Taurean Blacque, Emmy-Nominated Actor Best Known for Playing Det. Neal Washington on “Hill Street Blues,” Dies at 82

Taurean Blacque (SPELLING ENTERTAINMENT/COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION)

Taurean Blacque, who portrayed the streetwise Det. Neal Washington on all seven seasons of the acclaimed NBC cop show Hill Street Blues, died Thursday in Atlanta following a brief illness, his family announced. He was 82.

From 1989-90, Blacque played Henry Marshall opposite Vivica A. Fox and others as an original castmember on the NBC daytime soap opera Generations, the first serial to include — from the start — a Black family as part of the main storyline. His character owned ice cream parlors in Chicago.

In 1982, Blacque received a supporting actor Emmy nomination for his work as the toothpick-dependent Washington on Hill Street but lost out to co-star Michael Conrad. Amazingly, the other three nominees — Charles Haid, Michael Warren and Bruce Weitz — also came from the 1981-87 series, created by Steven Bochco and Michael Kozoll.

Bochco and producer-director Gregory Hoblit chose Blacque to say “Previously on Hill Street Blues” over clips of the previous week’s show. “They liked my melodic voice,” he told The Guardian in 2016.

He played another cop, Det. Michael Wheeler, for two seasons on the 1996-97 WB drama Savannah.

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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter, Mike Barnes