Fans of the mega-popular 80s TV series Hill Street Blues woke up to devastating news this week as it was announced that the show’s star, Taurean Blacque, has died at 82.
Blacque was most well known for his role as Det. Neal Washington on the hit show.
In a statement issued through the Associated Press, Blacque’s family formally announced the actor’s death.
In the statement, his family stated that he passed as a result of a short illness.
“Born Herbert Middleton, Jr. in Newark, N.J. on May 10, 1940, Blacque went on to change his name as a reflection of his zodiac sign, Taurus, and his race,” EW wrote of the late star.
The outlet added: “After training at New York’s New Federal Theater, the actor guest starred on several hit ’70s TV shows, including The Bob Newhart Show, Sanford and Son, Charlie’s Angels, and Taxi. In 1979 he appeared as a lawyer in Rocky II.”
But Hill Street Blues is where Blacque rocketed in fame, landing a huge role as a police detective. Blacque would go on to play that role in a staggering 144 episodes.
EW added of the show’s impressive run: “In its debut season, Hill Street Blues was nominated for 21 Emmys, winning a then-record eight. The following year, Blacque was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama, a category that the procedural exclusively dominated, thus he lost to his co-star Michael Conrad.”
Tributes pour in
Given his massive success in the 80s TV show era, Blacque was well-respected within the industry.
So sorry to hear of my dear friend Taurean Blacque making his transition. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. Rest In Peace my dear friend. 🙏💕 pic.twitter.com/SMLqKhZUVu
— Dionne Warwick (@dionnewarwick) July 23, 2022
In Memoriam of Taurean Blacque, can we talk about the most underrated show ever? pic.twitter.com/IqcY5HL8It
— Reds ‘Sporto’ Bergamo (@DiabeticJew) July 22, 2022
The legendary actor “is survived by 12 children, 18 grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.”