Patricia Richardson

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Patricia Richardson
Patricia Richardson 94.jpg
Richardson after the 1994 Emmy Awards
Born (1951-02-23) February 23, 1951 (age 69)
Alma mater Southern Methodist University (B.A., 1972)
Years active1980–present
(m. 1982;div. 1995)

Patricia Castle Richardson (born February 23, 1951) is an American actress best known for her portrayal of Jill Taylor on the sitcom Home Improvement , for which she was nominated four times for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series [1] and twice for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical. and for her role as Dr. Andy Campbell in Strong Medicine (2002-2005). [2]


Richardson also received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in Ulee's Gold (1997).

Early life

Richardson attended multiple schools including Holton-Arms School and Hockaday School. [3] [4] She is a 1972 graduate of Southern Methodist University, [5] where she was friends with classmates Beth Henley and Stephen Tobolowsky, who was slated to be a cast member of Home Improvement , but had other contractual commitments when the series began filming. Tobolowsky initially suggested to producers of Home Improvement that Richardson be considered for the role of Jill Taylor after Frances Fisher was deemed too serious for the role.


Richardson began as the understudy for the role of Gypsy Rose Lee in Angela Lansbury's Broadway production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable , also playing several small chorus parts. [5] In the next ten years she worked in regional theater, commercials, and other Broadway and Off- Broadway plays. She had roles in programs such as The Equalizer, Spencer For Hire, and Kate & Allie . She appeared in one episode of The Cosby Show in the third season with her real-life husband, playing a woman giving birth to her ninth child. Richardson also appeared in the films Christmas Evil and C.H.U.D. . In 1989, she appeared in one episode of Quantum Leap as a radio station owner.

In 1983, she left New York for LA briefly to do a sitcom centered around Katey Sagal's twin sisters, Liz and Jean Sagal, called Double Trouble , for Norman Lear. When asked to go back and do a second season after her contract had expired, she passed in order to stay in New York and continue performing in Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest off-Broadway. A few years later Allan Burns, who co- created The Mary Tyler Moore Show , brought her back to Los Angeles to star in two sitcoms he produced: Eisenhower and Lutz and FM . Both shows ran for 13 episodes.

In 1991, three months after giving birth to twins, Richardson became a last-minute replacement for Frances Fisher in what would be her breakout role as Jill Taylor on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement . Richardson received four Emmy nominations, and two Golden Globe nominations in this role. [5] While working on Home Improvement, she hosted the Emmys with Ellen DeGeneres, starred in the miniseries Undue Influence with Brian Dennehy, Sophie and the Moonhanger on Lifetime with Lynn Whitfield, and won an Independent Spirit nomination in 1997 for her first major theatrical film role in Ulee's Gold .

Richardson and co-star Tim Allen on-stage at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards with late night host Jay Leno seated. Patricia Richardson, Tim Allen, Jay Leno (2078376222).jpg
Richardson and co-star Tim Allen on-stage at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards with late night host Jay Leno seated.

In 2002, Richardson replaced Janine Turner in the Lifetime medical drama series Strong Medicine , as a new character, Dr. Andy Campbell. [6] She was nominated for two Prism Awards for her work in Strong Medicine. After three seasons on that show, she was cast in a recurring role as Sheila Brooks, campaign manager for Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) in the final two seasons of NBC political drama The West Wing .

Richardson appeared in the first season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit . In 2008, she was the executive producer of the video documentary Long Story Short, which tells the story of Larry and Trudie Long, a popular Asian American nightclub act of the '40s and '50s, told through the eyes of their daughter and her friend, actress Jodi Long. In 2010, she appeared in an NBC made-for-TV film, The Jensen Project , and in 2011, she appeared in the Lifetime television film Bringing Ashley Home, also starring A.J. Cook and Jennifer Morrison. In 2012, she starred in the coming-of-age film Beautiful Wave and in the following year appeared in the Hallmark Channel TV film Smart Cookies. Since then, Richardson has filmed several small independent films and two more movies for the Hallmark channel, Friend Request and Snow Bride. [7]

On the twelfth episode of the fourth season of Last Man Standing titled "Helen Potts", Richardson guest-starred as the titular character and reunited with her former Home Improvement co-star, Tim Allen. At the end of the episode, it was revealed that one of her sons' name is Randy, who was portrayed by her other Home Improvement co-star; Jonathan Taylor Thomas. She returned as Helen Potts in the next season.

In 2015, she ran for the position of national president of the SAG-AFTRA, after she had served on the board for one term. She lost the election narrowly to incumbent President Ken Howard. She was re-elected to the National and Local Los Angeles Boards of SAG-AFTRA.

