Kate McNeil on Designing Women

In 1989, Kate McNeil made a brief but memorable guest appearance on the sitcom Designing Women. In the episode called 'The Junies', Kate McNeil plays Libby Coker, a member of the Lady June sales company, of which Charlene (played by Jean Smart) has just become a member. When Libby comes over to the house and is ultra-perky and very high pressure, Charlene's friends begin to consider the Lady June organization as rather cult-like. Kate McNeil's character appears again briefly near the end of the episode, when the other women come to rescue Charlene from a Lady June meeting.

Kate McNeil had obvious comedic skills but she never really focused on straight comedy throughout her career. During 1989 to 1991, she appeared on a handful of sitcoms, such as Anything But Love and Dear John. Her small role on Designing Women showed off her funny side to great effect and also gave her yet another opportunity to show off her Southern accent and persona that she originally displayed in North and South Book II (and would later use to great effect again in an episode of Quantum Leap).

Kate McNeil chats with Jean Smart on Designing Women

Kate McNeil and Delta Burke on Designing Women

Kate McNeil on Anything But Love

In 1989, Kate McNeil appeared in the first of two episodes she would do of the sitcom Anything But Love. The show, which starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis, ran from 1989 to 1992 on the ABC network. Kate McNeil guest starred in two second season episodes playing Gail, the girlfriend of Richard Lewis' character. Earlier in 1989, Kate McNeil had done the first sitcom appearance of her career on the CBS sitcom Designing Women.

In her first episode of Anything But Love, titled 'Hearts and Bones', Kate McNeil goes out to dinner with boyfriend Richard Lewis and his co-worker Jamie Lee Curtis. Jamie Lee Curtis ends up prematurely performing the Heimlich maneuver on Kate McNeil, breaking one of her ribs in the process. Later, at the hospital, she again injures Kate McNeil's character when she accidentally slams a door in her face. Richard Lewis begins to wonder whether she is subconsciously hurting his girlfriend.

Here are some images of Kate McNeil in her first appearance on Anything But Love:

Several episodes later, Kate McNeil reprised her Gail character on Anything But Love. In the episode 'Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow', Kate McNeil's character plans a surprise birthday party for her boyfriend Richard Lewis. Richard Lewis, however, decides to end their relationship right as the party begins, leading to some awkward moments.

After appearing on Anything But Love, Kate McNeil would only ever do one other sitcom, an episode of Dear John in 1991. After that she would abandon the half hour situation comedy format altogether.

Here are some pictures of Kate McNeil in her second appearance on Anything But Love: