New Jersey ‘Hill Street Blues’ star, adoption advocate is dead at 82
Taurean Blacque, best known for his role as Detective Neil Washington on the 80’s TV drama “Hill Street Blues” has passed away at the age of 82.
Taurean Blacque was born in Newark, New Jersey, and before becoming a TV actor, Taurean was involved in off-Broadway theater in New York City.
He had appearances on TV shows "Good Times," "Sanford & Son," "The Bob Newhart Show" and "Taxi," to name a few, but his career grew when in 1981 he joined the cast of "Hill Street Blues." He was nominated for an Emmy award for his best supporting performance on the show, only losing the award to fellow actor Michael Conrad.
Taurean continued with his theatrical career but in 1987 after "Hill Street Blues" he moved to Atlanta to provide a better life for his family.
His best role may have been away from the screen and stage as he served as spokesperson for national adoption. Before leaving Los Angeles for Atlanta Taurean was asked to be a spokesperson for L.A. County adoption although he didn’t have any adopted children of his own.
Through his work on adoption, he wanted to adopt his own children and was denied because he was a single man. After pressing further he was partially responsible for changing the practice and he went on to adopt 10 children to add to his family of two biological sons of his own that he had from a brief marriage in the late '60s.
He was so successful that in 1989, President George Bush asked him to be the national spokesperson for adoption.
According to his family, Taurean passed away after a brief undisclosed illness and left a remarkable family of 12 children, 18 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.