Holland Taylor

Holland Taylor

Birth name: Holland Virginia Taylor
Born: January 14, 1943
Age: 80
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
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Holland Virginia Taylor (born January 14, 1943) is an American actress and playwright. She won the 1999 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Judge Roberta Kittleson on the ABC drama The Practice (1998-2003). She is also known for her role as Evelyn Harper on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men (2003-2015).

Taylor's other notable television roles include the sitcoms Bosom Buddies (1980-1982) and The Powers That Be (1992-1993). Her film appearances include One Fine Day (1996), George of the Jungle (1997), The Truman Show (1998), and Legally Blonde (2001). She also wrote and starred in the solo play Ann, based on the life and work of Ann Richards, for which she was nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play.

Taylor was born in 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[1] to Virginia (née Davis), a painter, and C. Tracy Taylor, an attorney.[2][3] She is the youngest of three girls in the family; her sisters are Patricia and Pamela, and through Pamela, she is an aunt of director Brad Anderson.[4] She attended high school at Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She majored in drama at Bennington College[5] graduating in 1964, before moving to New York City to become an actress.[6]



Taylor began in the theater. Throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, she appeared in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including starring roles in Simon Gray's Butley and A. R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour; for the latter, she was nominated for a Drama Desk award. In 1983, Taylor appeared in Breakfast with Les and Bess, which prompted the New York magazine theatre critic John Simon to sing, "...Miss Taylor is one of the few utterly graceful, attractive, elegant and technically accomplished actresses in our theatre...seeing her may turn you, like me, into a Taylor freak..."[7]

Taylor took the role of Denise Cavanaugh on the soap opera, The Edge of Night, who killed herself just to frame her husband. Then encouraged by her acting coach, Stella Adler, Taylor took a role that would make her well known: Tom Hanks' sexy, demanding boss in the 1980s sitcom Bosom Buddies.[8]

She proved herself to be equally adept at both comedy and drama.[6] In 1985, she co-starred with Lisa Eilbacher in the ABC detective series Me and Mom. Two years later, she played opposite Alan Arkin in the short-lived ABC sitcom Harry, in which she received "starring" billing. In 1990, Taylor reunited with former Bosom Buddies executive producers Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett for a role on their ABC sitcom Going Places, playing grand dame television producer Dawn St. Claire for the show's first 13 episodes. From 1992-93, she starred in Norman Lear's The Powers That Be with John Forsythe and David Hyde Pierce, playing the wife of Forsythe's character, a U.S. senator.[citation needed]

In early 1994, she joined the cast of Saved by the Bell: The College Years as Dean Susan McMann, just episodes before its cancellation. Following this was her role as high-powered newspaper editor Camilla Dane on the ABC/NBC sitcom The Naked Truth; Taylor was one of the few cast members to last all the way through the show's run, from 1995-98.[citation needed]

She played the part of Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice. Originally intended to be a one-time appearance, the role lasted from 1998 to 2003. She won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in 1999; in her acceptance speech, she is remembered for claiming the statue and exclaiming, "Overnight!" Taylor thanked David E. Kelley, The Practice's producer/writer and creator, for "giving me a chariot to ride up here on: A woman who puts a flag on the moon for women over 40—who can think, who can work, who are successes, who can cook, and who can COOK!"[citation needed]

Taylor was also nominated for an Emmy for her recurring role on AMC's The Lot, and has been nominated four times since 2003, for Best Supporting Actress for her role on the TV series Two and a Half Men, playing Evelyn Harper, the snobbish, overbearing mother of Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer's characters. Taylor's television movie and series guest roles have been extensive and include appearances on ER and Veronica's Closet, and recurring roles on Ally McBeal and Monk, and as billionaire Peggy Peabody on The L Word.

Taylor's movie roles have included Reese Witherspoon's character's tough Harvard law professor in the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde, Tina Fey's character's mother in Baby Mama, The Truman Show, Happy Accidents, Next Stop Wonderland, George of the Jungle, The Wedding Date, How to Make an American Quilt, Romancing the Stone, D.E.B.S., Cop and a Half, and One Fine Day.

Taylor's animated roles include that of Prudence, the castle's majordomo and love interest of the Grand Duke, in Disney's Cinderella II and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. She also played a role in the animated show American Dad! as Francine's biological mother.

Holland Taylor in 2008.

