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 ABC's The Practice (1998–2003). For her portrayal of Evelyn Harper on the CBS comedy Two and a Half Men (2003–15), she received a total of four Primetime Emmy Award nominations.
Holland Virginia Taylor
January 14, 1943
|Partner(s)||Sarah Paulson (2015–present)|
|Relatives||Brad Anderson (nephew)|
Taylor's other notable television credits include starring roles on the sitcoms Bosom Buddies (1980–82), The Powers That Be (1992–93) and The Naked Truth (1995–98). She also appeared as Jill Ollinger on the soap opera All My Children (1981–83), as Peggy Peabody on The L Word (2004–08), and as Ida Silver on Mr. Mercedes (2017–19). In 2020, she received critical praise and her eighth Primetime Emmy Award nomination for portraying Ellen Kincaid in the Netflix miniseries Hollywood.
Taylor's feature film credits include Romancing the Stone (1984) and its sequel (1985), Alice (1990), To Die For (1995), One Fine Day (1996), George of the Jungle (1997), The Truman Show (1998), Happy Accidents (2000), Keeping the Faith (2000), Legally Blonde (2001), The Wedding Date (2005), Baby Mama (2008), Gloria Bell (2018), Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020), and The Stand In (2020).
Taylor was born in 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Virginia (née Davis), a painter, and C. Tracy Taylor, an attorney. She is the youngest of three daughters in the family; her sisters are Patricia and Pamela, and through Pamela, she is an aunt of director Brad Anderson. She attended high school at Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She majored in Theatre at Bennington College, graduating in 1964, before moving to New York City to become an actress.
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..."
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.
She proved herself to be equally adept at both comedy and drama. 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 to 1993, 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.
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 through the show's entire run through 1998, despite several retoolings.
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 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 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!" She was nominated in the same category for the same role the following year.
Taylor was also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her recurring role on AMC's The Lot, and has been nominated for Emmys five times since 2003: four for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series 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, and one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Ellen Kincaid, a studio executive and mentor for aspiring actors, in the miniseries Hollywood. 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.
Taylor began researching, writing, and producing a one-woman play about the late Texas Governor Ann Richards in 2009. 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. It was later retitled Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards and opened in Chicago November 16, 2011, where it was billed as a "pre-Broadway" engagement. It played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., 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. PBS Great Performances broadcast the premiere of the play, now titled simply Ann, on June 19, 2020. It had been recorded at the Zach Theater in Austin, Texas, following its national tour and Broadway run.
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. Her partner was later reported to be actress Sarah Paulson, who is 32 years her junior. In March 2016, Taylor and Paulson's relationship was confirmed when Paulson stated during an interview that they had been dating since early 2015. In August 2020, Taylor told the LGBTQ&A podcast that she identifies as gay.
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.
