stroke and been hospitalized since November.

Before there was "Cribs" there was "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous," a reality show that let rest of us gape in envy and awe at how the 1% lived. It was the 1980s, an era of large shoulder pads and conspicuous consumption.

"Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" debuted in 1984 and featured the mansions, yachts, resorts, wine cellars, luxury autos, penthouses, polo ponies, trophy rooms, jai alai fields and private islands of the well... rich and famous.

Its host, the suave Robin Leach, "circled the globe to uncover the stories America will never stop talking about." Leach ended every episode with the signoff, "Champagne wishes and caviar dreams" in his plummy British accent.

Born in London in 1941, Leach began his career in journalism as a teenager and at age 18 became the Daily Mail's youngest Page One editor, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. In 1963, he moved to New York where he wrote about arts and entertainment for various outlets. He landed on television in 1980, joining CNN's "People Tonight" show. He became a household name when "Lifestyles" launched a few years later.

The show aired in syndication for more than a decade and featured celebrities such as Tammy Wynette, Tony Danza, Tyra Banks, Patrick Swayze, Sophia Loren, Estelle Getty and Ivana Trump — to name just a few.

Robin Leach and Ivana Trump party at a Rita Hayworth Gala Benefit. (George De Sota/Getty Images)

Leach helped launch the TV show "Entertainment Tonight" and later the Food Network. Since 1999, he had lived in Las Vegas where he chronicled celebrity events and the high-end dining scene.


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