UPDATE: “Designing Women” Star Meshach Taylor Has Died From Cancer


UPDATE: Deadline reports that Mesach Taylor has died after battling cancer and was surrounded by his wife, mother and children when he passed away.  His longtime agent Dede Binder said, “He was one of the good ones who was well respected in our community and rightly so. He was wonderful spirit full of life, and I had the honor of representing him. I know when people think of him, they smile.” The site also notes that Taylor was an activist for LGBT equality.

We previously reported:

Veteran actor Mesach Taylor is reported to be near death, according to a post on the 67-year-old actor’s Facebook page. Best-known to Queerty readers of a certain age for his indelible work as Anthony Bouvier, the sensible foil to Delta Burke’s outrageously politically incorrect Suzanne Sugarbaker on the long-running (1986-93) and eternally beloved sitcom Designing Women, Taylor also costarred as a flamboyant gay window dresser in the popular 1987 comedy film Mannequin. Some earlier reports claimed that the actor had already passed away but those claims have recently been refuted. The Facebook note reads:

“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 Tariq Taylor, Yasmine Taylor, Tamar Lashae, Taylor Esme Taylor”

Watch Taylor discuss his career with Wendy Williams in 2011 below.

H/t: Perez Hilton

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  • MMDD

    Never was a big fan of DESIGNING WOMEN (yeah, yeah, I know…revoke my gay card), but I always really liked him and his character. Sad to see him leaving us but praying for a smooth, painless transition.

  • DarkZephyr

    THIS is very sad. :( I loved him as Hollywood in the Mannequin films and I loved him on Designing Women. :(

  • Mezaien

    :-( how sad! I jut hope he in no suffer of pain, and in good mind. Always love you man you`ll be remember for ever.

  • Geoff B

    My fiancee is digging around for the Designing Women DVDs I got him for Christmas as I type this. Sad news. If there truly is no chance of recovery, I hope he’s at least able to be as comfotable and pain free as possible and that his family and loved ones can find peace and solace during what truly has to be a horrible time for them.

  • boring

    No love for Damien: Omen II?

    Y’all some basic motherfuckers.

  • Cam

    I always thought the interesting thing about homophobia in Hollywood was how ham handed they are with it.

    His character was perceived as a little too gay, so what do they do? Can’t have a gay guy on TV then, so they not only get him a girlfriend, they get him an over the top Stripper girlfriend.

    As for Taylor, what a shame, poor man, what a sad time for him and his family.

  • seaguy

    He was hilarious as Hollywood in Manequin. I hope he is able to recover.

  • Teeth

    He played a gay version of jigaboo– I don’t see the need for a lot of nostalgia. I hope his death is easy and painless, but he’s not someone to look up to.

  • Stache99

    I remember watching Designer Women. Actually it was a pretty good show. The jokes weren’t lame. That and Golden Girls. Best shows on at the time.

    That was in the era when gays were only seen as sassy but non sexual.

  • james_in_cambridge

    I just discovered the show ’cause LOGO runs nothing but marathons of Designing Women, The Golden Girls and Will & Grace, which would be great if it weren’t for the fact it’s the same 4 episodes over and over again! (get your shit together LOGO.) Mr. Taylor is clearly meant to be gay on the show, even though he often has girlfriends. His mannerisms belie his sexuality but it was the 80’s so I’m not surprised. Anyhow, the man was a really good comedian…RIP!

  • northwest

    @boring, Damien: Omen II is actually one of my guilty pleasures and it’s really the only thing I watched Taylor in (never into Designing Women) so I have a soft spot for him because of that movie – he was only in the movie briefly but lord knows it was memorable. RIP.

  • tricky ricky

    he was also on Dave’s World with Harry Anderson and recently did 2 guest shots on Criminal Minds as a Viet Nam vet friend of Dave Rossi.

  • jonjct

    @Teeth: omg so true. he was humiliating in that role and hollywood should be ashamed to have put that character out there like that. “Jigaboo”. That’s it right there.

  • jonjct

    @seaguy: wait, the guy is DEAD. nobody’s ever “recovered” from that.

  • jonjct

    oh yeah, that nig*ga pushed them eyeglasses up on his face 50 times in one interview. get back to the optometrist brother and get that sh*it fixed.

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