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Taylor, Meshach

Meshach Taylor

Meshach Taylor was born on April 11, 1947 in Boston, Massachusetts to Dr. Joseph Thomas Taylor and Hertha Ward.  Taylor has a brother, Hussain, and a sister, Judith.

He spent most of his youth in New Orleans, LA and on the campus of Dillard University in New Orleans, LA, where both of his parents were teaching - his father a sociology professor.  The campus of Dillard afforded exposure to the arts, including television, film and theatre.  In particular he was most pulled to join the acting ranks by watching Fred Astaire, whose acting, dancing and singing impressed the young Taylor.  
Taylor really started to study acting after his family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana, his father got a job teaching at Indiana University - which is about 40 miles south of Indianapolis in Bloomington, IN. After high school, he continued to study drama at Wilmington College in Ohio, but he left Wilmington because he found the program at Florida A&M in Tallahassee (where his father had once taught sociology courses in 1940) much more suited towards opportunities for African American actors, so he made the transfer.  He returned to Indianapolis before completing his studies at Florida A&M and started to work as State House political correspondent for an Indianapolis radio station, but he also decided to audition for a tour of the musical play Hair.  For two years he toured with the production visiting all 50 states and every province of Canada.

The tour's last stop was Chicago and Taylor was so enamored with the city that he moved to Chicago and joined the Organic Theatre Group and Chicago's Goodman Theatre. It was at Goodman where he won a Joseph Jefferson Award for his performance in Sizwe Banza Is Dead.  He also hosted his own show, Black Life, on an NBC affiliate station.  
He remained in Chicago for eight years then moved to Los Angeles, this is when he landed the part of Anthony Bouvier on Designing Women (for which he was nominated for an Emmy award).

Not being one to leave things undone, Taylor returned to Florida A&M in 1993 and graduated!  After which he continued to work as an actor, but Taylor was wholeheartedly a family man, he truly enjoyed being with his family. 
He was married to actress Bianca Ferguson (1983 - until his death), they have four children, their daughters Tamar, Yasmine, Esme, and their son, Tariq.

Taylor died on June 28, 2014 in Alta Dena, California from cancer.

Silencio~2013 (short) - Mr. Black
He Knows My Heart~2012 (short) - Bishop Alexander Jameson Sr.
Photo Finish~2011 (short) - Ethan Fletcher
Hyenas~2011 - Crazy Briggs
Wigger~2010 - Charles Pruitt
Tranced~2010 - Cabbie
Club Fiji~2008 (V) - Ratu Billy
Friends and Family~2001 - Bruno
Jacks or Better~2000 - Ron
The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Visitors from Outer Space~1999 (V short) - voice of Pink Planet
Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue, The~1998 (V) - voice of Cecil (singer: "Magic Mystery Show")
Class Act~1992 - Duncan's Dad
Mannequin: On the Move~1991 - Hollywood Montrose/Doorman (singer: "Casa de Coati")
Ultra Warrior~1990 - Elijah
Kid Safe: The Video~1988 (V) - Marty
House of Games~1987 - Mr. Dean
Allnighter, The~1987 - Hotel Detective Philip
Mannequin~1987 - Hollywood Montrose
Inside Out~1986 - Freddy
One More Saturday Night~1986 - Bill Neal
Warning Sign~1985 - Video Technician #2
Explorers~1985 - Gordon Miller
Haircut, The~1982 - Sam - Shoe Shine Man
Beast Within, The~1982 - Deputy Herbert
Howling, The~1981- Shantz
Stony Island~1978 - Aldeman's Yes-Man
Damien: Omen II~1978 - Dr. Kane

