Not one television program captured the '80s obsession with fame better than Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous. Brit-born host Robin Leach, who possesses possibly the greatest voice in television history, was America's tour guide through the lives (and homes) of some quintessentially '80s characters. Needless to say, not all of them retained their fame in the intervening decades. The king of crass, director John Waters (above, in his Baltimore living room), has done pretty well for himself. Randy Miller, president of now-defunct New York Original Seltzer, not so much, but that doesn't mean his exploits were any less outrageous (pet tiger anyone?). Ever heard of country star Conway Twitty? Days of Our Lives regular Leanne Hunley? Well, you have now, 'cause their Lifestyles bits are after the jump, too. So come, relive the most regretted decade with us.
? Country crooner Conway Twitty built a nine acre temple to himself, and then decided to live smack dab in the middle of it. So much for trying to escape the pressure of paparazzi. By the time this episode aired, almost a million people had passed through the gates of Twitty City. In this clip, T-shirt and short shorts wearing Twitty takes viewers on a tour of his multimillion-dollar compound. Love '80s attempts at brick colonials? Then you'll love Twitty City.
? On this special "vacations" episode from 1988, soap star Leanne Hunley lets the cameras in on one of her very favorite escapes, Bali. But things really heat up when it's revealed that President and Mrs. Reagan "rested their Heads of State" behind bulletproof glass one floor below. A reminder that after a few years, even luxurious presidential vacation spots start to look like a tired Holiday Inn.
? Things get a but more intimate—and creepy—at the Baltimore home of John Waters, where macabre collections such as a soil sample from the home of serial killer John Wayne Gacy mingle with rubber faux food and dolls of the director himelf. Maybe that's a little too intimate, Waters. Still, somehow the ever-shocking artiste is looking a little, well, normal in this company.
? And now, the moment you've all been waiting for, the big reveal of the greatest character ever to appear on Lifestyles. Yes, that's right, it's corporate stooge Randy Miller. Back when Original New York Seltzer was doing $100M in annual sales, wild child Randy was living it up in the most outrageous fashion. Not content with just one pet Bengal tiger, Miller outfitted his Hollywood Hills home with a jungle cat enclosure and $25K scratching post. But that doesn't mean they're cooped up. In fact, the tiger and puma-looking-beast were free to roam the entire house. Trick-or-treat sure was fun in the Hollywood Hills that year. But Miller was nothing if not dedicated. When Original New York Seltzer imploded, he became an exotic animal trainer and handler, and later appeared as Russell Crowe's stuntman in Gladiator. Today, he runs the Hollywood animal-handling company Predators in Action.
· Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous [IMDb]
· Conway Twitty - Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous - Twitty City [YouTube]
· Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous - Leann Hunley in exotic Bali (1988) [YouTube]
· John Waters - Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous [YouTube]
· Original New York Seltzer On Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous [YouTube]
· Predators in Action [official site]