You might remember Patricia Richardson as the actress who played the matriarch of the Taylor family on Home Improvement. That series premiered in 1991 and ran until May of 1999. For 8 seasons and 204 episodes, Richardson played Jill Taylor. and we just have to say, the show wouldn’t have been the same without her.
She has appeared in many critics lists of best television mom’s and for good reason. For her role, she was nominated for four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series and received two more Golden Globe nods for Best Actress in a comedy television series.
Jill was the voice of reason for her husband Tim and their 3 children – Brad, Randy, and Mark. Her personality was rooted in common sense and she possessed great control over her emotions. Mediaweek described Jill as being the very epitome of understanding.
We’re going to be checking in on Richardson and see what she’s been up to these days. Like most people, she’s been dealing with the harsh reality that is the pandemic, but it seems like she’s making the best of circumstances.
We’re also going to take a little trip back in time to the early ’90s when casting for Home Improvement hadn’t even been finalized. Richardson was not only skeptical to join the cast but she was also the second choice.
In a minute, we’ll take a look at who the network originally had in mind and see how Richardson was eventually convinced to join the series – but first, let’s see what Patricia looks like these days. Honestly, we didn’t even recognize her when we first saw these photos she recently posted on her social media.
Patricia Richardson Today
Richardson is now 69 years old and has embraced what she calls her ‘COVID’ look by letting her gray hair grow out naturally.
Entertainment Tonight recently ran a special where they interviewed the ‘iconic leading ladies of the 90s’ and Richardson was obviously included in the discussion. For fans of Home Improvement, she is virtually unrecognizable today. Seeing her with her light gray hair pulled back into a ponytail stands in stark contrast with the Jill Taylor we all remember – but to be honest, the new look really suits her nicely.
Some people are lucky and wind up aging gracefully. Others have less forgiving experiences while growing older. We have to give credit where credit is due, Patricia Richardson is rocking her late 60s aesthetic better than most.
In one Instagram photo, she referred to her fresh look as her ‘new covid fashion raccoon hair’. In response, her fans doted over the super relatable post and made sure to compliment her for embracing her gray hair.
When Richardson was on Home Improvement, her looks were constantly in the media. She had just had twins right before filming of the series commenced. Interestingly, instead of the producers trying to push her to change her look or lose some of that pregnancy weight, they instead embraced her body and instead encouraged her to keep the weight on if she wanted to.
At first, she approached the producers and assured them that she was doing her best to lose the pregnancy weight. Their reply shocked her. They told her that they didn’t care what she weighed or how she looked. To them, the most important thing was that she looked real.
That must have been refreshing news to hear at the time All too often, we hear about actors and actresses being pressured to change their image or lose an unhealthy amount of weight in a short period of time just to appease the superficial demands of some producer or network big whig. It’s pretty wonderful to hear that the Home Improvement production team appreciated Richardson just the way she was.
Perhaps that experience had some kind of residual impact on her today. Some people absolutely dread going gray but she embraces her silver silky natural do with confidence and grace. Good for you Patricia!
She Wasn’t The First Choice To Play Jill Taylor
When Home Improvement was still in the works, Patricia Richardson wasn’t who the network bass originally had in mind to play Jill Taylor. Initially, they had their sights set on Frances Fisher but it just didn’t end up working out the way that they had wished. And of course, we got the inside scoop as to why.
You see, back then Fisher was best known for playing Detective Deborah Saxon in the soap opera The Edge of Night. She was also dating Clint Eastwood at the time and living at his Carmel-by-the-Sea mansion.
When they started to film the Home Improvement pilot it quickly became evident that Fisher was more cut out for dramatic roles. It would seem comedies weren’t really her thing.
Just three days after rehearsals had begun for the show, the writers of the series decided that they needed to replace Fisher with someone else ASAP. They recognized that she was a very capable actress but ultimately she wasn’t the right fit for the role.
Really though, it seems insane to think of anyone else playing Jill other than Patricia Richardson. She seemed to mesh with the rest of the cast perfectly and her character seemed to flow out of her so seamlessly and naturally.
