Actor Taurean Blacque of ‘Hill Street Blues’ dies at 82

Fox News reports that Taurean Blacque, the actor best known for his role in Hill Street Blues, has died at the age of 82. 

Blacques’ family informed Deadline that the actor passed away on Thursday.

According to the outlet, only two details about Blacque’s passing were provided, namely that it occurred in Atlanta, Georgia, and that it followed a “brief illness.”

No further information, however, was provided about that “brief illness.”

Remembering Blacque

His birth name was not Taurean Blacque. Rather, he was born Herbert Middleton Jr., from Newark New Jersey. The name change was for show business, and it was based on his “Taurus” zodiac sign.

Blacque would go on to study acting in New York at the Negro Ensemble Company, and it was from there that he would go on to land a number of roles in television series. Those series included Taxi, Good Times, What’s Happening!!, Standford and Son, and many others.

The role for which Blacque is most well-known, however, is that of Detective Neal Washington on the 80s’ television series Hill Street Blues. In the series, Washington becomes a police officer after suffering a career-ending injury as a football player.

Blacque portrayed Washington from 1981-1987, which was the duration of the series. He earned an Emmy nomination for it in 1981.

Blacque would go on to have other successes, including a role on NBC’s soap opera Generations, which, according to the New York Post, “looked at the union of two families — one black and the other white.” In the soap opera, Blacque, alongside Vivica A. Fox, played Henry Marshall from 1989 to 1991, which was for more than 100 episodes.

A family man

Besides his acting, Blacque is also remembered as being a family man. He had two biological sons, and he ended up adopting 11 children.

Recognizing this, President George H.W. Bush asked Blacque to be the national delegate for adoption in 1989. Blacque also was a spokesperson for Los Angeles, California, for its adoption service.

Blacque is survived by his large family, which includes 12 children, 18 grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

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