|1976||The Next Man||TV Interviewer|
|1979||3 by Cheever: O Youth and Beauty!||Beverly|
|1980||Fame||Claudia Van Doren||Uncredited|
|1984||Concealed Enemies||Mrs. Marbury|
|Romancing the Stone||Gloria Horne|
|1985||Key Exchange||Mrs. Fanshaw|
|The Jewel of the Nile||Gloria Horne|
|1987||Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson||Ernestine King|
|1988||She's Having a Baby||Sarah Briggs|
|1993||Cop and a Half||Captain Rubio|
|1994||The Favor||Maggie Sand|
|1995||To Die For||Carol Stone|
|How to Make an American Quilt||Mrs. Rubens|
|Last Summer in the Hamptons||Davis Mora Axelrod|
|Steal Big Steal Little||Mona Rowland-Downey|
|1996||One Fine Day||Rita|
|1997||George of the Jungle||Beatrice Stanhope|
|Just Write||Emma Jeffreys|
|1998||The Unknown Cyclist||Celia||Uncredited|
|The Truman Show||Alanis Montclair/Angela Burbank|
|Next Stop Wonderland||Piper Castleton|
|1999||The Sex Monster||Muriel|
|2000||Happy Accidents||Maggie Ann "Meg" Ford|
|Mail to the Chief||Katherine Horner|
|Keeping the Faith||Bonnie Rose|
|2001||Town & Country||Mistress of Ceremonies|
|Legally Blonde||Professor Elspeth Stromwell|
|2002||Fits and Starts|
|Cinderella II: Dreams Come True||Prudence||Voice role|
|Home Room||Dr. Hollander|
|Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams||Grandma Helga Avellan|
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Cameo|
|2005||The Wedding Date||Bunny Ellis|
|2007||Cinderella III: A Twist in Time||Prudence||Voice role|
|2008||Baby Mama||Rose Holbrook|
|2010||The Chosen One||Ruth|
|2017||Kepler's Dream||Violet von Stern|||
|2018||Gloria Bell||Hillary Bell|
|2020||To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You||Edith "Stormy" McClaren-Sheehan|
|Bill & Ted Face the Music||The Great Leader|
|The Stand In||Barbara Cox|
|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|
|1977–1980||The Edge of Night||Denise Norwood Cavanaugh, R.N.||Unknown episodes|
|1980–1981||Bosom Buddies||Ruth Dunbar||21 episodes|
|1981||ABC Afterschool Special||Francine 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|
|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|
|Perry Mason Returns||Paula Gordon||Television film|
|1987||Harry||Ina Duckett, R.N.||7 episodes|
|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|
|People Like Us||Dolly||Television film|
|Big Deals||Mrs. Bluett||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|
|In the Best of Families:
Marriage, Pride & Madness
|Florence Newsom||Television film|
|The Counterfeit Contessa||Wallace Everett||Television film|
|1994–1995||Diagnosis: Murder||Agent Gretchen McCord||2 episodes|
|1995||A Walton Wedding||Aunt Flo||Television film|
|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|
|Buddy Faro||Olivia Vandermeer||1 episode|
|1999||ER||Phyllis Farr||1 episode|
|The Lot||Letitia DeVine||Unknown episodes|
|My Last Love||Marnie Morton||Television film|
|1999–2000||Ally McBeal||2nd Woman in Face Bra Infomercial /
Judge Roberta Kittleson
|2000||Strong Medicine||Lillian Pynchon||1 episode|
|DAG||Katherine Twigg||1 episode|
|The Living Edens||Narrator||1 episode|
|The Spiral Staircase||Emma Warren||Television film|
|The Deadly Look of Love||Evelyn McGinnis||Television film|
|2001||Strange Frequency||Marge Crowley||Television film; segment: "Room Service"|
|The Fighting Fitzgeralds||Rose||1 episode|
|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|
|McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade||Grand Marshal||Television special|
|2017–2019||Mr. Mercedes||Ida Silver||29 episodes|
|2017||The Orville||Jeannie Mercer||Episode: "Command Performance"|
|Speechless||Andrea||Episode: "B-R-I-- BRITISH I-N-V-- INVASION"|
|Good Behavior||Alice||2 episodes|
|2020||Hollywood||Ellen Kincaid||Main role|
|2021||The Chair||Professor Joan Hambling||Main role|
|2021||The Morning Show||Cybil Richards||Recurring role|
|1965–66||The Devils||Ensemble||Broadway Theatre, Broadway|
|1972–73||Butley||Anne Butley||Morosco Theatre, Broadway|
|1975||We Interrupt This Program...||Amanda Williams||Ambassador Theatre, Broadway|
|1975–76||Murder Among Friends||Angela Forrester||Biltmore Theatre, Broadway|
|1977||Something Old, Something New||Cynthia Morse||Morosco Theatre, Broadway|
|1983||Moose Murders||Hedda Holloway||Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Broadway|
|2013||Ann||Ann Richards||Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Broadway|
|2016||The Front Page||Mrs. Grant||John Golden Theatre, Broadway|
|1967||The Poker Session||Irene||Martinique Theatre, Off-Broadway|