In 2016, Richardson returned to the stage in Steel Magnolias at the Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania. This production was directed by four time Oscar nominee, Marsha Mason, and also starred Elaine Hendrix, Lucy DeVito, Jessica Walter and Susan Sullivan. [8] [9] On June 9, 2016, this production became the highest-grossing show in the history of the Bucks County Playhouse. [10]

Personal life

Richardson married fellow actor Ray Baker in 1982. They had three children together: Henry Richardson Baker (born on February 22, 1985), and twins Roxanne Elizabeth Baker and Joseph Castle Baker (born on January 3, 1991), before they divorced in August 1995. Richardson is the godmother of actress Betty Gilpin, the daughter of actor Jack Gilpin.

Richardson had a long-term relationship with retired psychologist Mark Cline, whom she had met when they were both students at the Southern Methodist University. When she joined the cast of Strong Medicine, Richardson mentioned in an interview they lived together in her LA home. [6]

Richardson served many years on the Board of Directors and is the National Spokesperson for "Cure PSP", a patient advocacy and research organization for progressive supranuclear palsy, corticobasal degeneration, multiple system atrophy and related "Prime Of Life" diseases. Her father died of PSP in 2005. [11] [12]



1980 You Better Watch Out Mrs. Garcia
1984 C.H.U.D. Ad Woman
1986Yuri Nosenko, KGBJoan BlackTV movie
1987Hands of a StrangerHelenTV movie
1989 Parent Trap III Cassie McGuireTV movie
1989 Lost Angels Mrs. Anderson
1989 In Country Cindy
1996Sophie & the MoonhangerBonnie EdgertonTV movie
1996Undue InfluenceLaurel VegaTV movie
1997 Ulee's Gold Connie HopeNominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female
2001 Blonde Gladys Pearl Baker
2001 Viva Las Nowhere Helen/Wanda
2005Candy PaintLinda MillerShort film
2007 California Dreaming Aunt Bonnie
2009Lost DreamPatricia
2010 The Jensen Project Ingrid JensenTV movie
2011Bringing Ashley HomeMichelle McGeeTV movie
2012 Beautiful Wave Sue DavenportDirect-to-video
2012Smart CookiesLolaTV movie
2013Snow BrideMaggie TannenhillTV movie
2013Chance at RomanceMayHallmark movie
2017County LineMaddie Hall
2018A Christmas in TennesseeMartha
2019ChubbyPeggy Nabel
2019A Very Vintage ChristmasMargaret


1979 The Doctors Nurse Marion
1981 Love, Sidney N/Aepisode: "A Piece of the Rock"
1984 Double Trouble Beth McConnell8 episodes
1985 ABC Weekend Special Pamela Sawyerepisode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"
1985 Kate & Allie Pamelaepisode: "The Reunion"
1986 Spenser: For Hire Sarah Cabotepisode: "Shadowsight"
1987 The Cosby Show Mrs. Schraderepisode: "Calling Doctor Huxtable"
1987 The Equalizer Sandyepisode: "In the Money"
1988 Eisenhower and Lutz Kay 'K.K.' Dunne13 episodes
1989 Quantum Leap Rachel Porterepisode: "Good Morning, Peoria – September 9, 1959"
1989–1990 FM Lee-Ann Plunkett13 episodes
1991–1999 Home Improvement Jill Taylor202 episodes
nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Musical or Comedy (1994–95)
nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Female TV Performer
nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (1994, 1996–98)
nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Comedy Series
nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series
1999 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Annabel Hayesepisode: "Wanderlust"
2002–2005 Strong Medicine Dr. Andy Campbell59 episodes
nominated—Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series
2005–2006 The West Wing Sheila Brooks9 episodes
2015–2016 Last Man Standing Helen Potts2 episodes "Helen Potts", "Tanks For The Memories"
2019 Blindspot Dr. Nora Lee Rogaepisode: "The Big Reveal"

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  1. "Patricia Richardson | Academy of Television Arts & Sciences". Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  2. "Patricia Richardson | Hollywood Foreign Press Association". Retrieved January 17, 2016.
  3. "Patricia Richardson". Texas Monthly. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  4. Moore, Scott. "SHE'S MOM AT HOME AND ON THE SET". Washington Post. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  5. 1 2 3 "Patricia Richardson Biography". Retrieved December 31, 2013.
  6. 1 2 Kelleher, Terry (September 23, 2002). "Picks and Pans Review: Talking With...Patricia Richardson". People. Retrieved October 2, 2019.
  7. Valby, Karen (October 23, 2013). "Hallmark Channel Christmas movies: The five you'll be watching". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  8. Simoes, Monica (May 18, 2016). "Meet the Cast of Bucks County Playhouse's Steel Magnolias". Playbill . Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  9. Otten, Ted (June 1, 2016). "Theater: 'Steel Magnolias' at Bucks County Playhouse". Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  10. "STEEL MAGNOLIAS at Bucks County Playhouse Breaks Box Office Records!". Broadway World . June 10, 2016. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  11. Patricia Richardson Archived November 23, 2010, at the Wayback Machine , Cure PSP
  12. Elavsky, Cindy (March 9, 2014). "Celebrity Extra". King Features . Retrieved May 28, 2014.