'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.
Other appearances include: The Unit (CBS), Jessie (TV series)(Disney Channel), Hannah Montana (Disney Channel) as a fashion designer, All of Us as Neesee's father, The Drew Carey Show (ABC), Static Shock (Kids WB!), Caroline in the City (NBC), Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (Nickelodeon), Women of the House (CBS), In the Heat of the Night (NBC), Punky Brewster (NBC), What's Happening Now!, Hill Street Blues (NBC), ALF (NBC), Melba (CBS),The Golden Girls (NBC), Cagney & Lacey (CBS), Barney Miller (ABC), Lou Grant (CBS), The White Shadow (CBS), The Incredible Hulk (CBS), andBarnaby Jones(CBS). His made-for-TV movies include The Right Connections with MC Hammer, Sidney Sheldon's Nothing Lasts Forever with Brooke Shields, Virtual Seduction, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child and Double, Double, Toil and Trouble with the Olsen Twins.
In 1996, Taylor hosted his own series on HGTV, The Urban Gardener with Meshach Taylor, and in 1998, he hosted "Meshach Taylor's Hidden Caribbean" on the Travel Channel. He was a regular panelist on the 2000 revival of the television game show To Tell the Truth. He co-hosted Living Live! with Florence Henderson on Retirement Living TV; in 2008, the program was revamped as The Florence Henderson Show. In November 2012, Taylor guest-starred on Criminal Minds (CBS) opposite Joe Mantegna (Rossi) as Harrison Scott, Rossi's former Marine sergeant with whom he served in Vietnam on the episode, "The Fallen". He reprised this role in the episode "The Road Home" in 2014.
Taylor has appeared in the feature films Mannequin, Mannequin Two: On the Move, Damien: Omen II, The Howling, Jacks or Better, Kid 'N Play's Class Act, How to Murder a Millionaire, David Mamet's House of Games, The Allnighter, The Last Innocent Man with Ed Harris, Explorers, Friends and Family,The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, One More Saturday Night, Warning Sign and Wigger.
The actor is is survived by his wife, Bianca Ferguson, and four children, Tamar, Esme, Yasmine, and Tariq. He is also survived by his four grandchildren.