Jean Smart’s Husband, Richard Gilliland’s Cause of Death Aired
Unfortunately, the veteran actor Richard Gilliland’s cause of death is revealed after he died last week at the age of 71.
Richard Gilliland suffered from a “brief illness” before he died in Los Angeles. He was actress Jean Smart’s husband for nearly 34 years. He passed away on March 18, 2021.
Born in 1950 in Fort Worth, Texas, Richard started his career at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago. He took on the role of Jesus in Godspell opposite Joe Mantegna’s Judas while he was there.
After arriving in Los Angeles, the actor starred in roles in series of TV shows, including:
- Operation Petticoat
- Just Our Luck
- and Heartland, in addition to an array of guest-starring appearances and stage roles.
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Richard Gilliland’s Career Highlight
Richard became a series regular on the CBS sitcom Designing Women for 14 episodes, where he met Jean Smart in 1986.
Jean Smart, who starred as Charlene Frazier Stillfield in the series, talked about their first meeting during an interview in 2017. “I met him when he was kissing someone else,” Jean Smart said.
The two went on to work together in many stage products; ‘It Had to Be You’ and ‘Love Letters’ and the TV show 24, and the made-for-TV movies ‘Just My Imagination’ and ‘Audrey’s Rain.’
His more great projects include the TV series:
- Operation Petticoat
- McMillan & Wife
- The Love Boat
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- Thirtysomething and many others.
Smart and Gilliland were slated to work together again this summer in a film directed by Tate Taylor before Richard Gilliland’s death.
Reactions to Richard Gilliland’s Death
Following the tragic news, several fans and supporters reacted and paid tribute, and stated their condolences on social media websites.
Annie Potts, his co-star in Designing Women, wrote on her Instagram account: “Please give Dixie and Meshach a squeeze for me,” mentioning their co-stars Dixie Carter, who died in 2010, and Meshach Taylor, who died in 2014.
Then she captioned an image of her with Richard: “Rest peacefully dearest Richard.”
He leaves behind his wife Jean Smart, his two children Connor, 31, and Bonnie, 12, and his sisters Ann Norberg and Wendy Knaack, and his brother John Wells.
Donations in his name can be made to the MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science.
For tributes and prayers, please kindly scroll down and use the comment box to share your feelings about the heartbreaking news.
His family needs privacy; please respect them during this difficult time. More information about his cause of death will be updated as we receive it.