With his imposing frame and commanding presence, this veteran TV actor started out playing villains but shot to fame as a good guy on the lighthearted '80s action series Simon & Simon. Boasting a Southern amiability and a deadpan drawl, he charmed audiences and Designing Women star Delta Burke, who became his third wife after they guest-starred on their respective series. His next show, the family sitcom Major Dad, was a moderate success and firmly established him as a stern yet lovable patriarch, a role he continued to embody on his subsequent show, Promised Land. McRaney also popped up in a slew of TV-movies, often opposite his wife, and even tried his hand at directing, helming multiple episodes of his first two hit series. In the '90s and '00s, he suffered through a few failed shows but always found work as a guest star on long-running series (JAG, CSI, West Wing), rarely straying from his effective stereotype, except for his deliciously malicious turn on Deadwood. In 2006, McRaney was tapped to portray the mayor of Jericho, Kansas, on the postnuclear holocaust drama Jericho, but left the show at the end of the first season to pursue other projects. And in 2010, he signed on to play a CIA boss on J.J. Abrams’ spy drama Undercovers. In his spare time, McRaney enjoys the outdoors and is an avid camper, hunter and fisherman.
- Is part Scottish and Choctaw Indian.
- Turned to acting in junior high after a knee injury sidelined him from playing football.
- Worked on offshore oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico after leaving college.
- First TV appearance was on Night Gallery in 1972.
- Was the last gunfighter to face Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke.
- Met future wife Delta Burke at a luncheon in 1987 and soon landed a guest appearance as her ex-husband on Designing Women.
- 2006, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series: Nominee
- Edna McRaney — Mother
- Jessica McRaney — Daughter
- Patricia Rae Moran — Ex-wife
- Angus McRaney — Son
- Ann McRaney — Sister
- Delta Burke — Wife
- Kate McRaney — Daughter
- Clyde McRaney — Father
- Beverly Root — Ex-wife
- Buddy McRaney — Brother
- University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, United States
- Birth Name: Gerald Lee McRaney
- Birth Place: Collins, Mississippi, United States
- Profession: Actor, Producer, Director, Writer