Hollywood has bidden good-bye to another actor much too soon with the passing of beloved TV actor Meshach Taylor, 67, following a long battle with terminal cancer. According to his agent, DeDe Binder, he had been fading for several days, and was surrounded by his wife Bianca Ferguson; children Tamar, Esme, Yasmin and Tariq; mother and 4grandchildren at his home in Altadena, CA when the end came.
“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.
Born in Boston, Taylor was the eldest of three children. His parents were both college professors. He also claimed that he learned to act as a defense mechanism.
‘The kids called me the Professor, and I got beat up a lot, so I dummied up until I got into the 11th grade,” he told People Magazine.
Although best remembered for playing Anthony Bouvier, and ex-con surrounded by eccentric women on “Designing Women” from 1986-1993, Taylor had a successful career both in television and movies, beginning with his screen debut in the 1978 movie “Damien: Omen II.”
“Designing Women” was followed by 4 years on the show “Dave’s World,” as well as appearances on everything from “In The Heat of The Night” to “Hannah Montana,” “All of Us,” and Criminal Minds” just to name a few. He also hosted two of his own series on HGTV, “The Urban Gardener with Meshach Taylor” on HGTV in 1996, and “Meshach Taylor’s Hidden Caribbean” on the Travel Channel in 1998.
Taylor claimed that he “first learned his acting technique as a survival skill.” In addition to “Damien: Omen II,” Taylor’s other movie roles included parts in “Mannequin,” “Mannequin Two: On the Move,” “The Howling, Jacks or Better,” “Kid ‘N Play’s Class Act,” “How to Murder a Millionaire,” David Mamet’s House of Games, The Allnighter, The Last Innocent Man with Ed Harris,Explorers, Friends and Family, The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, One More Saturday Night, Warning Sign and Wigger.
In addition to his family and fans, Meshach Taylor will be greatly missed by many of his acting friends included Joe Montegna, and Dixie Carter who once described as “a good man who is confident and strong. He’s absolutely grounded.”