Taylor began researching, writing, and producing a one-woman play about the late Texas Governor Ann Richards in 2009.[6] The two-act play, originally titled Money, Marbles, and Chalk, starring Taylor as Richards, was first workshopped in May 2010 at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas.[9] It was later retitled Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards[10] and opened in Chicago November 16, 2011, and was billed as a "pre-Broadway" engagement. It played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, from December 17, 2011, through January 15, 2012. The show next opened on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on March 7, 2013. For this role, Taylor was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play.[11]

Personal life

On November 30, 2015, while answering a question about marriage, in a radio interview with WNYC, Taylor revealed that she was in a relationship with a younger woman and that most of her relationships have been with women.[12][13] Her partner was later reported to be actress Sarah Paulson.[14][15][16][17] In March 2016, Taylor and Paulson's relationship was confirmed when Paulson stated during an interview that they had been dating since early 2015.[18]

Taylor has been a supporter of Aid For AIDS in Los Angeles, serving on their Honorary Board and as an ongoing participant in their largest annual fundraiser, Best In Drag Show, among other fundraising efforts.[19]

Awards and nominations

Emmy Awards
Year Category Title of Work Result
1999 Outstanding Supporting Actress - Drama Series The Practice Won
2000 Nominated
2000 Outstanding Guest Actress - Comedy Series The Lot Nominated
2005 Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series Two and a Half Men Nominated
2007 Nominated
2008 Nominated
2010 Nominated
Tony Awards
Year Category Title of Work Result
2013 Best Actress in a Play Ann Nominated



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Next Man TV Interviewer
1979 3 by Cheever: O Youth and Beauty! Beverly
1980 Fame Claudia Van Doren Uncredited
1983 Reuben, Reuben Uncredited
1984 Concealed Enemies Mrs. Marbury
1984 Romancing the Stone Gloria Hart
1985 Key Exchange Mrs. Fanshaw
1985 The Jewel of the Nile Gloria Hart
1987 Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson Ernestine King
1988 She's Having a Baby Sarah Briggs
1990 Alice Helen
1993 Cop and a Half Captain Rubio
1994 The Favor Maggie Sand
1995 To Die For Carol Stone
1995 How to Make an American Quilt Mrs. Rubens
1995 Last Summer in the Hamptons Davis
1995 Steal Big Steal Little Mona Rowland-Downey
1996 One Fine Day Rita
1997 George of the Jungle Beatrice Stanhope
1997 Just Write Emma Jeffreys
1997 Betty Crystal Ball
1998 The Unknown Cyclist Celia Uncredited
1998 The Truman Show Truman's Mother
1998 Next Stop Wonderland Piper Castleton
1999 The Sex Monster Muriel
2000 Happy Accidents Maggie Ann "Meg" Ford
2000 Mail to the Chief Katherine Horner
2000 Keeping the Faith Bonnie Rose
2001 Town & Country Mistress of Ceremonies
2001 Legally Blonde Professor Stromwell
2002 Fits and Starts
2002 Cinderella II: Dreams Come True Prudence (voice)
2002 Home Room Dr. Hollander
2002 Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Grandma Helga Avellan
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Grandma Helga Avellan
2003 Intent Judge Cavallo
2004 D.E.B.S. Mrs. Petrie
2005 The Wedding Date Bunny
2007 Cinderella III: A Twist in Time Prudence (voice)
2008 Baby Mama Rose
2010 The Chosen One Ruth
2017 Kepler's Dream Violet von Stern
2018 Gloria Bell


