Meshach Taylor dies of cancer (credit: David Livingston/Getty Images Entertainment)
ALTADENA (CBSLA) — Longtime actor Meshach Taylor, best known for his role in the show “Designing Women,” has died of cancer at age 67, his agent said Sunday.
Taylor died Saturday at his home in Altadena, according to agent Dede Binder.
Relatives told Rumorfix Taylor was surrounded by loved ones, including his 100-year-old mother.
“For all the people that have given premature condolences: don’t feel bad. I am happy to feel the love. My Dad has not passed just yet, but he has begun to actively transition. Thanks again everyone for your kind words during this tough time,” Taylor’s son Tariq said in a statement released Friday.
During the same time family began gathering at Taylor’s bedside they released a statement Friday:
“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.”
In 1983, Taylor married then “General Hospital” star Bianca Ferguson, best known as Claudia, Luke & Laura’s friend. He and Ferguson – his second wife – had four children, three daughters and the aforementioned son.
Meshach – pronounced Mee-shack – also had a daughter from a first marriage (1969-1980). He has four grandchildren.
“Designing Women,” a popular sitcom about four sassy and sharp-tongued women who ran an Atlanta design business, ran on CBS from 1986-1993. Taylor proved so popular in the role as assistant Anthony Bouvier, he was nominated for an Emmy and ended up being made a full-fledged partner in the business by the series’ end.
Taylor was also well-known for starring as the flamboyant window dresser in the movie “Mannequin.”
His other credits included “Dave’s World,” “Buffalo Bill,” “ALF,” “The Drew Carey Show,” the final episode of “MASH” and “Barnaby Jones.”
A gardening enthusiast, Taylor hosted “The Urban Gardener with Meshach Taylor” on HGTV in 1996. He was also an enthusiastic lover of game shows and appeared as a regular panelist on the 2000 revival of “To Tell the Truth.”
The Boston-born Taylor, son of a college dean and a school teacher, most recently guest-starred in CBS’ “Criminal Minds” from 2012-2014.