Born: February 23, 1951
Birthplace: Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Patricia Castle Richardson (born February 23, 1951) is an American television and film 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 and two times for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Television Series - Comedy or Musical. Richardson also received an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her performance in Ulee's Gold (1997).
Richardson was born in Bethesda, Maryland as the third daughter of Mary Elizabeth (née Howard) and Laurence Baxter Richardson. Her sisters' names are Marianna 'Ann' Bales (née Richardson), Lynn Richardson and Catherine 'Cathy' Moseley (née Richardson). Her father was a corporate executive and retired naval officer. Richardson attended the Holton-Arms School in Maryland and then The Hockaday School in Dallas, Texas. She is a 1972 graduate of Southern Methodist University, 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. 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 husband playing a woman giving birth to her ninth child. Richardson also appeared in the films C.H.U.D. and You Better Watch Out.
In the late 80's she left New York for LA briefly to do a sitcom centered around Katey Sagal's twin sisters, 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. 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.
In 2002, Richardson replaced Janine Turner in the Lifetime medical drama series Strong Medicine, as a new character, Dr. Andy Campbell. 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 AJ Cook and Jennifer Morrison. In 2011, 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.
On the Season 4 Episode 12 episode of Last Man Standing entitled "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.
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 got divorced in August 1995. Richardson is the godmother of actress Betty Gilpin, the daughter of actors Ann McDonough and Jack Gilpin.
Richardson had a long-term relationship with retired psychologist Dr. 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. Although they don't appear to live together anymore, they are still friends and have been seen together.
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.
|1980||You Better Watch Out||Moss' mother|
|1986||Yuri Nosenko, KGB||Joan Black||Television movie|
|1987||Hands of a Stranger||Helen||Television movie|
|1989||Parent Trap III||Cassie McGuire||Television movie|
|1989||Lost Angels||Cheryl's Mother|
|1996||Sophie & the Moonhanger||Bonnie Edgerton||Television movie|
|1996||Undue Influence||Laurel Vega||Television movie|
|1997||Ulee's Gold||Connie Hope||Nominated—Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female|
|2005||Candy Paint||Linda Miller||Short film|
|2007||California Dreaming||Aunt Bonnie|
|2010||The Jensen Project||Ingrid||Television movie|
|2011||Beautiful Wave||Sue Davenport|
|2011||Bringing Ashley Home||Michelle McGee||Television movie|
|2012||Smart Cookies||Lola||Television movie|
|2013||Snow Bride||Maggie Tannenhill||Television movie|
|1981||Love, Sidney||N/A||Episode: "A Piece of the Rock"|
|1984||Double Trouble||Beth McConnell||8 episodes|
|1985||ABC Weekend Special||Pamela Sawyer||Episode: "The Adventures of Con Sawyer and Hucklemary Finn"|
|1985||Kate & Allie||Pamela||Episode: "The Reunion"|
|1986||Spenser: For Hire||Sarah Cabot||Episode: "Shadowsight"|
|1987||The Cosby Show||Mrs. Schrader||Episode: "Calling Doctor Huxtable"|
|1987||The Equalizer||Sandy||Episode: "In the Money"|
|1988||Eisenhower and Lutz||Kay 'K.K.' Dunne||13 episodes|
|1989||Quantum Leap||Rachel Porter||Episode: "Good Morning, Peoria - September 9, 1959"|
|1989-1990||FM||Lee-Ann Plunkett||13 episodes|
|1991-1999||Home Improvement||Jill Taylor||202 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Television Series Musical or Comedy
Nominated—People's Choice Award for Favorite Female TV Performer
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
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 Hayes||Episode: "Wanderlust"|
|2002-2005||Strong Medicine||Dr. Andy Campbell||59 episodes
Nominated—Prism Award for Best Performance in a Drama Series
|2005-2006||The West Wing||Sheila Brooks||9 episodes|
|2013||Chance At Romance||May||Hallmark Movie|
|2015-2016||Last Man Standing||Helen Potts||2 Episodes "Helen Potts", "Tanks For The Memories"|
Patricia Richardson supports the following charitable causes: Women's Issues, Breast Cancer, Cancer.