Happy birthday to my pal Meshach Taylor, the Emmy Award-nominated actor best known for his roles as Anthony Bouvier on “Designing Women”, and for his portrayal of Hollywood Montrose, a flamboyant window dresser, in the box office hit and cult classic romantic comedy film Mannequin.
Last year, Taylor appeared in a compelling episode of CBS’s “Criminal Minds,” guest starring opposite Joe Mantegna (FBI Special Agent David Rossi) as Harrison Scott, Rossi’s former Marine sergeant with whom he served with in Vietnam on the episode, “The Fallen”, and 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. The play examined wartime experiences from Vietnam and Afghanistan. Click here to read more about the play.
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 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 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. 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”.
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, Wigger, and Inside Out with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason. He appears in the short films Silencio as Mr. Black, and He Knows My Heart as Bishop Alexander Jameson Sr.
Other articles by Lia Chang:
Emmy Award-Nominated Actor Meshach Taylor (“Designing Women”) Guest Stars on Criminal Minds as Rossi’s Former Marine Sergeant, Harrison Scott on November 14, 2012
Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show
Signature Theatre’s Revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson Leads 28th Annual Lucille Lortel Awards Nominations
Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks, Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams
Keith David, January LaVoy, John Douglas Thompson, Glynn Turman, Lillias White and More Set for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the CTG/Mark Taper Forum, April 24 – June 9, 2013
Chuck Cooper, Austin Pendleton, Nicholas L. Ashe, Kyle Beltran, Grantham Coleman, Jeremy Pope, and Wallace Smith Set for MTC’s World Premiere of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Choir Boy, June 18- July 21, 2013
Albee, Hwang, Enos, Taylor, Wilson, Clarke and Jacobs-Jenkins Set for Signature Theatre’s 2013-14 Season
Signature Theatre’s Revival of David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Set for Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China, May 9-12, 2013
Photos: David Henry Hwang’s The Dance and The Railroad Opening Night at Signature Theatre
Photos: Partying with the Cast of David Henry Hwang’s Golden Child
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.
Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. She is a Signature Theatre alumni who was in the cast of Sam Shepard’s Chicago, during his Signature 1996-1997 Playwright-in-Residence Season.
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