Deadline's Dave Robb, famed Hollywood labor reporter, dead at 74

 December 10, 2023

Deadline lost one of its iconic reporters known as the "dean of Hollywood labor." 

According to Deadline, reporter Dave Robb died at age 74. The outlet noted that he was recently diagnosed with "inoperable cancer of the brain stem."

Robb reportedly died peacefully, with his wife next to him, at his Los Angeles home on Friday night.

The popular reporter had entered hospice care just before Thanksgiving, according to the report.

An iconic journalist

Deadline paid tribute to Robb, noting his vast number of investigative accomplishments during his 45 years of reporting, especially on the Hollywood labor front.

Deadline's Michael Fleming wrote:

I always called Dave Deadline’s cage fighter because if there was a wrong to be righted, he was the first man in the ring. Along with his unparalleled knowledge of the Hollywood labor game honed from 45 years writing about it from Los Angeles, Dave would often surprise us with investigative stories on myriad topics that we found about only when he turned them in.

Fleming went over some of the hard-hitting stories Robb penned during his career, which often were topics of great controversy.

"Those pieces had a common theme: rooting out wrongdoing. Dave kept our lawyers busy, but I believe we published every one of those that he investigated and filed," Fleming wrote.

Robb previously wrote for the Hollywood Reporter -- five times. That's because he would resign each time the outlet wouldn't publish one of his more provocative pieces. He wrote for several other outlets before Deadline.

He served a stint at Variety, wrote investigative books, and wrote for the New York Times, Associated Press, LA WeeklyLos Angeles Daily NewsSpy magazine and The Nation.

Tributes pour in

Given his contributions on the Hollywood labor beat, Robb was remembered by many across social media when news of his passing was released to the public.

"RIP Dave Robb. Thank you for your dedication to covering writers and labor. We will miss you," wrote the Writer's Guild of America East. 

"May Dave rest in eternal peace," another X user wrote

Before he passed, Robb said he was at peace with his diagnosis, according to Fleming:

“As strange as it might sound, these weeks have been some of the happiest and most meaningful of my life,” Dave told me. “There has been no pain, and no fear. I’ve accepted it and I’m at peace. I’m filled with gratitude at the love pouring in, and out of myself. It has been remarkable.”

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