Richard Gilliland


Richard Gilliland (January 23, 1950 – March 18, 2021) was an American television and movie actor, best known as JD Shackleford in Designing Women (1986-1992).

Richard Gilliland
Richard Gilliland Operation Petticoat (cropped).JPG
Gilliland in a promotional photo for Operation Petticoat
Born(1950-01-23)January 23, 1950
DiedMarch 18, 2021(2021-03-18) (aged 71)
Years active1974–2021
(m. 1987)

Life and careerEdit

Gilliland was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He attended high school in Overland Park, Kansas (Shawnee Mission South), graduating in 1968. He was active in plays and musicals.

He married actress Jean Smart in 1987. They met while working on the set of Designing Women (he played J. D. Shackelford, the boyfriend of Annie Potts' character, Mary Jo Shively). They have two sons, Connor Douglas (born 1989)[1] and Forrest (adopted from China in May 2009).[2]

Gilliland first appeared onscreen in the 1970s. His notable appearances include The Waltons, Thirtysomething, Party of Five, Little Women, and a recurring role on Designing Women (where he met Smart, who starred as Charlene in that series). He played Ellis Kapp on The Unit and Captain Stan Cotter on 24.[3] He also had a recurring role as serial killer Jeffrey Speidel in the NBC series Matlock.

Gilliland played Captain Stan Cotter on 24 during season five, while his wife Jean Smart played First Lady Martha Logan in the same season.[4]

He died following a short illness in Los Angeles, California, on March 18, 2021, at the age of 71.[5][6]

Select TV and filmographyEdit


  1. ^ "Jean Smart- Biography". Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  2. ^ Etienne, Vanessa; Gauk-Roger, Topher (28 February 2022). "Jean Smart Says Being a Single Mother Has Been 'Unimaginable': 'Hardest Thing I've Ever Done'".
  3. ^ "Richard Gilliland - Call Me Crazy: A Five Film Official Movie Site". Lifetime. 20 April 2013. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 17 January 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  4. ^ Gans, Andrew (2007-01-02). "Jean Smart and Richard Gilliland Will Read Love Letters Feb. 10-11". Playbill. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  5. ^ Barnes, Mike (25 March 2021). "Richard Gilliland, 'Designing Women' Actor and Husband of Jean Smart, Dies at 71". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  6. ^ Seemayer, Zach. "Richard Gilliland, Actor and Husband of Jean Smart, Dead at 71". Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 2021-03-26.

External linksEdit

  • Richard Gilliland at IMDb