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Taurean Blacque, best-known for his role as “Detective Sgt. Neal Washington” on NBC’s 1980s drama series “Hill Street Blues,” has died at the age of 82. The Emmy-nominated actor’s family announced he passed away in Atlanta, Georgia after a brief illness on July 21, 2022.
He was born on May 10, 1940, in Newark, New Jersey with the name Herbert Middleton Jr. He chose the name Taurean because he’s a Taurus and Blacque because of his race. He was a deeply spiritual man who was the father to two biological sons and 11 adopted children.
Blacque’s career began at the Negro Ensemble Company in New York. The lessons he learned at the institute became the stepping stones to securing guest roles on TV series like “The Bob New Hart Show,” “Sanford and Son,” “Good Times,” “What’s Happening,” and “Taxi.”
He played the streetwise detective on “Hill Street Blues” from 1981 to 1987. His role earned him an Emmy nomination for best supporting actor in a drama series his first year of the show.
After the show ended, he moved to Atlanta so he could provide a better home for his children. Once there he began to focus on his theatrical work while making occasional guest appearances on television, according to IMDb.
He starred alongside Vivica Fox on the NBC soap opera “Generations.” This show touched on the integration of two families; one Black and the other white.
Blacque also starred in several plays like “The Amen Corner” and “Jitney.”
In 1989, President George H. W. Bush asked him to serve as a national spokesman for adoption. His Christian faith influenced his desire to be involved with adoption.
Blacque is survived by his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and his close friends. May he rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
ABC: Taurean Blacque, actor on ‘Hill Street Blues,’ dead at 82
IMDb: Taurean Blacque