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
, 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.Gerald McRaney Fast Facts:
- 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.
- Gerald McRaney Relationships:
- Angus McRaney - Son
- Ann McRaney - Sister
- Delta Burke - Wife
- Kate McRaney - Daughter
- Clyde McRaney - Father
- Edna McRaney - Mother
- Jessica McRaney - Daughter
- Patricia Rae Moran - Ex-wife
- Beverly Root - Ex-wife
- Buddy McRaney - Brother
- Gerald McRaney Awards:
- 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series - Nominee
- University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS