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Subject: Actor Richard Gilliland

Dies at 71
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Date Posted: Thursday, March 25, 11:36:57am

Richard Gilliland, ‘Designing Women’ Character Actor, Dies at 71

Richard Gilliland, a veteran character actor known for his work “Designing Women” and in “Airplane II: The Sequel,” as well as the husband to actress Jean Smart, has died. He was 71.

Gilliland died March 18 in Los Angeles following a brief illness, his publicist told TheWrap.

Gilliland played J.D. Shackelford for five years on “Designing Women,” the boyfriend of Annie Potts’ character, Mary Jo Shively. He met Smart while acting on the show and the two married in 1987, and the two also
shared the screen in a season of “24” in 2006.

He and Smart also worked together in stage productions of “It Had to Be You” and “Love Letters,” as well as the telefilms “Just My Imagination” and “Audrey’s Rain.”

He has over 90 acting credits in film and TV dating back to the 1970s, including dozens of guest appearances on shows such as “Criminal Minds.” “Dexter,” “Becker,” “Scandal,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “The Practice,” and “Crossing Jordan.” He also had recurring roles in “Party of Five,” “The Waltons,” “Thirty Something,” “Dark Skies,” “Desperate Housewives” and more.

Richard Morris Gilliland was born Jan 23, 1950 in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended the prestigious Goodman School of Drama in Chicago. Before moving to Los Angeles, he played the role of “Jesus” in “Godspell” for a year opposite Joe Mantegna’s “Judas.” After arriving in Hollywood, Gilliland immediately began working and rarely stopped, starring as a series regular in “Operation Petticoat,” “Just Our Luck,” “McMillan,” Whatley By the Bay,” and “Heartland.”

Gilliland also had a career on stage in Los Angeles, Chicago and off-Broadway in New York, appearing in productions such as “Amadeus,” “Cops,” “Beyond Therapy” and “Little Egypt.”

His film credits include “Airplane II: The Sequel,” “Home Room,” “Dog Watch,” “Vampire Clan,” “The Empath,” “BUG” and “Star Kid,” among others, and he was next slated to work alongside Smart again this summer in a film directed by Tate Taylor.

Richard is survived by his wife Jean and his two children Connor and Bonnie (“Ani”) as well as his sisters Ann Norberg and Wendy Knaack, his brother John Wells and scores of loving, devastated friends.

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Subject Author Date
IMDb-Thursday, March 25, 11:37:35am
No link (NT)Try againThursday, March 25, 11:54:32am
Sad to hear - another very familiar face (NT)RIPThursday, March 25, 12:45:41pm
Veteran actor since 1970s ...Pic of Gillilands in happier daysThursday, March 25, 01:27:19pm
Murder She Wrote alum (NT)Appeared in 2 episodes.Friday, March 26, 12:31:53am

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