Beverly Hills Cop Actor Gil Hill Dies at 84: A Detective on the Big Screen, and in Real Life

Gil Hill, Beverly Hills Cop Actor, Dies at 84
Gil Hill
Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

03/01/2016 AT 09:55 AM EST

Gil Hill, a real-life police detective who starred in all three Beverly Hills Cop films as Inspector Douglas Todd, Eddie Murphy's character's boss, died at age 84 on Monday.

Hill was admitted to DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital in northwest Detroit on Feb. 17 with pneumonia, Deadline Detroit reports. He was listed in critical condition and died at the hospital around 4:40 p.m. on Monday, a friend tells the media outlet. Hill had previously undergone treatment for a lung condition.

"We are relieved that his passing was peaceful and painless," a family member told Deadline Detroit. "We ask that you pray for the family and respect our privacy during this very difficult time."

Hill, who was a Detroit police officer before he went to Hollywood, won his role in 1984's Beverly Hills Cop when he was tasked with showing director Martin Brest around the city during Brest's location-scouting trip.

"I thought, 'Holy smoke, there could be something here,' " Brest told PEOPLE in a 1985 interview about casting Hill. "After only one or two tries, his natural nervousness faded and we started improvising. Not only was he able to put out a lot of hot-tempered emotion but, in a subtle way, convey an underlying love, the kind a father would have for a son. That's difficult for a professional actor, and the fact that Gil was doing it just blew my mind."

Hill, a Birmingham, Alabama, native, did not pursue an acting career after starring in the Beverly Hills Cop films, but eventually became head of the homicide division of the Detroit Police Department. He was elected to the city council in 1989 and became city council president in the following election. He also made an unsuccessful run for mayor in 2001.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan offered his sympathy to Hill's family, Deadline Detroit reports.

"Gil Hill spent more than 40 years serving our city in the Detroit Police Department and as a member of the Detroit City Council. He never stopped believing in our city and dedicated his life to making our city a better place for all," Duggan said. "Our condolences go out to his family."

Hill, who was married to Delores Hooks until her 2015 death, is survived by his three children, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
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