Meschach Taylor of "Designing Women" Dies at 67

By: From CBS News, Posted by Ralph Hipp
By: From CBS News, Posted by Ralph Hipp

LOS ANGELES (CBS, CNN) -- Meshach Taylor's agent says the actor who appeared in the hit sitcoms "Designing Women" and "Dave's World" has died. He was 67. Agent Dede Binder says Taylor died of cancer on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles.

Taylor got an Emmy nod for his portrayal of a lovable ex-convict surrounded by boisterous Southern belles on "Designing Women" from 1986 to 1993. Then he costarred for four seasons on "Dave's World."

Other series included "Buffalo Bill" and "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide."

Taylor had fought a terminal illness and faded markedly in recent days. His wife, children, grandchildren and mother surrounded him as he passed away, Binder said.

"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," the family said in a statement.

Taylor made his screen debut in the 1978 movie "Damien: Omen II." He has appeared regularly in television dramas since, including the series "In the Heat of the Night," "Hannah Montana," and "All of Us," according to his profile on the Internet Movie Database.

Most recently, he appeared in two episodes of "Criminal Minds." The last one ran in January this year.

During the run of "Designing Women," Taylor's co-star Dixie Carter described him as "a good man who is confident and strong. He's absolutely grounded," according to a profile in People.

"The eldest of three children of two former college professors, Taylor, a precocious child, first learned acting technique as a survival skill. 'The kids called me the Professor, and I got beat up a lot,' he says. 'So I dummied up until I got into the 11th grade,'" the profile read.

"Even when he didn't have any money, he always had style. He was on the cutting edge of men's colognes, and he was always buying yachting magazines and GQ," actor Joe Mantegna told the magazine.
His movie roles included a flamboyant window dresser in the 1987 comedy-romance "Mannequin." He also appeared in "Damien: The Omen Part II."

Taylor guested on TV series including ''Hannah Montana" and "The Drew Carey Show."


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