Food Network star Bobby Rivers dies at 70

While his cause of death remains unknown, Rivers' sister, Betsy Rivers, confirmed Wednesday that "Bobby passed away last night and is no longer in any pain."

Celebrities are mourning the death of actor, radio personality and Food Network star Bobby Rivers, who died at age 70.

According to People, Milwaukee’s WISN 12 news station — where Rivers became the city’s first Black film critic on television in 1979 — initially reported news of his death.

Rivers also hosted Food Network’s “Top 5” and VH1’s celebrity talk show, “Watch Bobby Rivers.”

Bobby Rivers, an actor, radio personality and Food Network star, died this week at age 70. (Photo: Screenshot/ Rivers)

While his cause of death remains unknown, Rivers’ sister, Betsy Rivers, confirmed his death in a Facebook post on Wednesday, writing: “Bobby passed away last night and is no longer in any pain.”

Gino Salomone, a Fox 6 reporter and Milwaukee native, shared a heartfelt tribute to his late peer.

“Sorry to hear of the passing of #BobbyRivers,” Salomone posted on X. “His razor sharp wit and ability to come up with questions that celebrities had never heard before set him apart. One of the first African Americans to have his own show, Watch Bobby Rivers on VH1. He will be missed.”

The Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project, which interviewed Rivers this year, also shared a message on X thanking him for his contributions, posting, “We raise a martini to a pioneer who unapologetically broke all the rules — so that he (and we) could ALL #BeSeen.”

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Industry colleagues — including “Sex and the City” actor Mario Cantone and fellow television show hosts Katie Couric and Whoopi Goldberg — also shared tributes in Rivers’ honor. On Instagram, Goldberg shared a picture of the two smiling, stating that Rivers “brought SO much to the table,” People reported.

Turner Classic Movies remembered Rivers’ impact, referring to him as a “trailblazing television personality.” 

“An enthusiastic and knowledgeable film fan at heart,” the movie-oriented pay-TV network noted, “we will miss him sharing his love of the classics with the #TCMParty community and his thoughtful essays on his blog.” 

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