Whoopi Goldberg, co-host of “The View,” honored Rivers as a pioneer.
Rivers, Milwaukee’s first Black film critic with a regular television presence, achieved widespread recognition through hosting gigs on networks like Food Network and VH1. He also hosted his own talk show, Watch Bobby Rivers.
Rivers’ death was confirmed by WISN on Dec. 26 and on Facebook by his sister, Betsy. The news prompted an outpouring of condolences from friends, colleagues, and admirers across social media.
Whoopi Goldberg shared a throwback photo on Instagram with the comment, “All hail this pioneer Bobby Rivers… He brought SO much to the table. R I P Bobby.”
Veteran journalist Katie Couric expressed her sadness on Twitter, describing Rivers as a “terrific guy” who was warm, funny, and smart. Mario Cantone of Sex and the City also paid tribute, calling Rivers a “wonderful, supportive, intelligent, insightful man.”
Michael Musto, the legendary Village Voice columnist, acknowledged Rivers’ LGBTQ trailblazer status, emphasizing his humor, knowledge, and groundbreaking contributions. Film critic Stephen Witty, formerly of The Star-Ledger, highlighted Rivers’ advocacy for diversity, particularly in the classic film world. “I miss him already,” he said.
And Turner Classic Movies expressed its condolences.
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. pic.twitter.com/Y3FcnvXfF1— TCM (@tcm) December 27, 2023
His career continued to ascend on VH1, where he hosted Watch Bobby Rivers in 1988, providing a platform to interview music and film luminaries. He also worked as a music video veejay with Rosie O’Donnell, worked as an entertainment reporter, and hosted Food Network’s Top 5.
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Source: Black Enterprise