Meshach Taylor in New York on May 17, 2011. Photo by Lia Chang
April 11, 1947 |
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Bianca Ferguson (m. 1983)|
He is best known for his Emmy nominated turn as Anthony Bouvier on the CBS hit sitcom Designing Women (1986-1993), and for his portrayal of Hollywood Montrose, a flamboyant window dresser, in the box office hit and cult classic romantic comedy film Mannequin. He played Sheldon Baylor on the CBS sitcom Dave's World (1993-1997), and appeared as Tony on the short-lived NBC sitcom Buffalo Bill opposite Dabney Coleman. From 2004-2007, Taylor played Alastair Wright, the history teacher turned school principal, on Nickelodeon's sitcom, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide.
Personal life 
Taylor was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of a college professor and a sociology professor. He graduated from Florida A&M University in 1993. He married Bianca Ferguson in 1983 and has four children and four grandchildren.
Taylor’s first professional gig was in a National tour of Hair. He honed his craft in repertory theater as a member of Chicago’s Goodman Theatre, and the Organic Theater Company alongside Joe Mantegna, André DeShields, Dennis Franz, Keith Szarabajka, Jack Wallace, and director Stuart Gordon. While in Chicago, he received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Athol Fugard’s Sizwe Banzi Is Dead, and an Emmy Award for his role as Jim in the WTTV production of ‘’Huckleberry Finn’’ In 1998, Taylor made his Broadway debut as Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast where he starred alongside Toni Braxton. In September, 2012, he appeared in “Year of the Rabbit” at Ensemble Studio Theater-LA as Vietnam Vet JC Bridges. 
In 1979, Taylor moved to Los Angeles, where he has crafted a gallery of memorable characters in film and on television, including his Emmy nominated turn in the CBS sitcom Designing Women as Anthony Bouvier, the assistant at the fictitious Sugarbaker interior design firm in Atlanta, Georgia, starring Dixie Carter, Delta Burke, Annie Potts and Jean Smart. In May 1981, the ninth season of M*A*S*H, Taylor was seen as a corpsman in the final episode, "The Life You Save." He was a series regular on Dave's World (CBS), and had a recurring role as Alastair Wright, the history teacher turned school principal, on Nickelodeon's sitcom, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide(2004-2007) and Buffalo Bill (NBC) with Dabney Coleman. He has appeared on The Unit (CBS), Jessie (TV series)(Disney Channel), Hannah Montana (Disney Channel) as a fashion designer, All of Us as Neesee's father, The Drew Carey Show (ABC), Static Shock (Kids WB!), Caroline in the City (NBC), Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (Nickelodeon), Women of the House (CBS), In the Heat of the Night (NBC), Punky Brewster (NBC), What’s Happening Now!, Hill Street Blues (NBC), ALF (NBC), Melba (CBS), The Golden Girls (NBC), Cagney & Lacey (CBS), Barney Miller (ABC), Lou Grant (CBS), The White Shadow (CBS), The Incredible Hulk (CBS), and Barnaby Jones(CBS). His made-for-TV movies include The Right Connections with MC Hammer, Sidney Sheldon’s Nothing Lasts Forever with Brooke Shields, Virtual Seduction, Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child and Double, Double, Toil and Trouble with the Olsen Twins. Taylor also hosted his own series on HGTV, The Urban Gardener with Meshach Taylor and was a regular panelist on the 2000 revival of the television game show To Tell the Truth. He co-hosted Living Live! with Florence Henderson on Retirement Living TV; in 2008, the program was revamped as The Florence Henderson Show. In November, 2012, Taylor guest starred on Criminal Minds (CBS) opposite Joe Mantegna (Rossi) as Harrison Scott, Rossi’s former Marine sergeant with whom he served with in Vietnam on the episode, "The Fallen".
Taylor has appeared in the feature films Wigger, Mannequin, Mannequin Two: On the Move, Damien: Omen II, 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 Inside Ou’t with Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason.
- Damien: Omen II
- One More Saturday Night
- The Haircut
- Mannequin Two: On the Move
- The Howling
- Double, Double, Toil and Trouble
- Ultra Warrior
- Class Act
- Jacks or Better
- Meshach Taylor at the Internet Movie Database
- Meshach Taylor at AllRovi
- Emmy Award-Nominated Actor Meshach Taylor, Guest Stars on Criminal Minds as Rossi’s Former Marine Sergeant, Harrison Scott on November 14, 2012, Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, New York, November 6, 2012.
- Meshach Taylor talks Wigger on Wendy Williams Show, Backstage Pass with Lia Chang, New York, May 17, 2011.