Entertainment Jean Smart gets candid about losing her late husband Richard Gilliland

07:05  17 september  2021
07:05  17 september  2021 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Jean Smart, Richard Gilliland, Jean Smart posing for the camera: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo

On the heels of a string of acclaimed performances, including the HBO series' Hacks and Mare Of Easttown, 2021 has shaped up to be a career year for Jean Smart, which is not the norm for a 70-year-old actress in Hollywood.

But the great reviews and seemingly endless chatter of a late career surge is still a bittersweet moment for the Washington State native, following the death of her husband, actor Richard Gilliland this past March.

And now, some six months after his sudden and tragic passing, Smart is sharing about the heartbreaking loss of Gilliland, whom she credits, at least in part, for her recent success by putting his own career on hold to be the stay-at-home father for their daughter.

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Jean Smart, Richard Gilliland posing for a picture: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

The couple, who had met on the set of Designing Women in the 1980s, had been married nearly 34-years.

They shared two children together: son Connor, 31, and daughter Bonnie Kathleen, 12, who they adopted in 2009.

'He was a great dad, and he made me laugh every day,' Smart revealed in an interview with Variety, before sharing about the shock of his death and how it's impacted her life.

'Him passing away was just not ever even a thought. And it's changed every moment of my everyday life; every atom of my existence I feel like is altered.'

Richard Gilliland, Jean Smart posing for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

Gilliland died just as Smart was shooting the final week of season one of Hacks, the comedy-drama series for which the actress has since received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series.

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'I just want people to know how much he's sacrificed for me to be where I am, and to get the opportunities that I've gotten and let his career kind of take a back seat to help take care of our home and our kids,' Smart said of Gilliland's decision to focus on the upbringing of their daughter Bonnie in more recent years.

'And it kills me he didn't get the chances that I got, because he was so talented. I was very lucky when I met him.'

They met when Gilliland landed the recurring role of J. D. Shackelford, the boyfriend of Annie Potts' character, Mary Jo Shively, on Designing Women (1986-1991).

Jean Smart in a car: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

His acting resume dated back to 1974 with a guest role on the hit crime drama series The Streets of San Francisco. The Los Angeles native also made notable appearances over the years on McMillan & Wife (1976-77) The Waltons (1981), The Love Boat (1985), Matlock (1991, 1993, 1995), Party Of Five (1998), 24 (2006) and Dexter (2009), as well as the television miniseries Little Women (1978).

Standing Ovation! Jean Smart Honors Late Husband After Epic Emmys Win

  Standing Ovation! Jean Smart Honors Late Husband After Epic Emmys Win Standing Ovation! Jean Smart Honors Late Husband After Epic Emmys WinSmart, 70, who was nominated for her role in Hacks, hugged fellow nominee Kaley Cuoco before making her way to the stage.

In an interview with the New Yorker in late June, Smart confessed that her life has been 'really weird' since she lost her husband, and that it's going to be 'hard to live without' the laughter they shared together.

In an interview with Today in May, Smart said she wished her husband would have been able to see Hacks and Mare Of Easttown, which premiered on April 18, one month after his passing.

'I just would have liked to have shared these two shows with him. I know he loved the Hacks script. He thought they were brilliantly written, very funny, and it's just hard not to share that with him.'

a person standing in front of a building: ( © Provided by Daily Mail (

Smart's recent career surge could be traced back to her role as Floyd Gerhardt in the black comedy crime-drama series Fargo (2016), for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Limited Series.

She also got the same Outstanding Supporting Actress nomination for her portrayal as Agent Laurie Blake in Watchmen (2019).

Along with Designing Women (1986-1991), her career highlights on television also includes two Primetime Emmy Awards for Frasier (2000-2001) and another for Samantha Who? (2007-2009).

She also has starred in such notable films as Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Garden State (2004), I Heart Huckabees (2004), Youth in Revolt (2009), The Accountant (2016) and A Simple Favor (2018).

Richard Gilliland, Jean Smart posing for the camera: ( © Provided by Daily Mail ( Read more

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