Year Title Role Notes
1969 J.T. Mrs. Arnold Television film
1971 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Trish Wanamaker Unknown episodes
1973 Somerset Sgt. Ruth Winter Unknown episodes
1975 Beacon Hill Marilyn Gardiner Unknown episodes
1977 Kojak Elizabeth 1 episode
1977-1980 The Edge of Night Denise Norwood Cavanaugh, R.N. Unknown episodes
1980-1981 Bosom Buddies Ruth Dunbar 21 episodes
1981 ABC Afterschool Special Felicia Martin Episode: "My Mother Was Never a Kid"
1981-1983 All My Children Jill Ollinger Unknown episodes
1982 The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana Frances Shand Kydd Television film
1982 I Was a Mail Order Bride Dottie Birmington Television film
1983 The Love Boat Kathy Brighton 1 episode
1984 Kate & Allie Linda Cabot 1 episode
1985 Me and Mom Zena Hunnicutt Unknown episodes
1985 Perry Mason Returns Paula Gordon Television film
1987 Harry Ina Duckett, R.N. 7 episodes
1987 Perfect Strangers Olivia Crawford 1 episode
1987-1989 CBS Summer Playhouse Fran Grogan 2 episodes
1989 Murder, She Wrote Winifred Thayer 1 episode
1990 Wiseguy Allison Royce 1 episode
1990 People Like Us Dolly Television film
1990 Big Deals Television film
1990-1991 Going Places Dawn St. Clare 3 episodes
1991 The Rape of Doctor Willis Dr. Greenway Television film
1992-1993 The Powers That Be Margaret Powers 20 episodes
1993 With Hostile Intent Lois Baxter Television film
1993-1994 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Dean Susan McMann 7 episodes
1994 Betrayal of Trust Mary Shelton Television film
1994 In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & Madness Florence Newsom Television film
1994 The Counterfeit Contessa Wallace Everett Television film
1994-1995 Diagnosis: Murder Agent Gretchen McCord 2 episodes
1995 A Walton Wedding Aunt Flo Television film
1995 Awake to Danger Dr. Joyce Lindley Television film
1995-1998 The Naked Truth Camilla Dane 23 episodes
1996 Something So Right Abigail 1 episode
1998-2003 The Practice Judge Roberta Kittleson 29 episodes
1998 Veronica's Closet Millicent 2 episodes
1998 Buddy Faro Olivia Vandermeer 1 episode
1999 ER Phyllis Farr 1 episode
1999 The Lot Letitia DeVine Unknown episodes
1999 My Last Love Marnie Morton Television film
1999-2000 Ally McBeal 2nd Woman in Face Bra Infomercial /
Judge Roberta Kittleson
2 episodes
2000 Strong Medicine Lillian Pynchon 1 episode
2000 DAG Katherine Twigg 1 episode
2000 The Living Edens Narrator 1 episode
2000 The Spiral Staircase Emma Warren Television film
2000 The Deadly Look of Love Evelyn McGinnis Television film
2001 Strange Frequency Marge Crowley Television film; segment: "Room Service"
2001 The Fighting Fitzgeralds Rose 1 episode
2001 The Day Reagan Was Shot Nancy Reagan Television film
2002 Fillmore! Mrs. Cornwall (voice) 1 episode
2003-2015 Two and a Half Men Evelyn Harper 101 episodes
2004-2008 The L Word Peggy Peabody 8 episodes
2005-2007 Monk Peggy Davenport 2 episodes
2007 American Dad! Mrs. Dawson (voice) Episode: "Big Trouble in Little Langley"
2012 Electric City Ruth Orwell (voice) 20 episodes
2012 McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Grand Marshal Television special
2017 Mr. Mercedes Ida Silver 9 episodes
2017 The Orville Jeannie Mercer Episode: "Command Performance"
2017 Speechless Andrea Episode: "B-R-I-- BRITISH I-N-V-- INVASION"
2017 Good Behavior Alice 2 episodes



  • The Devils, 1965/66
  • Butley, 1972/73
  • We Interrupt This Program..., 1975
  • Murder Among Friends, 1975/76
  • Something Old, Something New, 1977
  • Moose Murders, 1983
  • Ann, 2013
  • The Front Page, 2016


  • The Poker Session, 1967
  • The David Show, 1968
  • Tonight in Living Color, 1969
  • Colette, 1970
  • Fashion, 1974
  • Children, 1976
  • Drinks Before Dinner, 1979
  • Breakfast with Les and Bess, 1982/83
  • The Perfect Party, 1986
  • The Cocktail Hour, 1988/89
  • Love Letters, 1989
  • The Vagina Monologues, 1999
  • Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, 2011
  • Ripcord, 2015


  • The Philanthropist, 1971
  • Passion Play, 1988
  • Kindertransport, 1996
  • A Delicate Balance
  • Black Comedy
  • Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, 2016[20][21]

Los Angeles

  • The Unexpected Man in The Geffen Playhouse, 2001
  • Kindertransport in The Tiffany Theatre
  • Narrator – LA Philharmonic "Persephone, Stravinsky, Essa-Pekka Salonen, Conductor"
  • Narrator – LA Philharmonic "Ahknaten, Philip Glass, John Adams, Conductor"

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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