He died at his home outside of Los Angeles, surrounded by family.
“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,” Taylor’s family said in a statement on his Facebook page. Taylor died Saturday in Altadena, Calif.; he had been suffering from a terminal illness.
Taylor’s agent Dede Binder confirmed his death to Variety.
“When you think of Meshach it will hopefully bring a smile to your face because he brought a lot of joy in his life,” Binder said.
Taylor earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1989 for his work on “Designing Women,” a seminal series that ran from 1986 until 1993, and provided a feminist re-interpretation of the South. On the series, Taylor’s character was a wrongly convicted felon who made strides to better his life, eventually attending law school. He was also the foil for Delta Burke’s flamboyant, ex-beauty queen character Suzanne Sugarbaker, often playing straight man to her outlandish schemes.
In addition to “Designing Women,” Taylor was played plastic surgeon Sheldon Baylor on another CBS sitcom “Dave’s World” (1993-97) and played a school principal, on Nickelodeon’s sitcom, “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” (2004-07). Earlier in his career, he had a role in the 1980s cult favorite “Buffalo Bill” opposite Dabney Coleman.