Meshach Taylor, an actor who was beloved for his role in Designing Women, passed away last night in his Altadena home outside of Los Angeles after losing an 18-month battle with colon-rectal cancer that metastasized to his liver. He was 67. The death was confirmed by his agent of over a decade, Dede Binder of Defining Artists Agency, who said Taylor had been gravely ill over the past few days. He died with his wife, mother and his four children around him. “He was one of the good ones who was well respected in our community and rightly so,” said Binder. “He was wonderful spirit full of life, and I had the honor of representing him. I know when people think of him, they smile.” Taylor last appeared as a homeless veteran in an episode of Criminal Minds that debuted Jan. 21.
He also was on the CBS sitcom Dave’s World for five years and for three years on Nickelodeon’s Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. After his wildly popular turn as the flamboyant Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women, for which he earned an Emmy nomination, he continued to work in both film and television, in everything from the film Mannequin to guest starring roles on such shows as Caroline in the City, The Drew Carey Show, Hannah Montana and Jessie. Prior to Designing Women, he worked opposite Dabney Coleman in the short lived but critically lauded sitcom Buffalo Bill.
The family posted the following on Facebook earlier:
“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”
Meshach Taylor was an activist for the rights of those in the LGBT community and was a dedicated family man. He is survived by Bianca, his four children, his mother, brother and sister and four grandchildren. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at Forest Lawn next Saturday, July 5th.