Robin Leach, 76, 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous' Host, Dies

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Robin Leach, 76, ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ Host, Dies

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Robin Leach in Las Vegas in 2014. With his distinctive, British-accented voice and exuberant, exclamation-point delivery, he was widely recognized and just as widely parodied.CreditCreditAlex Federowicz for The New York Times

Robin Leach, who became a symbol of unapologetic opulence as host of the popular syndicated television show “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” in the 1980s and ’90s, died on Friday in Las Vegas. He was 76.

John Katsilometes, a columnist at The Las Vegas Review-Journal, where Mr. Leach was also a columnist, announced the death on Twitter. He said Mr. Leach had had a stroke in November and another on Monday.

With his distinctive, British-accented voice and exuberant, exclamation-point delivery, Mr. Leach was widely recognized and just as widely parodied during the initial run of the show, from 1984 to 1995, and long after. But he rebelled at the perception that he himself was as rich as the people whose lavish homes and lives he was bringing to his audiences.

“Everyone thinks I make what Oprah does, or Cosby,” he told The New York Times in 1990, “but I don’t, because we’re in syndication.”

“Lifestyles” seemed omnipresent on television for years, on at all hours of the day or night on one station or another. The show featured celebrities, business moguls and others with extreme wealth, and its success resulted in spinoff shows like “Runaway With the Rich and Famous.”

Mr. Leach was often criticized, especially during economic downturns, for glorifying extravagance and serving up softball questions to his interview subjects. But he was unapologetic.

“Everybody makes a mistake thinking America resents wealth and resents what I’m doing,” he told The Boston Globe in 1987. He viewed the show as embodying the values of a capitalist society.

“No one would watch ‘Lifestyles of the Poor and Unknown,’ ” he said.

A full obituary will appear shortly.

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