Meshach Taylor has lost his 2 year bout with cancer. The 67-year-old actor, who died late Saturday, was surrounded by family when he passed away peacefully in hospice care at home in Altadena, CA, at 10:47 p.m., his daughter Esme said.
On Friday, June 27, 2014, Taylor’s family posted this message on his Facebook page.
It is with love and gratitude that we sorrowfully announce that our darling, amazingly brilliant and dynamic, Meshach, the incredible father, husband, son and friend has begun his grand transition. Our friends who know and love us, please offer your prayers for his peace and blazing light as he ascends to the heavens. Those who need to call the family please do. Those who desire to post memories, we are open and graciously accepting all gestures of peace.
Love, the Taylor Family Tariq Taylor, Yasmine Taylor, Tamar Lashae Taylor, Esme Taylor
The Meshach Taylor Family Fund has been established to help defray ongoing medical and personal expenses the family has incurred during Meshach’s prolonged illness and passing. Checks can be made to
Meshach Taylor Family Fund/In care of J.M. Keen
and sent to Jackie Keehn
J.M. Keehn Accountancy Corp.
15300 Ventura Bl. #315
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Click here for the complete video webcast of Meshach Taylor’s Memorial Service.
Friends, family and fans of actor and activist Meshach Taylor will honor his life and legacy at a memorial service in Los Angeles on Sunday, July 6, 2014 at 12 p.m., in the Old North Church at Forest Lawn – Hollywood Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive in Los Angeles, CA 90068.
While Taylor was best known for his Emmy-nominated turn as lovable ex-con turned law student Anthony Bouvier on the CBS sitcom “Designing Women” and for his portrayal of Hollywood Montrose, a flamboyant window dresser in the 1987 box office hit and cult classic romantic comedy film Mannequin and the 1991 sequel Mannequin 2: On the Move, his earliest roles were on the stage.
Meshach Taylor was born in Boston, MA, on April 11, 1947, but was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Indianapolis, IN. His parents, Hertha Ward Taylor and Joseph T. Taylor were college professors. In 1967, Taylor’s father became the first black dean of Indiana University’s downtown campus, and after the merger that created Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis in 1969, he became the first dean of the new institution’s school of liberal arts.
Taylor caught the acting bug in high school, then studied drama at Ohio’s Wilmington College, before transferring to Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL. A few credits short of completing his studies, Taylor returned to Indianapolis to work at a local radio station as a State House political correspondent. Taylor would return 20 years later to Florida A&M to complete his remaining requirements, and graduated on May 1, 1993.
Taylor’s first professional gig was touring for two years in the musical Hair. The final stop was Chicago, and when the run concluded, Taylor stayed and honed his craft in repertory theater for eight years as a member of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and the Organic Theater Company alongside Joe Mantegna, André De Shields, Dennis Franz, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Wallace, and director Stuart Gordon. While in Chicago, he appeared in Streamers, Native Son (1979 Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play), The Island, and Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, for which he garnered the 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play. He received a Chicago Emmy Award for his role as Jim in the WTTV production of “Huckleberry Finn,” and hosted a Chicago television show “Black Life,” on the local NBC affiliate.
In 1977, Taylor moved to Los Angeles, where he crafted a gallery of memorable characters in film and on television. In May 1981, the ninth season of “M*A*SH,” Taylor was seen as a corpsman in the final episode, “The Life You Save,” and appeared as Tony in the short-lived NBC sitcom Buffalo Bill opposite Dabney Coleman. From 1986 – 1993, Taylor played lovable ex-con turned law student Anthony Bouvier, on the CBS sitcom “Designing Women” 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.
From 1993 – 1997, he portrayed plastic surgeon Sheldon Baylor on the CBS sitcom “Dave’s World” with Harry Anderson and Shadoe Stevens. From 2004-2007, Taylor played Alastair Wright, the history teacher turned school principal, and appeared on Nickelodeon’s “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide”.
He 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”.
In 1998, Taylor made his Broadway debut as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast, starring alongside Toni Braxton and James Barbour.
Taylor appeared in the feature films Mannequin and 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.
Taylor last appeared onstage at Ensemble Studio Theater-LA in Keliher Walsh’s Year of the Rabbit in 2012, 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 last television guest-starring appearances include two episodes of “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,” which aired in November, 2012. He reprised this role in the episode “The Road Home,” helmed by Joe Mantegna, which aired in January, 2014.
Taylor is survived by his wife, Bianca Ferguson Taylor, his daughters Tamar Lashae Taylor, Yasmine Taylor, Esme Taylor, his son Tariq Taylor, his mother Hertha Ward Taylor, his sister Judith Taylor, his brother Hussain Taylor, and his four grandchildren.