Criminal Minds~2012-2014 - Harrison Scott in:
     The Road Home
     The Fallen
Shooting Gallery~2013 - Himself in Riding Along with Sarah
Jessie~2012 - Grimm Haloran in The Whining
Celebrity Ghost Stories~2012 (doc) - Himself in Lewis Black/Meshach Taylor/Samantha Harris
The Wendy Williams Show~2011 - Himself in 17 May 2011
Hannah Montana~2008 - Dahliano in yet Another Side of Me
Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide~2004-2007 - Mr. Wright (23 episodes)
Living Live!~2007 - co-host
The Unit~2006 - Howear Whitwell in Old Home Week
All of Us~2005 - Roger - Neesee's Father in Liar, Liar
Pet Star~2005 - Himself 5/6/05 (has a Star Wars reference, TV2)
Great American Celebrity Spelling Bee, The~2004 (mini) - Himself
Designing Women Reunion, The~2003 - Himself
View, The~2003 - Himself
Rendez-View~2002 -  Himself in:
     Caution: Goldigger Ahead
     Coffee, Tea or Me?
Drew Carey Show, The~2001 - Oswald's Double in What's Wrong with This Episode IV
Urban Gardener, The~2000 - Host/Gardener
Static Shock~2000 - Doctor in Aftershock
To Tell the Truth~2000 - Himself/Panelist
Meshach~1997 (pilot) - Host
Right Connections, The~1997 - Lionel Clark
Angry Beavers, The~1997 - Bus Driver/Cyclops in Friends, Romans, Beavers!
Caroline in the City~1996 - Caroline's Agent in  Caroline and the Cereal
Aaahh!!! Real Monsters~1995 - voice of Barber Monster in Rosh O'Monster/The Tree of Ickis
Virtual Seduction~1995 - Anderson
Nothing Lasts Forever~1995 (mini)
Women of the House~1995 - Anthony Bouvier in Dear Diary
ABC Weekend Slpecials~1995 - voice of Rat in Jirimpimbira: An African Folk Tale
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child~1995 - voice of The Woodcutter in Rapunzel
Burke's Law~1994 - Ozzie Banks in Who Killed the Anchorman?
Double, Double, Toil and Trouble~1993 - Mr. N
Dave's World~1993 - Sheldon Baylor (91 episodes)
Designing Women~1986-1993 - Anthony Bouvier (152 episodes)
Circus of the Stars and Sideshow~1992 - Performer
In the Heat of the Night~1992 - Tyler in Brother's Keeper
How to Murder a Millionaire~1990 - Danny
Great American Quiz Show~1987 - Himself
Last Innocent Man, The~1987 - Crosby
Punky Brewster~1987 - Delivery Man in Unhooking Henry
Hill Street Blues~1986 -
     Con Man in The Best Defense
     Sloan in Stan the Man
ALF~1986 - Addison in Pennsylvania 6-5000
Melba~1986 - in Manhunt
What's Happening Now!~1985 - Buddy in:
     The Bully
     Opening Day
Golden Girls, The~1985 - The Cop in Pilot: The Engagement
Buffalo Bill~1983 - Tony (26 episodes)
Cagney & Lacey~1982 - Stereo Salesman in Internal Affairs
Hill Street Blues~1982 - Police Officer in Stan the Man
Barney Miller~1982 - Melvin Jackson in Landmark: Part 3
M*A*S*H~1981 - Orderly in The Life You Save
White Shadow, The~1980 - Chipper in Out at Home
Lou Grant~1979 -
     Kinsasha in Boomerang
     Marcus Prescott in Charlatan
     Calvin in Home
Incredible Hulk, The~1979 - M.P. in Blind Rage
Barnaby Jones~1978 - Parking Lot Attendant in A Frame for Murder

League of Chicago theatres PSA (Public Service Announcement) - Cabbie in The Taxi

Beauty and the Beast~2000 - Lumière (New York, NY)
Beauty and the Beast~1994 - Lumière (Palace Theatre, )
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn~1985 - (Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL)
Photo from 1985/2014
Sizwe Banzo Is Dead~ - (Westwood Playhouse, Los Angeles (Westwood), CA)
Native Son~1978-1979 - (Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL)
Photo from 1978/2014
Sizwe Banzo Is Dead~1977-1978 - (Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL)
Photo from 1977/2014
The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit~19?? -
Hair~1975-1977 - (2 year national/Canada tour)

Live Performances
Mickey Sinardi’s Showstopper Celebrity Showcase (for Single Mothers Outreach)~ - performer (Hyatt Valencia, Valencia, CA)

Mean Streets USA: A Collection of Short Crime Fiction~2005 - reader
Silver Lining~2005 - reader
Star Wars Radio Drama~1981 - voice of Wedge Antilles - Rebel Alliance

Awards, Honors, and Nominations
Emmy Awards:
Nom 1989 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for Designing Women
Rec'd (Chicago area Emmy) for Huckleberry Finn (PBS)
Joseph Jefferson Award:
Rec'd  1978 for Sizwe Banzo Is Dead (Theatre)
RiverRun International Film Festival:
Rec'd 2000 Best Ensemble Acting for Jacks or Better (shared)
Viewers for Quality Television Awards:
Rec'd 1990 Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series for Designing Women
Rec'd 1989 Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series for Designing Women
Rec'd 1988 Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series for Designing Women

Was a guest moderator (Shakespeare) at the Antaeus Academy, L.A's Classical Theatre Ensemble.

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