Character actor Richard Gilliland, husband of Jean Smart, dies at age 71

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“Designing Women” actress Jean Smart is mourning the death of her husband, Richard Gilliland, who has died at the age of 71.

The veteran television and film actor passed away on March 18 in Los Angeles following a brief illness, according to multiple reports.

The Fort Worth, Texas native kicked off his acting career in the 1970s with roles on numerous TV shows and films, including “The Streets of San Francisco,” “Bug” and “McMillan and Wife.”

Alongside “The Waltons” and “The Love Boat,” one of his most well-known roles came on “Designing Women,” the popular CBS sitcom that debuted in 1986 and where he met his future wife. Throughout the first five seasons of “Designing Women,” Gilliland played J.D. Shackelford, a baseball talent scout and the boyfriend of Annie Pott’s character Mary Jo Shively.

Gilliland and Smart wed in 1987, and parented two children during their nearly 34-year marriage; son Connor, 31, and daughter Bonnie, 12.

Before television and film, Gilliland cut his teeth in various theater productions at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago.

A sought-after character actor, Gilliland racked up more than 90 acting credits over the course of his lengthy career.

Other credits include “Thirtysomething,” “CSI,” and “Imposters,” among many others.

The couple reunited on-screen during season five of “24,” where he played Captain Stan Cotter, while she portrayed First Lady Martha Logan.

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