logo
Getty Images
Getty Images

Gerald McRaney’s Life before Delta Burke: ‘Responsibly Discouraging’ Parents & 2 Marriages

Titi Dokubo
Nov 25, 2021
01:20 A.M.

Gerald McRaney is a television and movie actor who has enjoyed a long career in the film industry spanning over five decades. From "Simon & Simon" to "Major Dad" and "House of Cards," he has brought joy to his fans worldwide.

Advertisement

Even though he started his career in the late 1960s, it wasn't until the early 1980s that he gained recognition for his works. One thing fans love about him is that he can absorb any role and deliver his best act.

Despite his success, his parents were not initially thrilled by his wanting to become an actor. They had felt it was a "responsibly discouraging" idea.

Portrait of Gerald McRaney on January 1, 1985 (left), Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney on the set of "Designing Women" (right) | Photo: Getty Images

Portrait of Gerald McRaney on January 1, 1985 (left), Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney on the set of "Designing Women" (right) | Photo: Getty Images

GERALD MCRANEY'S LIFE AND CAREER

Gerald Lee McRaney, known as "Mac" to his family and friends, was born in Mississippi on August 19, 1947. McRaney, who was also raised in Mississippi, is very proud of his southern roots.

Growing up, he never knew what career path he wanted to follow. Being an actor was not something he had considered, even though every kid in his era had fantasies of being John Wayne.

Advertisement

After sustaining a knee injury while playing football in junior high, he thought that would be the end of his world. However, with time, he realized that was the best thing that ever happened to him.

Advertisement

The knee injury created a butterfly effect, and he started considering being an actor. After the injury, a teacher put him on stage in a one-act play where he played the role of a dwarf.

His role in the play piqued his interest in acting, and he started studying it. He believed that if he could do that play, he could be an actor. In high school, he moved back to his homeland on the gulf coast of Mississippi.

The little town he moved to had a girls' college with a theatre department. Also, there were little theatre companies all up and down the gulf coast.

Advertisement

The girls' college desperately wanted young men to take part in their plays. At that point, he knew he could do it even though his parents felt the idea of being an actor was a "responsibly discouraging" thing.

When he was in college and was a theatre major, his parents sent his brother, nine years older than him, to talk sense into him. After the play that he was performing in was over, he talked with his brother.

However, McRaney's brother told him that he was good at what he was doing, and if McRaney ever needed help, he knew where to find him. Afterward, his brother went back home and talked with their parents.

Advertisement

Consequently, McRaney never heard any discouraging statements about his being an actor again. Once he got encouragement from his brother, he knew anything was possible.

It wasn't easy for him, and he had to do all kinds of jobs to support himself. He worked in an oil field in the Gulf of Mexico at some point.

He also drove a cab at night with the Beverly Hills cab company to have time for auditions during the day. Also, being a cab driver allowed him to make money to pay for his rent, acting classes, and more.

Advertisement

As a driver, he picked up different types of people, which helped him with character studies. One night, a robber tried to rob him, but he didn't have any money on him. Fortunately, the thief had a sense of humor about the scenario.

He started his acting career as a guest star in the 1955 Western drama series "Gunsmoke." In 1969, he made his first movie appearance in a low-budget film titled "Night of Bloody Horror."

After his first series, the actor who likes putting on different characters from time to time appeared in several shows where he played the villain.

Between 1981 and 1989, McRaney experienced great popularity in "Simon & Simon." In the series, McRaney played the role of Rick Simon, starring alongside Jameson Parker, who was his TV brother.

His next successful hit series was "Major Dad" between 1989 and 1993, where he played the role of Major John D. MacGillis. He starred in other series like "Promised Land," "House of Cards," "This Is Us," and "Filthy Rich."

Advertisement

His role as Dr. Nathan Katowski in "This Is Us" earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series in 2017.

Gerald McRaney visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 17, 2020, in Universal City | Photo: Getty Images

Gerald McRaney visits Hallmark Channel's "Home & Family" at Universal Studios Hollywood on September 17, 2020, in Universal City | Photo: Getty Images

MCRANEY'S PRIVATE LIFE AND LATEST UPDATES

Besides acting, McRaney loves the outdoors and likes to go hunting and fishing with his TV brother Parker. He is also a founding board member for The Entertainment Industries Council for a Drug-Free Society.

McRaney has been married three times in his life. In 1966, before he started acting, he got married to Beverly Root and divorced in 1971. Their marriage produced two children.

After years of being single, he married Pat Moran on November 14, 1981, but they divorced in 1989 after one child. Moran is a mid-Atlantic-based Casting Director.

Advertisement

Moran has been nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Casting ten times and has won three Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Casting.

Advertisement

Moran is an experienced casting director and producer with a strong theater background. She was the first to win Emmy Awards for casting across all three genres: Comedy, Drama & Limited Series/TV Movies.

Moran is also involved in pre and post productions and has worked on every John Waters film. Shortly after she and McRaney were divorced, he married Actress, Producer, and Author Delta Burke.

Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke during Delta Burke Makes Broadway Debut in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at The Marquis Theater in New York, on September 30, 2003 | Photo: Getty Images

Gerald McRaney and Delta Burke during Delta Burke Makes Broadway Debut in "Thoroughly Modern Millie" at The Marquis Theater in New York, on September 30, 2003 | Photo: Getty Images

McRaney and Burke had met when she made a guest appearance on "Simon & Simon." Even though this was McRaney's third marriage, it was Burke's first.

Currently, McRaney is starring as retired Admiral Hollace Kilbride on "NCIS: Los Angeles." McRaney made his first appearance in the series in 2014 but has become a regular on the show.

In his role, he counsels and advises the Los Angeles division of the NCIS Special Projects unit during their undercover operations.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Michael Jackson’s Nephew 'Has His Uncle down Pat' Dancing Like the King of Pop: ‘Brought Me to Tears’

December 09, 2023

How This Boy Skyrocketed from Living in 13 Different Foster Homes in 7 Years to First Oscar Nomination

January 22, 2024

'Rocky' Star Carl Weathers Dies at Home – Heartbroken Family & Co-stars Speak Out

February 03, 2024

This Woman Won the Heart of a Hollywood Actor – He Sacrificed His Career to Be There for Her & Their 5 Kids

May 03, 2024

Fielder Jewett Became Hunter Doohan's Husband after They Met on Tinder

December 06, 2023

I Met My Husband's Pregnant Fiancée – Story of the Day

December 26, 2023

Daniel Depp Is Johnny Depp's Older Brother Whom the Actor Is Proud Of

November 23, 2023

Kenn Whitaker Is Forest Whitaker's Brother Who Is Also an Actor

January 13, 2024

Military Veteran Suspects His Middle Child Is Not His & Takes DNA Test — Story of the Day

December 06, 2023

‘Home Alone 2’: The Fate of the Cult Actors of the Movie People Love to Rewatch

November 10, 2023

'CSI: Miami' Actor Evan Ellingson Accidentally Died in His Bedroom Leaving His Dad 'Heartbroken' — Details

November 29, 2023

This Clumsy Boy Grew up in the Shadow of His Super Famous Brother — He Turned into a Handsome 'Best Actor'

April 22, 2024

Maid Captures Millionaire’s Heart Days Before His Wedding — Story of the Day

February 16, 2024

Matt LeBlanc Shunned Hollywood for a Cattle Ranch Yet Never Lost Connection with 'Brother' Matthew Perry

November 15, 2023