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 December 30, 2023

Television host and film critic Bobby Rivers loses battle against cancer at 70

Television host and film critic Bobby Rivers passed away on Tuesday at the age of 70 according to a Facebook post by his sister.

Betsy Rivers announced Bobby Rivers's death in a post on Facebook that read, "Bobby passed away last night and is no longer in any pain. His cancer had spread to his lungs, and he suffered a few mini strokes, according to the MRI."

That post has since been made private and little else has emerged from Rivers's family.

Rivers was clearly in a significant amount of pain and discomfort from his cancer battle and while his passing is sad, it seems that his family was prepared for this outcome.

Rivers was beloved by both fans and those in Television and it didn't take long for the tributes to come out.

Industry Trailblazer

Rivers was a trailblazer and was the first Black film critic to make it on Television in 1979.

Rivers also was a successful host and hosted shows on the Food Network and VH1, including his talk show, “Watch Bobby Rivers.” Rivers was also a contributor for the nationally syndicated PM Magazine.

He even had a selection of acting credits with appearances on shows like "The Equalizer" and "The Sopranos."

By all accounts Rivers was a trailblazer as well as an all-around well rounded entertainer.

His impact in the industry was widespread and he was connected to many major figures. So it wasn't surprising to see an immediate flood of support and well-wishes.

Outpouring of tributes

Upon learning of his death, Whoopi Goldberg took to Instagram to post a picture of her with Rivers saying, "All hail this pioneer Bobby Rivers … He brought SO much to the table. R I P Bobby."

Katie Couric took to X to say, "I am so sad to hear this. Bobby was a terrific guy and wonderfully warm, funny and smart."

Turner Classic Movies issued a statement on behalf of the network saying, "We are saddened to hear about the passing of trailblazing television personality Bobby Rivers. An enthusiastic and knowledgeable film fan at heart, we will miss him sharing his love of the classics with the #TCMParty community and his thoughtful essays on his blog."

While he may be gone, his memory will live on in the lives he touched over the course of his successful career.

Written By:
Robert Hoel

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