For eight years, Patricia Richardson starred on Home Improvement as Jill, the mother to the three Taylor boys and the wife to Tim, who was played by series star Tim Allen. For the show, Richardson was nominated for four Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, and it’s the role she’s still most associated with. But, it’s been 23 years since the series ended—due to Richardson wanting to move on—and she’s had many other roles since, from TV to movies to being a real-life mother to her own three kids. Read on to find out more about Richardson today.
She’s still acting but took a big step back.
By the time Richardson was cast on Home Improvement, she had been acting on stage for years and had made appearances in a number of TV shows. She still acts today, but there are periods in her résumé during which she was less active. Richardson took breaks in order to spend more time with her family. For instance, when Home Improvement ended in 1999, it was because she didn’t want to continue with the show.
“The reason I turned down the ninth year of Home Improvement was because I was a single [divorced] parent and away from my kids too much,” she told Closer in 2018. “I left the show, and I have put my children first since then. That’s why I’ve kept quitting the business: to be with them.” Additionally, she told Closer that she “really hated fame.”
You may have spotted her on TV in recent years, however.
After Home Improvement, Richardson went on to star in the show Strong Medicine and also had a recurring role on The West Wing. More recently, she has played guest roles on NCIS, Blindspot, and The Blacklist, and has appeared in the TV movies A Christmas in Tennessee and A Very Vintage Christmas. She’s also continued to act in the theater.
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She’s stayed in touch with Home Improvement co-stars.
You may have also spotted Richardson on Last Man Standing, Allen’s sitcom, which ran from 2011 to 2021. Richardson reunited with her Home Improvement co-star for two episodes in 2015 and 2016. She told Entertainment Tonight in 2020 that when she came to work on his new show, she was worried that Allen had “never really forgiven [her] for not wanting to do the ninth year [of Home Improvement].”
Richardson also talked to Entertainment Tonight about the actors who played her sons on the show—Zachery Ty Bryan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Taran Noah Smith—saying that she’s kept in touch with Thomas in particular, as they both worked on the SAG-AFTRA board.
She’s a mother and grandmother.
Like Jill Taylor, Richardson also has three children. She shares Henry, Roxanne, and Joseph Baker with her ex-husband, actor Ray Baker. Baker and Richardson were married from 1982 to 1995.
“My oldest son is married to a wonderful girl I adore, and they live in Brooklyn,” Richardson told Closer in 2018. “My second son is a really talented stand-up comic, actor, and writer. And my daughter [recently] started a job at an ad agency. I think I’ve done my best and, while I’m sure they have their complaints, they know whatever happens, I’m here for them. Mom is always at their beck and call!”
In 2019, Richardson revealed that she became a grandmother. She posted photos of herself and her grandchild on Facebook and wrote, “I am a proud grandmother for the first time of the very lucky boy born to my beloved son Henry and his beautiful heroic wife Allie a few days ago. This is Bobby and a peak happiest moment in my life.”