Emmy-nominated ‘Hill Street Blues’ actor Taurean Blacque dead at 82

Taurean Blacque, who was best known for his role as Det. Neal Washington on the series “Hill Street Blues,” has died.

He was 82.

His family announced he passed away in Atlanta following a brief illness on Thursday, Deadline reported.

His immediate cause of death has yet to be determined.

Blacque starred in the hit NBC police drama for its entire run between 1981 to 1987.

He also scored an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in a drama series in 1981.

The Newark, New Jersey native was born Herbert Middleton Jr. and started his film career at New York’s Negro Ensemble Company.

Blacque later changed his name for show business to reflect his zodiac sign, Taurus.

Bruce Weitz as Det. Mick Belker and Taurean Blacque as Det. Neal Washington in an episode of NBC’s “Hill Street Blues.”
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

Blacque made guest appearances on other iconic TV shows such as “Sanford and Son,” “What’s Happening,” “Good Times,” “Taxi” and “The Bob Newhart Show.”

He also worked on the popular series “Charlie’s Angels” and “Savannah” as well as 1979’s “Rocky II.”

Blacque starred with Vivica A. Fox on the 1989 NBC soap opera “Generations.” The project looked at the union of two families – one black and the other white.

Blacque earned an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in a drama series in 1981.
NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

He later frequented and became active in the Atlanta Black Theater Company and the Black Theater Festival in North Carolina. 

Blacque had two biological sons and adopted 11 children. He was also the spokesperson for the county of Los Angeles Adoption Service. 

Former president George H.W. Bush commissioned him in 1989 to become the national delegate for adoption.

The actor was survived by 12 children, 18 grandchildren as well as two great-great-grandchildren.