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Taurean Blacque, Hill Street Blues star, dead at 82

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Taurean Blacque, best known for his role on Hill Street Blues, has died. He was 82.

Blacque died Thursday in Atlanta, Georgia, following a brief illness. His death was confirmed by his family in a statement to Deadline.

Blacque — born Herbert Middleton Jr. — began his acting career on stage in New York City at the New Federal Theatre.

After several years on the stage, he began his career on TV, booking roles in classic shows such as Sanford and Son, What’s Happening, The Bob Newhart Show, The Tony Randall Show, Taxi and Good Times, among many others.

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In 1981, Blacque was cast to play Detective Neal Washington on the acclaimed cop drama Hill Street Blues, and stayed on the show throughout it’s run, until it’s conclusion in 1987. During his time on the show, he was nominated for two Emmy Awards.

Blacque remained active on TV and on the stage, performing theater in Atlanta. In 1999, he was again cast to play a cop, Detective Wheeler, on the short-lived primetime soap opera Savannah.

Apart from his passion for performing, Blacque was also a champion of adoption, and was tasked by President George H.W. Bush to serve as a national spokesperson for adoption. Apart from his two biological sons, Blacque was the adoptive father to 11 other children.

He is survived by 12 children, 18 grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

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