According to family via social media, Emmy- Award nominated actor, Meshach Taylor, died on Friday at the age of 67. Taylor was best known for his role on “Designing Women.” He recently made a guest appearance on episode 13 of CRIMINAL MINDS, “The Road Home” in Januray 2014. He also appeared onstage at Ensemble Studio Theater-LA in Keliher Walsh’s Year of the Rabbit, playing Vietnam vet JC Bridges, who upon returning from his first tour in Vietnam in 1967, experienced hatred and racism in the turbulent States.
Taylor’s first professional gig 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 Mantegna, André De Shields, Dennis Franz, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Wallace, and director Stuart Gordon. While in Chicago, he received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, and an Emmy Award for his role as Jim in the WTTV production of “Huckleberry Finn.” In 1998, Taylor made his Broadway debut as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, starring alongside Toni Braxton.
In 1979, 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 long-running CBS hit 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. He was a series regular on “Dave’s World” (CBS), and has had recurring guest starring appearances on Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” and “Buffalo Bill” (NBC) with Dabney Coleman. He has appeared on “The Unit” (CBS), “Jessie” (Disney Channel),”“Hannah Montana” (Disney Channel), “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), “M*A*S*H” (CBS), “Lou Grant” (CBS), “The White Shadow” (CBS), “The Incredible Hulk” (CBS), and “Barnaby 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. Taylor also hosted his own series on HGTV, The Urban Gardener with Meshach Taylor and 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.
Taylor has appeared in the feature films Wigger, Mannequin andMannequin 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 Inside Out with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason