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That's sad and, by today's standards, he was young. I loved the romances in real life that came from the cast.

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He was so great as J.D.

As I said in the Celebrity Deaths thread, while I feel sorry for Jean and their son and all who loved him, my heart aches a little extra for their daughter; she's just 13, and that's a particularly rough age to lose a parent.

Annie Potts posted on Instagram with a picture from the DW set and said:

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Sweet Richard. You are missed already. Please say hello to Dixie and Hal, Meschach and Alice. Table read Monday. 😘😘
Love, Annie

 

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Oh, lord, I didn't know that Meschach Taylor had died!  He was even younger!

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On 3/25/2021 at 5:45 PM, annzeepark914 said:

I am so sorry to learn about this. Gilliland was perfect as J.D. And he worked so well with the other characters. I always enjoyed the episodes he was in. 

I just read about this in another thread, such sad news. 

He was great. I guess he had other shows to do or some other commitments in real life because in the context of this show, there was no way in hell the Mary Jo character should ever let that one get away. They had such a good chemistry and with all the trouble Mary Jo had finding a good guy, no way would she be so quick to give up on him. 

I loved him in the vacation episodes, all the men had such a lovely rapport with each other. Seems like it would have been a fun group of friends.

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1 hour ago, ljenkins782 said:

I loved him in the vacation episodes, all the men had such a lovely rapport with each other. Seems like it would have been a fun group of friends.

I had planned to mention this in my previous post.  Gilliland and Holbrook were such naturals in this show and the vacation trips were my favorite episodes of all (especially the Daddy & Sons and the Florida with Ursula shows).  His character, J.D. and Mary Jo were perfect together.

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1 hour ago, ljenkins782 said:

I loved him in the vacation episodes, all the men had such a lovely rapport with each other.

I love in "Reservations For Eight" when J.D. asks which room he and Reese will be in, Mary Jo says it doesn't matter, they're all the same, and he says, "Maybe to you, but maybe Reese and I want something extra."  I don't remember which one of them says, "We want our time together to be special," but they're hilarious when they join hands.

I also love in "Nightmare from Hee Haw" when he, adjusting his crutches to drag his battered self out of the hospital, says, "You know, Mary Jo, I've been thinking - Since we don't go together anymore, you don't have to keep asking me on these outings.  I mean, you could take somebody you like."

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1 hour ago, Bastet said:

I love in "Reservations For Eight" when J.D. asks which room he and Reese will be in, Mary Jo says it doesn't matter, they're all the same, and he says, "Maybe to you, but maybe Reese and I want something extra."  I don't remember which one of them says, "We want our time together to be special," but they're hilarious when they join hands.

I also love in "Nightmare from Hee Haw" when he, adjusting his crutches to drag his battered self out of the hospital, says, "You know, Mary Jo, I've been thinking - Since we don't go together anymore, you don't have to keep asking me on these outings.  I mean, you could take somebody you like."

I also loved how they all ribbed Suzanne, especially Reese, but JD did it as well. It was always good-natured and a funny way to include her with the couples even when she was flying solo. 

Another funny JD line delivery that always sticks with me is in the episode when Ted and JD's ex keep butting into their plans with trivial stuff, like Quint wanting his Garfield pajamas. JD and Mary Jo make a list of "true emergencies" and JD shoves the list in Ted's face and goes "See Ted, Garfield in'it on there" in his lazy Southern drawl. Always makes me laugh.

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22 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

I had planned to mention this in my previous post.  Gilliland and Holbrook were such naturals in this show and the vacation trips were my favorite episodes of all (especially the Daddy & Sons and the Florida with Ursula shows).  His character, J.D. and Mary Jo were perfect together.

Awe, this makes me so sad.  I read he and Jean Smart were to film a picture together this summer.

Of all the vacation episodes, I love the one where Reese picks up a heavy bag and Julia says it’s Suzanne’s cosmetics.  Reese says, “My word, no one is that ugly.” 😂😂

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22 minutes ago, ButterQueen said:

Reese says, “My word, no one is that ugly.” 😂😂

There were SO many great one liners with the original cast.  And the delivery was spot on.

"The man should have to kill the bug."

"I'm saying, I want you to take your big knockers and hit the road, if you wouldn't mind."

 

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The writing + the *finesse-obsessed* writers of this show + LA Law, early Cheers, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, Lou Grant,..these incredibly witty, bright writers can't *all* be retired, right? I've already mentioned the dopey script I saw on the Big Bang set. SNL has finally become unwatchable thanks to the pathetic writing staff. OK, Seinfeld had great writers who were grabbing onto their previous lives + those of their friends & relatives (& it was funny!)...but where the heck are the really good humerous writers of today?

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51 minutes ago, ButterQueen said:

I love the one where Reese picks up a heavy bag and Julia says it’s Suzanne’s cosmetics.  Reese says, “My word, no one is that ugly.” 😂😂

I loved the relationship between Reese and Suzanne; he teased her, but was fond of her.  I love after his heart attack, when Julia is fussing over him and asks Suzanne if she thinks he looks pale, and Suzanne says no, she thinks he looks cute; kind of tousled and sexy.  Reese says, "I am obviously messing around with the wrong Sugarbaker sister."

