Emmy-Nominated ‘Hill Street Blues’ Actor Taurean Blacque Dead At 82


Taurean Blacque was born in Newark, New Jersey, in 1940. Throughout his life, he made a name for himself on stage, on screen and as a spokesperson promoting adoption. On July 21, 2022, he passed away at the age of 82. His family didn’t provide a specific cause of death. They only revealed that he died after a brief illness.

Blacque began his acting career by training at the New Federal Theatre in New York City. this theater, where Blacque also performed, was specifically created to help women and minorities.

After performing on stage, Blacque eventually transitioned to a TV actor, but he never completely stopped performing on stage. In fact, he went back to stage acting at the end of his career.

Blacque’s TV credits include “Sanford and Son,” “The Bob Newhart Show,” “Good Times,” “Taxi,” “The Love Boat,” “Growing Pains,” “Generations,” “Savannah” and “Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.” The role he is best known for is that of Detective Neal Washington on the series “Hill Street Blues.” He acted on the show throughout the entire series from 1981 through 1987, all 144 episodes. Blacque was nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama series in 1981 for his role on “Hill Street Blues.”

After “Hill Street Blues” ended, Blacque and his family relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. He thought this would be a better place for his children to grow up. Blacuqe had two biological children and adopted 11 more children. In 1989, President George H.W. Bush asked Blacque to become a national spokesperson for adoption. He was a Christian, and his faith was one reason he was inspired to adopt and to promote adoption.

After moving to Atlanta, Blacque continued to accept guest star roles in TV shows and movies, but he also returned to acting on stage. His most notable theatrical performances in Atlanta include playing James Baldwin in “The Amen Corner,” and Shealy in the play “Jitney.”

Blacque changed his name from his birth name. His birth name was Herbert Middleton Jr. He chose the name Taurean after his astrological sign, Taurus. He chose Blacque in honor of his race.

The family did not release funeral information. He is survived by 12 children, 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.