Richest CelebritiesActors
Net Worth:
$500 Thousand
Apr 11, 1947 - Jun 28, 2014 (67 years old)
United States of America
πŸ’° Compare Meshach Taylor's Net Worth

What Was Meshach Taylor's Net Worth?

Meshach Taylor was an American actor who had a net worth of $500 thousand at the time of his death in 2014. Meshach Taylor was best known for his Emmy-nominated performance as Anthony Bouvier on the CBS series "Designing Women" (1986–1993), and he also played Shel Baylor on the CBS sitcom "Dave's World" (1993–1997). Taylor had more than 70 acting credits to his name, including the films "Damien: Omen II" (1978), "The Howling" (1981), "Mannequin" (1987), "Class Act" (1992), and "Friends and Family" (2001) and the television series "Lou Grant" (1979–1981), "Buffalo Bill" (1983–1984), "Hill Street Blues" (1982; 1986), "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" (2004–2007), and "Criminal Minds" (2012; 2014). Meshach also appeared on Broadway, playing Lumiere in "Beauty and the Beast" in 1998. Sadly, Taylor died of colorectal cancer in June 2014 at the age of 67.

Early Life

Meshach Taylor was born on April 11, 1947, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was the son of Joseph T. Taylor and Hertha Mae Ward. Joseph was the former dean of students at New Orleans' Dillard University, and he also served as Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis' first dean of arts and sciences. After Taylor's family relocated from New Orleans to Indianapolis, Meshach attended Crispus Attucks High School, where he became interested in acting. He graduated in 1964, then he studied dramatic arts at Wilmington College in Ohio and Florida A&M University. He left college just a few credits shy of graduation and began working as a State House reporter for the Indianapolis AM radio station WIFE. He went by the on-air name Bruce Thomas for that job, and when he hosted a community-affairs show on the TV station WLWI, he went by Bruce Taylor. Meshach later finished college, earning a theatre arts degree from Florida A&M in 1993.


Taylor made his professional acting debut in a national tour of the musical "Hair," and he was a member of Chicago's Organic Theater Company and Goodman Theatre. In Chicago, he won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Actor in a Principal Role in a Play in 1977 for Athol Fugard's "Sizwe Banzi Is Dead," and he earned a nomination in that category for David Rabe's "Streamers, Native Son" in 1979. Meshach won an Emmy for playing Jim in a production of "Huckleberry Finn" for the Chicago TV station WTTW, and he hosted the Chicago television series "Black Life." He moved to Los Angeles in 1977, and the following year he made his film debut in "Damien: Omen II." He then appeared in the film "Stony Island" (1978) and guest-starred on "Barnaby Jones" (1978), "The Incredible Hulk" (1979), and "Lou Grant" (1979–1981). In the '80s, Taylor appeared in the films "The Howling" (1981), "The Beast Within" (1982), "Explorers" (1985), "Warning Sign" (1985), "One More Saturday Night" (1986), "Inside Out" (1986), "The Allnighter" (1987), andΒ  "House of Games" (1987) and guest-starred on "The White Shadow" (1980), "M*A*S*H" (1981), "Barney Miller" (1982), "Cagney & Lacey" (1982), "The Golden Girls" (1985), "Melba" (1986), "Days of Our Lives" (1986), "ALF" (1986), "Hill Street Blues" (1982; 1986), "What's Happening Now!" (1985; 1987), and "Punky Brewster" (1987).

Meshach co-starred with Dabney Coleman, Joanna Cassidy, and Geena Davis on the NBC sitcom "Buffalo Bill" (1983–1984), and he played Hollywood Montrose in 1987's "Mannequin" and 1991's "Mannequin: On the Move." In 1986, he began portraying Anthony Bouvier on the CBS sitcom "Designing Women" alongside Dixie Carter, Annie Potts, Delta Burke, and Jean Smart. The series aired 163 episodes over seven seasons and earned Taylor a Primetime Emmy nomination. He reprised his role in one episode of the 1995 spin-off "Women of the House."

Meshach Taylor

David Livingston/Getty Images

Meshach appeared in the films "Ultra Warrior" (1990) and "Class Act" (1992) and the TV movies "How to Murder a Millionaire" (1990), "Double, Double Toil and Trouble" (1993), "Virtual Seduction" (1995), "Nothing Lasts Forever" (1995), and "The Right Connections" (1997), and he voiced Cecil in the 1998 animated movie "The Secret of NIMH 2: Timmy to the Rescue." He guest-starred on "In the Heat of the Night" (1992), "Burke's Law" (1994), and "Caroline in the City" (1996), and from 1993 to 1997, he played Shel Baylor on the CBS series "Dave's World," which was based on the life of author and columnist Dave Barry.

Taylor appeared in the films "Jacks or Better" (2000), "Friends and Family" (2001), "Club Fiji" (2008), "Tranced" (2010), and "Hyenas" (2011) and guest-starred on "The Drew Carey Show" (2001), "All of Us" (2005), "The Unit" (2006), "Hannah Montana" (2008), and "Jessie" (2012). From 2004 to 2007, he played Mr. Wright on Nickelodeon's "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide." In 2012, Meshach guest-starred on "Criminal Minds," which stars his longtime friend Joe Mantegna. He appeared in another episode in 2014, and that would be his final acting role. Taylor was honored in the 2015 "Criminal Minds" episode "Anonymous."

Personal Life

Meshach married his first wife, Sandra, in 1969, and they welcomed son Tariq before divorcing in 1980. Taylor wed actress Bianca Ferguson three years after his divorce, and they stayed together until his death in June 2014. Meshach and Bianca had three daughters together, Esme, Tamar, and Yasmine.


Meshach passed away from colorectal cancer at his Altadena home on June 28, 2014, at the age of 67. Taylor's family was at his bedside when he died, and they shared the sad news on his Facebook page, writing, "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." In early July 2014, a memorial service took place at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills.

Awards and Nominations

In 1989, Taylor received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "Designing Women." The series also earned him four Viewers for Quality Television Award nominations for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series, and he won in 1988, 1989, and 1990. In 2000,Β  Meshach and his "Jacks or Better" co-stars received a Jury Prize for Best Ensemble Acting at the RiverRun International Film Festival.

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