Click on the link below to see the beautiful memorial tribute for Meshach commissioned by Wigger filmmaker Omowale Akintunde and produced by Victoria White.
Other Articles about Meshach Taylor:
Photos: Meshach Taylor Celebrates 67th Birthday with Arlene and Joe Mantegna, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Jean Smart, Dennis Franz, Ernie Hudson, John Heard, Keith Szarabajka, Stuart Gordon, Shadoe Stevens and More
goodmantheatre.com: Goodman Theatre Remembers Meshach Taylor (July 1, 2014)
fashionnstyle.com: Actor Meshach Taylor Dies at 67
The New York Times: Meshach Taylor, an Actor on TV’s ‘Designing Women,’ Dies at 67 (June 30, 2014)
The Globe and Mail: Meshach Taylor’s career spanned Broadway to Buffalo Bill (June 30, 2014)
Boston.com: Remembering ‘Designing Women’ Star Meshach Taylor (June 30, 2014)
madamenoire.com: ANOTHER UNFORTUNATE LOSS: ACTOR MESHACH TAYLOR PASSES AWAY AT AGE AT 67
hngn.com: Meshach Taylor Dead at 67: ‘Mannequin’ Actor Dies in L.A. Home from Cancer (June 30, 2014)
The Washington Post: ‘Designing Women’ star Meshach Taylor dies (June 30, 2014)
theindychannel.com: ‘Designing Women,’ ‘Mannequin’ actor Meshach Taylor dies at 67 (June 30, 2014)
CNN.com: Meshach Taylor of ‘Designing Women’ dead at 67 (June 29, 2014)
wsoc.tv: Actor Meshach Taylor Dies at 67 (June 29, 2014)
Playbill.com: Emmy Winner and Broadway Actor Meshach Taylor Dies June 28 (June 29, 2014)
thewrap.com: Meshach Taylor Death: 5 Funny Moments From a Classic Scene Stealer (June 29, 2014)
theweek.com: Designing Women actor Meshach Taylor dies at 67 (June 29, 2014)
USAtoday.com: ‘Designing Women’ co-star Meshach Taylor dies (June 29, 2014)
guardianlv.com: Actor Meshach Taylor Passes Away at Age 67 From Cancer
Rumorfix: Meshach Taylor Dies, 100-Year-Old Mom At Bedside (June 29, 2014)
NPR: ‘Designing Women’ Star Meshach Taylor Dies At 67 (June 29, 2014)
Huffingtonpost.com: Meshach Taylor Dead At 67, ‘Designing Women’ Star Dies After Battle With Cancer (June 29, 2014)
deadline.com: R.I.P. Meshach Taylor (June 29, 2014)
VARIETY: ‘Designing Women’ Star Meshach Taylor Dead at 67 (June 29, 2014)
FOX411: Meshach Taylor from ‘Designing Women’ dies at 67 (June 29, 2014)
latimes.com: Meshach Taylor dies at 67; actor known for ‘Designing Women’ role
Reports of Designing Women star Meshach Taylor’s Death are Premature
indystar: Longtime IPS Teacher Celebrates 100th Birthday
Articles about Criminal Minds:
Jan. 22: Emmy Award-Nominated Actor Meshach Taylor (“Designing Women”) Guest Stars on Criminal Minds as Rossi’s Former Marine Sergeant, Harrison Scott
Criminal Minds: The Road Home
hollywoodreporter.com: ‘Criminal Minds’: Joe Mantegna on Rossi’s Military Past, Teases Season Mystery
brittany-frederick.com: Interview with Joe Mantegna
Happy Birthday Meshach Taylor
tvline.com: Joe Mantegna: Criminal Minds’ Tribute to War Veterans Packs an Emmy-Caliber Performance
hollywoodreporter.com: ‘Criminal Minds’: Joe Mantegna on Rossi’s Military Past, Teases Season Mystery
xfinity.comcast.net: Joe Mantegna Thrilled About His ‘Criminal Minds’ Marine Storyline
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 Archive:
Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show
Playbill.com: Beauty’s Meshach Taylor and Nine’s Myra Lucretia Taylor Take Flight in L.A.By Ernio Hernandez (Jan. 22, 2005) Playbill.com: Braxton-Taylor-Barbour Beast Begins Sept. 9 By Robert Simonson and Robert Viagas (Aug. 21, 1998)
Los Angeles Times: And Then There Was Anthony … : ‘DESIGNING WOMEN’S’ MESHACH TAYLOR ENDS THE SERIES AS HE BEGAN–WITH DIGNITY (May 23, 1993)
People: Designing Women’s Man (May 18, 1992)
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