Frances Fisher probably wasn’t too upset by not landing the role though. Her career didn’t seem to be tarnished in the least bit. She went on to star in Unforgiven, Titanic, True Crime, In The Valley of Elah, and most recently in the critically acclaimed HBO Watchmen series.
Patricia Almost Turned Down The Role Of Jill
Richardson was skeptical about signing on to the series at first. For one thing, she didn’t want to be cast as your typical ‘perfect’ sitcom mom. She didn’t want to be the next Clair Huxtable or Carol Brady. Richardson is very much like her Jill character in real life. She’s a strong independent woman that embraces many aspects of feminism. The prospect of getting to play a character that mirrored some of her values definitely sweetened the pot when she was still yet making her decision.
She also had to weigh the fact that she had just given birth to twins. She knew that her children would require much of her time and attention. Yet again, the network went out of their way to tend to her needs and circumstances. They really wanted her on board, so they gladly worked around her breastfeeding schedule to keep her around.
She ended up saying yes to the casting offer because of the support of her husband and because the producers of the show had previously worked on her favorite TV series Roseanne.
By the way, if you’re enjoying this video so far, make sure you give it a like and subscribe to our channel. And make sure you keep watching to find out what some of the other Home Improvement cast members ended up doing after the show came to an end.
Tim Allen And Richard Karn Are Reuniting For A New Show
Does anybody know what time it is?
Home Improvement fans will be thrilled to learn that Tim Allen aka Tim The Toolman Taylor is linking up with his former ‘Tool Time’ co-host Richard Karn – whom you might remember as Al Borland – for a brand new series called Assembly Required which will air on The History Channel.
Richard tweeted a couple of months ago that filming had just begun for the new project and that everyone was super excited to see the show take shape.
The program is a competition series that will document builders as they undertake renovation projects that seem almost impossible. The show will shine the spotlight on some of the best and brightest builders from across the nation in their home workshops as they compete to breathe new life and resurrect everyday household items that are in desperate need of repair.
In each episode, Tim and Richard will also reflect on the history of each featured item and celebrate the great minds that invented them.
The History Channel has ordered a 10 episode season of the unscripted series and it’s rumored that the program will premiere sometime in 2021.
What Happened To Jonathan Taylor Thomas?
Thomas rose to massive fame back in the mid-90s, but he ended up leaving Home Improvement before the series ended so he could attend high school. After graduation from Chaminade College Preparatory School in California, he went on to study history and philosophy at Harvard. Thomas graduated from Columbia in 2010.
Following Home Improvement he made several appearances in TV shows and films. Notably, he guest-starred on Alley McBeal, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Veronica Mars, Smallville, and starred in I’ll Be Home For Christmas.
His last credit was on Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing sitcom series in 2015 as John Baker.
What About Zachary Ty Bryan?
Following Home Improvement, Bryan, who played Brad Taylor, went on to guest-star in a number of other sitcoms and television series just like Johnathan Taylor Thomas did. Some of his guest-spots included roles on Boston Public, Veronica Mars, and Family Law.
He also has had some luck in film as well. In 1997 he starred in the adventure film True Heart and in 2006 he landed the role of Clay in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
In October of 2020, he was arrested and charged with 2 felonies for allegedly assaulting and strangulating his ex-wife at his apartment in Eugene, Oregon.
Early Hindman was best know for playing Wilson, the man behind the fence and Tim Taylor’s wise confidant, on Home Improvement. He went on to appear in an episode of Law and Order in 200 and an episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent in 2002. He also had a minor role in the 2001 science fiction film Final.
Hindman was a lifelong smoker and was diagnosed with lung cancer in early 2003. He passed away on December 29th of that same year at the age of 61.
Well, here we are once again at the end of another facts-packed video. There’s something so fascinating about seeing what happened to actors and actresses from decades ago. Some stars wind up disappearing from Hollywood altogether like Johnathan Taylor Thomas, while others like Tim Allen and Richard Karn manage to keep their acting careers alive for quite some time.
It’s also nice to see that Patricia Richardson has learned to love her gray hair. We think she looks pretty distinguished these days.
What do you think about her new hairdo? Do you think she’s rocking it or do you think she needs a little ‘dome improvement’? Let us know what you think in the comments section below
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