‘Designing Women’ star Meshach Taylor dead at age 67

Mesach Taylor, Emmy-nominated star of the long-running TV series “Designing Women,” died Saturday after a year-and-a-half-long struggle with colorectal cancer. He was 67.

“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,” his family posted on Facebook. “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.”

Best known for playing falsely-accused ex-inmate Anthony Bouvier on the '80s and '90s sitcom, Taylor kicked off his acting career in the Chicago theater (his first professional job was on a national tour of the blockbuster musical “Hair”) before moving to Los Angeles and winning a number of guest-starring roles on television. He garnered his first series-regular role on the short-lived 1983 sitcom “Buffalo Bill” opposite Dabney Coleman and Joanna Cassidy, though his greatest career success would come two years later with “Women,” on which he was the sole male cast member for all seven seasons.

Taylor's other notable roles included flamboyant department store window dresser Hollywood Montrose in the hit 1987 comedy “Mannequin” and its 1991 sequel, Sheldon Baylor on CBS's “Dave's World” (1993-1997) and Mr. Wright on Nickelodeon's “Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.” He last appeared as a homeless veteran on CBS's “Criminal Minds.”

In addition to his career pursuits, Deadline notes that Taylor was “an activist for the rights of those in the LGBT community.” He is survived by his wife of over 30 years and four children.

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