In that same scene, Julia gets embarrassed when he says in front of Suzanne that the bottom half of him is still operational, too, just in case she's ever interested again, and he shrugs it off, saying, "Oh, horse feathers, Suzanne knows all about the bottom half of men."

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Popping back in to say I keep thinking about Richard Gilliland's death.  He was only 71, he and Jean Smart were set to work together again in just a few months, their daughter is only 13, he died after a brief illness ... nobody was expecting to have to live without him at this point, and suddenly he's gone.  It's sad.  I know nothing about him, but I've never heard anything but praise for Jean, so I figure if she married him, and stayed married to him all this time, he was good peeps, too.

I remember Jean saying she's got a good deal of Charlene's gullibility in her, and he would have fun with it - like, he'd come home and weave some tall tale about something that happened at the store, with all these crazy details, and she'd react with a "Wow, that really happened?" and he'd say, "No!  I was pulling your leg."  She fell for it every time, which entertained him.

Lots of long-term Hollywood marriages among the DW gang; they all got married either shortly before the show or during its run, and all those marriages are either still going or ended because of death.  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason are still together after nearly 40 years of marriage, as are Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney and Annie Potts and her husband (a director/producer) after a little over 30 years.  Richard and Jean had also been married over 30 years at the time of his death.  Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook nearly 25 years when she died.  Meshach Taylor and his wife (an actor) around 30 years at the time of his death.  

Some of these were second, third, or fourth marriages, but they all lasted.  That's a high percentage of long-term marriages in one group of people!

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2 hours ago, Bastet said:

Popping back in to say I keep thinking about Richard Gilliland's death.  He was only 71, he and Jean Smart were set to work together again in just a few months, their daughter is only 13, he died after a brief illness ... nobody was expecting to have to live without him at this point, and suddenly he's gone.  It's sad.  I know nothing about him, but I've never heard anything but praise for Jean, so I figure if she married him, and stayed married to him all this time, he was good peeps, too.

I remember Jean saying she's got a good deal of Charlene's gullibility in her, and he would have fun with it - like, he'd come home and weave some tall tale about something that happened at the store, with all these crazy details, and she'd react with a "Wow, that really happened?" and he'd say, "No!  I was pulling your leg."  She fell for it every time, which entertained him.

Lots of long-term Hollywood marriages among the DW gang; they all got married either shortly before the show or during its run, and all those marriages are either still going or ended because of death.  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason are still together after nearly 40 years of marriage, as are Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney and Annie Potts and her husband (a director/producer) after a little over 30 years.  Richard and Jean had also been married over 30 years at the time of his death.  Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook nearly 25 years when she died.  Meshach Taylor and his wife (an actor) around 30 years at the time of his death.  

Some of these were second, third, or fourth marriages, but they all lasted.  That's a high percentage of long-term marriages in one group of people!

I just hope Delta goes before Gerald McRaney, because as much as he adores her, I think she's the one who'd completely fall to pieces without him. 

The tail end of Reservations for Eight is one of the greatest end tags ever and shows the chemistry between Delta and Gerald and Hal and Dixie so beautifully. And credit to Richard Gilliland and Jean Smart that they both emoted chemistry with their onscreen partners in the same scene. 

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On 3/31/2021 at 8:19 PM, Bastet said:

Popping back in to say I keep thinking about Richard Gilliland's death.  He was only 71, he and Jean Smart were set to work together again in just a few months, their daughter is only 13, he died after a brief illness ... nobody was expecting to have to live without him at this point, and suddenly he's gone.  It's sad.  I know nothing about him, but I've never heard anything but praise for Jean, so I figure if she married him, and stayed married to him all this time, he was good peeps, too.

I remember Jean saying she's got a good deal of Charlene's gullibility in her, and he would have fun with it - like, he'd come home and weave some tall tale about something that happened at the store, with all these crazy details, and she'd react with a "Wow, that really happened?" and he'd say, "No!  I was pulling your leg."  She fell for it every time, which entertained him.

Lots of long-term Hollywood marriages among the DW gang; they all got married either shortly before the show or during its run, and all those marriages are either still going or ended because of death.  Linda Bloodworth-Thomason and Harry Thomason are still together after nearly 40 years of marriage, as are Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney and Annie Potts and her husband (a director/producer) after a little over 30 years.  Richard and Jean had also been married over 30 years at the time of his death.  Dixie Carter and Hal Holbrook nearly 25 years when she died.  Meshach Taylor and his wife (an actor) around 30 years at the time of his death.  

Some of these were second, third, or fourth marriages, but they all lasted.  That's a high percentage of long-term marriages in one group of people!

My husband was 68, and died after a brief and unexpected illness.  It’s soul crushing.

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My DVR picked up the season 6 opening episodes where Allison and Carlene are introduced.  I really don't know what they were thinking with the Allison character.  Maybe it was just that Julia Duffy was not right for the part, but it's like she was the worst version of Suzanne with absolutely no charm.  I mean, Suzanne could do and say ignorant things, but you almost had to forgive her because she was played in a way that made her kind of outrageous and lovable.  Allison just acts like someone who has never interacted with humans before, and it is really alienating for a character that is supposed to be a regular.      

