Jean Smart’s husband, What happened to Richard?

Jean Smart's husband
Jean Smart

Well, who wouldn’t know the 80’s pop actress Jean Smart from the US. Jean Elizabeth Smart kicked off her career with Broadway play debut and later shook the entire Hollywood with her masterpieces. She lately was all the rage on the news regarding her husband’s death. On Sunday night, Hollywood veteran Jean Smart won an Emmy for outstanding actress in a comedy series for her work in “Hacks.” Jean Smart was all teary-eyed as she accepted the Emmy for best actress in a comedy series, which she dedicated to her late husband, Richard Gilliland. Let us get into the details of Jean Smart’s husband.

Jean Smart was born on 13th September of 1951 in the United States. After commencing her journey in local theatre in the Pacific Northwest, she had her Broadway breakthrough in 1981 as Marlene Dietrich in the historical drama Piaf and played the role of the famous German actress who was the leading lady of the early to late 1900s. Smart went on to play Charlene Frazier Stillfield in the CBS network show Designing Women, which she starred in from 1986 until 1991.

Jean Smart's husband
Jean Smart and her late husband, Richard Gilliland

The Hollywood gem with teary eyes gave a speech which made the people in attendance emotional, she went on to say, “Before I say anything else, I’d want to pay tribute to my deceased husband, Richard Gilliland, who died six months ago,” she added, tearfully. “I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for him laying his career on hold so that I could reap the benefits of all the amazing changes that have come my way.”

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Jean Smart’s husband, What happened to the actress’s partner?

Jean Smart’s husband dies on March 18th of 2021. The veteran actress attended the Emmy’s and was all emotional on stage, thanking and presenting the award she won for “Hacks” to her late husband, Richard Gilliland. Richard died of a heart-related issue at the age of 71. Jean Smart received a standing ovation from all the elite members of the Hollywood film industry for her fabulous performance in the comedy series “Hanks”. Jean and Richard were together for 34 years from 1987 to 2021, before he died.

Jean Smart's husband
Actress Jean Smart with her husband, actor Richard Gilliland, in 1992.

Early life

Jean Smart was born and brought up in Washington’s Seattle, she was the daughter of a teacher Douglas Alexander Smart and homemaker Kathleen Marie aka Kay Sanders Jean has 4 siblings in total and is the youngest one of all. When Jean Smart was just 13 years old, she was diagnosed with diabetes type 1.

She graduated from Ballard High School in Seattle in the year 1969, when she became interested in acting via the theatre program. Jean also earned a BFA in acting in the Professional Actors Training Program from the University of Washington. She is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority at the University of Washington.

Another interesting fact about Jean is that in the later years of her teens she found out that she is a direct descendant of Dorcas Hoar, who is one of the final people convicted of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. She found her family line and discovered about her Salem witches line all during Season 10 of the pop TV show Who Do You Think You Are?, which is an American genealogy documentary series.


Jean Smart has been a part of several hit films of Hollywood since the ’80s. Few of her popular movies include Hoodlums, Protocol, Flashlight, Fire with fire, Mistress, Project X, The yearling, Edie and Pen, Guinevere, Snow day, Sweet home Alabama, Forever fabulous, The odd couple II, Garden state, Bringing down the house, Lucky you, Hero wanted, Whisper of the heart, Barry Munday, Hero in the revolt and many more. Her latest works are Senior moment, Superintelligence, and Babylon, which is yet to be released in the upcoming year. 

She also has been a part of many shows on television like Dirty John, Mad about you, Watchmen, and the latest one, Hacks. She has won several honors and accolades, including Primetime Emmy nominations and a Tony Award nomination.

Jean Smart has been nominated for 9 Primetime Emmy Awards for her performance in TV shows. She has won twice for her cameo in Frasier, which ran from 2000 to 2001. She also once won an award for Samantha Who? and The most recent one was in the best actress in a comedy series category for “Hacks”. 

Jean Smart's husband
Jean Smart at the 73rd Emmy awards.

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