Gil Hill, who starred with Eddie Murphy in the Beverly Hills Cop movies, but spent 40 years serving Detroit both a police officer and leader and then as City Council President, has died. He was 84.Hill died after being hospitalized for an undisclosed illness.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, quoted in the Detroit News, said Hill "never stopped believing in our city, and dedicated his life to making our city a better place for all. Our condolences go out to his family.”

Hill spent 30 years on the Detroit Police force, and then was elected to the Detroit City Council in 1989, and became leader in 1997. He ran for mayor but lost to Kwame Kilpatrick.

He achieved lasting international fame as Inspector Douglas Todd, the frustrated boss the Murphy's Axel Foley.

Talking about his acting career, in the Detroit News story, Hill said:

“I’ll be honest with you. If I had received a break like that in my 20s or 30s, I’d have been gone. No question about it, I’d have been gone,” Hill told The News. “Acting certainly has its rewards, and not just monetary. It’s your ego, your esteem. It’s just fabulous. The only thing I’d have worried about is to be sure I had the will to learn the craft.

“Actors work hard. It’s a tremendously difficult profession. But if you become proficient and you have a little star quality about you, then you can live like a king.”

A scene from the first Beverly Hills cop movie, featuring Hill with Murphy and a young Paul Reiser.

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