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I will always love the season 6 opener, if for nothing other than the 'bird on your head' jokes and the way Julia turns it around on Alison at the end of the episode. But it was my first introduction to the show, so I'm probably a bit biased in that regard as I hadn't yet seen the first five seasons. But I honestly didn't mind Alison much at all and season 6 in general I think is pretty funny. 

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1 hour ago, txhorns79 said:

Allison just acts like someone who has never interacted with humans before, and it is really alienating for a character that is supposed to be a regular.      

It was just awful.  I bet they got complaints because they tried to pass it of as some sort of neurotic disorder.  I quit after the first couple of episodes, it was unwatchable after that.

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On 6/19/2021 at 6:18 PM, txhorns79 said:

My DVR picked up the season 6 opening episodes where Allison and Carlene are introduced.  I really don't know what they were thinking with the Allison character.  Maybe it was just that Julia Duffy was not right for the part, but it's like she was the worst version of Suzanne with absolutely no charm.  I mean, Suzanne could do and say ignorant things, but you almost had to forgive her because she was played in a way that made her kind of outrageous and lovable.  Allison just acts like someone who has never interacted with humans before, and it is really alienating for a character that is supposed to be a regular.      

Yes, she's actually quite similar to the character of Bernice's niece Phyllis in the sanity hearing episode, who Bernice accurately described as "charm-free." 

That was fine for that episode because Phyllis was intended to be an adversary to the regulars, but to try to shoehorn that kind of character into a close-knit group was an odd choice. 

Suzanne was often at odds with the group too, but it was much more natural and ultimately, there was a relationship underneath it all. She provided a nice counterpoint to the views and attitudes of the other 3 with her outrageous comments and fixation on superficial things, like clothes and pageants over politics or social issues. 

Her trademark "oh, big whoop" in response to Julia or Mary Jo's moral grandstanding could be a bit of a palate cleanser at times, while Allison's abrasiveness was just off-putting. Hard to identify with a character like that, even if they technically share your views.

 

Edited by ljenkins782
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10 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

I always thought she said, "Oh big wooo" (something I've been saying ever since).

It was definitely 'big woo'!

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14 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

I always thought she said, "Oh big wooo" (something I've been saying ever since).

That was definitely the pronunciation, but it was hard to convey in spelling. I actually struggled a bit with posting that because of the spelling, LOL.

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47 minutes ago, ljenkins782 said:

That was definitely the pronunciation, but it was hard to convey in spelling.

Right!  Wooh, woo, woot does not appear in print all that often!

Edited by sugarbaker design

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15 hours ago, annzeepark914 said:

I always thought she said, "Oh big wooo" (something I've been saying ever since).

My mom and I continue to use that expression with each other, too.

I also say, "Well, get my smelling salts" in response to something terribly unsurprising.

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6 minutes ago, Bastet said:

I also say, "Well, get my smelling salts" in response to something terribly unsurprising.

Ha! I do too.

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I should also note that of course I pronounce it as "smellin' salts".

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2 hours ago, Bastet said:

My mom and I continue to use that expression with each other, too.

I also say, "Well, get my smelling salts" in response to something terribly unsurprising.

Omigosh, there was a line from one of the shows, I can't remember which one, where Suzanne says something like "Don't go dropping bombshells like that" followed by "pass the smelling salts".  A friend of mine does it when someone says something obvious, and I crack up.  If anyone can remember the show or context I'd appreciate you telling me.

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29 minutes ago, sugarbaker design said:

Omigosh, there was a line from one of the shows, I can't remember which one, where Suzanne says something like "Don't go dropping bombshells like that" followed by "pass the smelling salts".  A friend of mine does it when someone says something obvious, and I crack up.  If anyone can remember the show or context I'd appreciate you telling me.

That's from "The Fur Flies".  When Charlene says her point of view (on wearing animal fur) is "I'm not sure," Suzanne responds, "Well, get my smelling salts.  Don't go dropping bombshells on us like that, Charlene, someone could have a heart attack."

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5 minutes ago, Bastet said:

That's from "The Fur Flies".  When Charlene says her point of view (on wearing animal fur) is "I'm not sure," Suzanne responds, "Well, get my smelling salts.  Don't go dropping bombshells on us like that, Charlene, someone could
have a heart attack."

I cannot wait to get home and watch it on Hulu.  That is an excellent episode.  Thanks.

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Julia Duffy did play a Suzanne like character on Newhart named Stephanie.  However, she wasn't playing that on Designing Women.

Instead she was more snide and rude..than sweetly shallow.  And she kind of had a valley tone to her voice.

Maybe the show could have modified her character..like the show did with Carlene.

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Three of the other four characters on the show despised Allison (they were often annoyed by Suzanne but they didn’t hate her). That should have been the first clue that the character was ill-conceived.

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40 minutes ago, Kyle said:

Three of the other four characters on the show despised Allison (they were often annoyed by Suzanne but they didn’t hate her). That should have been the first clue that the character was ill-conceived.

Those three plus 100% of the viewers....

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