”Home Improvement’: Patricia Richardson Wasn’t Originally Cast As Jill Taylor

by Jeremy Spirogis
Frances Fisher arrives at the 18th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards

Patricia Richardson burst onto the scene within the 1990s because the spouse of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor on Home Improvement. For eight seasons, Richardson portrayed the often-irritated Jill Taylor and did so with prowess. Fans fell in love with the dynamic that Richardson and Tim Allen, who took on the function of Tim Taylor, dropped at the present. Richardson was nearly on a distinct ABC present, although. In reality, her casting in Home Improvement was a last-minute determination.

Frances Fisher was initially solid as Jill Taylor on Home Improvement

When the crew behind Home Improvement sat right down to solid the sequence, Richardson wasn’t even on their radar. Early on within the casting course of, they’d settled on Frances Fisher for the function of Jill. Fisher agreed to take the half, and the solid sat down collectively to rehearse the present. Something was a bit off, although. Fisher and Allen didn’t play off of one another nicely, and Fisher’s comedic chops didn’t appear to be as much as the duty.

Frances Fisher arrives at the 18th Annual Art Directors Guild Excellence in Production Design Awards
Frances Fisher |Jerod Harris/WireImage

RELATED: Richard Karn’s Role on ‘Home Improvement’ Started Out as a Guest Spot

Before touchdown the function on Home Improvement, Fisher wasn’t actually identified for her comedy. She had largely taken on dramatic roles, and even now, years later, she nonetheless hasn’t taken on many comedic roles. Fisher might be greatest referred to as taking part in Rose’s mom in Titanic, however extra lately, she appeared in Watchmen.

The manufacturing crew modified their thoughts after rehearsing the pilot

Fisher appeared like the right match initially, and her resume introduced one thing to the desk, however her characterization of Jill fell flat. Richard Karn, who portrayed Al Borland, as soon as stated that Fisher got here throughout as too meek and didn’t have the comedic timing mandatory to hold the function subsequent to Allen. Test audiences didn’t take care of her work within the authentic pilot, and that left executives with an enormous downside on their fingers.

Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson appear in 'Home Improvement'Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson appear in 'Home Improvement'
Tim Taylor and Jill Taylor | Walt Disney Television through Getty Images Photo Archives

The sequence, general, appeared like a great prospect, however Fisher within the function of Jill would have possible spelled doom for the sequence. Instead of scrapping the entire thought, the crew went again to the drafting board. It was too late within the sport to begin auditioning a slew of actors, so that they pulled from the actors they’d beforehand labored with. Richardson was a kind of actors, and he or she was instantly tapped to tackle the function of Jill. She hadn’t even seen a script when she was requested to affix the solid.

Patricia Richardson by no means auditioned for the half

Richardson rapidly changed Fisher as Jill Taylor, however she by no means truly auditioned for the half. According to Looper, Richardson had given start to twins shortly earlier than Home Improvement was set to start filming. Already in contract with the community, Richardson was instructed to report back to Home Improvement to movie, as an alternative of ready 9 months to affix a distinct solid. She was despatched a script instantly, and whereas she knew little or no in regards to the challenge, she preferred the resume of the manufacturing crew.

Patricia Richardson as Jill Taylor and Tim Allen as Tim Taylor appear in 'Home Improvement' Patricia Richardson as Jill Taylor and Tim Allen as Tim Taylor appear in 'Home Improvement'
Patricia Richardson as Jill Taylor and Tim Allen as Tim Taylor seem in ‘Home Improvement’ | Walt Disney Television through Getty Images Photo Archives

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After ABC executives met her calls for, Richardson agreed to tackle the function. Even although they’d by no means seen Richardson with Allen, all of it labored out in the long run. The pair had simple chemistry, and their scenes collectively, for eight seasons, had been among the many greatest within the present. Richardson even appeared in Allen’s newest TV sequence, Last Man Standing as a neighbor.

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