'Designing Women' Star Meshach Taylor Dies at 67
Emmy Award-winning actor Meshach Taylor, best known for his role as 'Anthony Bouvier' on TV's Designing Women, died on June 28th at the age of 67, according to the LA Times. His son told the site that Taylor was in hospice care at his family's home and surrounded by loved ones when he died at 10:47 p.m. According to his agent, Dede Binder, the cause of death was colorectal cancer.
Taylor's first professional job was in a national tour of Hair. He honed his craft in repertory theater as a member of Chicago's Goodman Theatre, and the Organic Theater Company alongside Joe Mantegna, André DeShields, Dennis Franz, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Wallace, and director Stuart Gordon. While in Chicago, he appeared in David Rabe's Streamers, Native Son (1979 Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play), The Island and Athol Fugard's Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, for which he garnered the 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play.
He received an Emmy Award for his role as Jim in the WTTW production of Huckleberry Finn and hosted the Chicago television show Black Life. In 1998, Taylor made his Broadway debut as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, where he starred alongside Toni Braxton. In September, 2012, he appeared in "Year of the Rabbit" at Ensemble Studio Theater-LA as Vietnam veteran JC Bridges.
In 1978, Taylor moved to Los Angeles, where he has crafted a gallery of memorable characters in film and on television, including his Emmy nominated turn in the CBS sitcom Designing Women as Anthony Bouvier, the assistant at the fictitious Sugarbaker interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia, starring Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts, and Jean Smart. In 1989, he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. In May 1981, the ninth season of M*A*S*H, Taylor was seen as a corpsman in the final episode, "The Life You Save". From 1993 to 1997, he was a series regular as plastic surgeon Sheldon Baylor on Dave's World (CBS), and had a recurring role as Alastair Wright, the history teacher turned school principal, on Nickelodeon's sitcom, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide (2004-07) and Buffalo Bill (NBC) with Dabney Coleman.