Star of Hill Street Blues and Generations, Taurean Blacque, has passed away. He had reached the age of 82 at the time of his death. In a statement to Deadline, Blacque’s family revealed that he died on Thursday in Atlanta after a brief illness. As Detective Neal Washington on NBC’s acclaimed detective show Hill Street Blues, Blacque is best known for his streetwise, no-nonsense persona. He was nominated for an Emmy in 1982 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his performance.
According to The Guardian, series creator Steven Bochco and producer/director Gregory Hoblit selected the actor to say “Previously on Hill Street Blues” over clips from the prior week’s broadcast. In 2016, Blacque told the magazine, “They appreciated my melodious voice,” referring to the likes of Bochco and Hoblit. Also, in the original cast of Generations, which was the first daytime soap opera to feature a Black family in its core plotline from the beginning, he starred with Vivica A. Fox.
According to THR, Blacque began his acting career at New York City’s Negro Ensemble Company, where he appeared in plays like Orrin and Welcome to Black River. Also, he appeared in the Off-Broadway production of So Nice. They Doubled the Name. The actor explained to Playboy magazine how he came up with his stage name “My ancestry is black, and my zodiac sign is Taurus, which is spelt Q-U-E. I came to the conclusion that I needed a name change that I could identify with. It’s eye-catching on a billboard and never fails to catch the eye of casting directors.”
In 1976, he appeared in a What’s Happening! Programme. After that, he starred in shows like Sanford and Son, The Tony Randall Show, Charlie’s Angels, Good Times, The Bob Newhart Show, Taxi, and Dream On as a guest star. He also acted in a few movies. He has appeared in Rocky II, House Calls, and Oliver & Company, among other films. He also appeared as Detective Michael Wheeler on WB’s Savannah, a limited-run drama aired in 1996 and 1997 for only two seasons.
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According to THR, President George H.W. Bush requested Blacque to act as a national ambassador for adoption in 1989, in addition to his work with the Atlanta Black Theater Company and the North Carolina Black Theater Festival. Additionally, he served as an advocate for adoption services in Los Angeles County. ” There are 12 surviving children, 18 grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren for Blacque.