Richard Gilliland, Actor and Husband of Jean Smart, Dead at 71

Jean Smart and Richard Gilliland
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The celebrated character actor died on March 18.

Veteran character actor Richard Gilliland has died. He was 71.

Gilliland died on March 18 in Los Angeles following a brief illness, according to multiple reports.

The actor's screen career began in the 1970s with roles on numerous TV shows and films. One of his most well-known roles came on the 1980s CBS sitcom Designing Women, where he met his future wife, Jean Smart.

Gilliland and Smart tied the knot in 1987, and welcomed two children during their nearly 34-year marriage -- 31-year-old son Connor and 12-year-old daughter, Bonnie.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1950, Gilliland got his start on stage with roles in different theater productions at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago.

Over the course of his long career, Gilliland racked up over 90 acting credits to his name with roles in the big and small screen alike. His more prominent projects include the TV series Operation Petticoat, McMillan & Wife, The Love Boat, Thirtysomething, CSI, 24, and Imposters, among many others.

His most recent role came in the sci-fi thriller Case 347, which was released last year.