The VH1 Food Network host VJ has died at the age of 70

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Bobby Rivers, actor, Food Network television host, revered film critic, radio personality and “black gay pioneer,” has died. He was 70 years old.

Wesen 12 In Milwaukee, where Rivers earned the distinction of being the city's first black film critic on television in 1979, his death was announced Wednesday.

The ad praised the Marquette University graduate for contributing “parts to the nationally syndicated PM magazine, which he said helped Milwaukee move beyond stereotypes.”

His sister, Betsy Rivers, later confirmed his death Facebook.

“Bobby passed away last night and is no longer in any pain,” she wrote on Wednesday.

Actor, television host, film critic and radio personality Bobby Rivers has died at the age of 70. Getty Images

The cause of death was not announced.

The Post has reached out to Rivers' representatives for comment.

He was heralded as “Milwaukee's Black Queer Media Pioneer” by a Wisconsin LGBTQ news outlet Our lives wisconsin, Rivers worked as a VJ on VH1 in 1985 alongside Rosie O'Donnell. In 1988, he went on to host his own celebrity talk show on the cable music channel, “Watch Bobby RiversHe later hosted the late-night dating show “Bedroom Buddies.”

During his illustrious career, Rivers has interviewed such notable Hollywood figures as Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, Meryl Streep, RuPaul, Paul McCartney and Sally Field. VH1

In the early 2000s, Rivers hosted the short-lived Food Network series “Top 5.”

But fame was not without its drawbacks, and Rivers often received racist and homophobic attacks.

“No one really knew this, but I got a lot of hate mail,” Rivers said in a July 2023 interview. Our lives wisconsin. “Letters with no return address. Letters with swastikas on them. I didn't get letters when I was watching TV, but I did get voicemails.”

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Rivers earned the distinction of being the city's first black film critic on television in 1979. Bobby Rivers TV/Facebook

“After all these years of working hard, taking care of my family, making the black and gay communities proud of me, and being romantically exhausted by this solo work, I've also had to deal with homophobic comments,” he added. “I had a great friend who came out with me, and while we were seeing Bruce Springsteen in Alpine Valley, someone shouted ‘Bobby Rivers, what are you doing with a woman.’ It was relentless.”

During his illustrious career, while working in the entertainment news departments of “Weekend Today” and “Good Day New York,” he interviewed such Hollywood luminaries as Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, Meryl Streep, RuPaul, Paul McCartney and Sally Field.

Rivers has also worked as an actress, playing a news reporter in the first and third seasons of The Sopranos and as Chris Burley in the first season of the CBS series The Equalizer opposite Queen Latifah.

Actress Nancy Giles and television personality Bobbi Rivers attend the 59th Annual Writers Guild of America East Awards at the Hudson Theater on February 11, 2007 in New York City. Getty Images

After his death, Goldberg (68 years old) wrote a tribute to her fellow TV presenter.

“We all applaud this pioneer Bobby Rivers,” the “Show” co-host wrote. Instagram Next to a picture of the husband smiling. “He brought a lot to the table. Rest in peace Bobby.”

Katie Couric (66 years old) also mourned Rivers On X (formerly known as Twitter), writes: “I'm so sad to hear this. Bobby was a wonderful, warm, funny and wonderfully intelligent man.

Whoopi Goldberg wrote a tribute to her fellow TV presenter. “We all applaud this trailblazer Bobby Rivers,” the “Show” co-host wrote on Instagram. “He brought a lot to the table. Rest in peace Bobby.” @whoopigoldberg/Instagram

Meanwhile, 'And Just Like That' star Mario Cantone posted a black and white photo on… X From the journalist. “Rest in peace Bobby. You were a wonderful, supportive, intelligent and insightful man. We will miss you.”

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Turner Classic Movies also remembered Rivers' contributions to the entertainment industry.

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of pioneering television personality Bobby Rivers,” the network wrote on X's website. “Avid film fans and knowledgeable people at heart, we will miss him sharing his love of the classics with #TCMParty The community and his thoughtful articles on his blog.




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