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Meshach Taylor Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trivia (8)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 11 April 1947Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Date of Death 28 June 2014Altadena, California, USA  (cancer)

Mini Bio (1)

Surrounded by four dazzling Southern-styled ladies on the hit sitcom Designing Women (1986), genial African-American Meshach Taylor made a name for himself as the beleaguered male foil consistently at the mercy of the ladies' antics during its seven-season run. The Boston-born actor who was raised in New Orleans and Indianapolis took an early interest in acting back in high school and first studied drama at Ohio's Wilmington College before transferring to Florida A&M in Tallahassee, Florida. Gaining experience back at an Indianapolis radio station as a State House political correspondent and in repertory theater, he eventually became a member of both Chicago's Goodman Theatre and the Organic Theatre group. One of his stage performances, "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead," earned him Chicago theater's Joseph Jefferson Award. Taylor transported himself to Los Angeles in the 78 and found minor work in a few of the popular horror films of the day: Damien: Omen II (1978), The Howling (1981) and The Beast Within (1982), and started to make the typical rounds on popular TV shows including "Barney Miller," "Lou Grant" and "M*A*S*H." After a regular part on the promising, but short-lived Buffalo Bill (1983), he nabbed the Emmy-nominated role of Anthony Bouvier, the jailbird-turned-assistant to Delta Burke, Annie Potts, Jean Smart and Dixie Carter. As the show progressed his character proved his keep and was eventually made a full partner of the ladies' designer firm. Following this success Taylor moved straight into four seasons with the sitcom Dave's World (1993) as a poker-playing buddy/neighbor to Harry Anderson. His film and TV load has been fairly lightweight overall with routine turns in such comedy fare as Mannequin (1987) and Class Act (1992), an Olsen twins mini-movie, and as a regular panelist on a revamped version of To Tell the Truth (2000). One of his brighter moments (literally) was playing the role of Lumiere in Broadway's "Beauty and the Beast." Married to actress Bianca Ferguson, Taylor has three daughters, Tamar, Yasmine, and Esme, and a son Tariq. His brother, Hussain, is a Private Investigator in the Los Angeles Area. His father, Joseph, was the dean at Indiana University and his mother Hertha was a school teacher in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also has sister, Judith.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Brandon Devers

Spouse (2)

Bianca Ferguson (1983 - 28 June 2014) (his death) (3 children)
Sandra Taylor (1969 - 1980) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (8)

Received his Bachelor's degree in Theatre from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, Florida (1993).
He was awarded the 1977 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for his performance in "Sizwe Banzi is Dead", at the Goodman Stage II Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
He was nominated for a 1979 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play for "Native Son", at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Attended and graduated from Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1964.
He was the only actor to appear in both Mannequin (1987) and Mannequin: On the Move (1991).
Survived by his wife, Bianca Ferguson; daughters Tamar, Esme and Yasmine; son Tariq; and four grandchildren.
Following his death, he was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California.
Resided in Altadena, California until his death.

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