|1968||The David Show||Performer||Players Theatre, New York City|
|1969||Tonight in Living Color||Performer||Actors Playhouse, New York City|
|1970||Colette||Performer||Ellen Stewart Theatre, New York City|
|1974||Fashion||Kim Howard||McAlpin Rooftop Theatre, New York City|
|1976||Children||Barbara||Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City|
|1979||Drinks Before Dinner||Performer|
|1982–93||Breakfast with Les and Bess||Bess||Hudson Guild Theatre, New York City|
|1986||The Perfect Party||Performer||Playwrights Horizons|
|1988–89||The Cocktail Hour||Sister||Promenade Theatre, New York City|
|1989||Love Letters||Melissa Gardner|
|1999||The Vagina Monologues||Performer||West Side Theater|
|2011||Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards||Ann Richards|
Awards and nominationsEdit
|Year||Award||Category||Title of Work||Result|
|1999||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series||The Practice||Won|
|Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||The Lot||Nominated|
|2005||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Two and a Half Men||Nominated|
|2013||Tony Awards||Best Actress in a Play||Ann||Nominated|
|2020||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie||Hollywood||Nominated|
- Bobbin, Jay (August 21, 2005). "Checking in with Holland Taylor". The Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, VA. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Obituaries: C. Tracy Taylor, 77, Ex-allentown Lawyer". The Morning Call. Allentown, Penn. May 2, 1989. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- "Holland Taylor returns to role in 'Naked Truth'". The Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. Associated Press. August 11, 1997. p. C12. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Rhodes, Joe (October 5, 2008). "Growing From Too Young to Grande Dame". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
- Simons, John (August 8, 1983). "Uppie with Auntie". New York. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
- Byrne, Bridget (November 8, 2004). "Stirring Things Up". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. Associated Press. p. D3. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Jacobs, Matthew (April 30, 2020). "Better With Age: The Holland Taylor Story". HuffPost. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
I think that was possibly right after I did a show for Norman Lear, which was one of the things I’m proudest of, called "The Powers That Be."
- Gutierrez, Trey (June 19, 2020). "A Broadway Veteran Channels Ann Richards". Texas Monthly. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- "A Letter from Holland Taylor". The North Hollywood Arts Center. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
- Gans, Andrew (December 17, 2011). "Ann, Created by and Starring "Two and a Half Men" Star Holland Taylor, Begins Kennedy Center Run Dec. 17". Playbill. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Hernandez, Greg (November 30, 2015). "Two and a Half Men mom Holland Taylor: 'My relationship is with a woman'". Gay Star News. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- Sale, Anna (November 30, 2015). "Holland Taylor Steps Off Her Island". Death, Sex and Money. WNYC. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
- "Report: Holland Taylor dating Sarah Paulson". San Francisco Chronicle. December 2, 2015. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
- "Holland Taylor says she hasn't 'come out' because she 'lives out'". Fox News. May 2, 2016.
- "Holland Taylor Confirms She Is in a Relationship with a Much Younger Woman". Extra. December 1, 2015.
- Schulman, Michael (March 2, 2016). "Sarah Paulson Opens Up About Acting, Marcia Clark and Dating Older Women". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Wilkins, Vanessa (March 2, 2016). "Taylor and Paulson in relationship since early 2015". ABC News.
- Masters, Jeffrey (August 18, 2020). "Why Holland Taylor Doesn't 'Have Any Impulse' to Define Herself". The Advocate. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
- "Partners/Celebrity Support". Aid For AIDS. Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-16.
- "Exclusive Clip: Holland Taylor Bonding With Granddaughter in Kepler's Dream". LRM. 2017-12-05. Retrieved 2020-11-11.
- Weitzman, Elizabeth (December 9, 2019). "'Bombshell' Film Review: Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron Shine in Roger Ailes Downfall Saga". The Wrap. Retrieved December 9, 2019.
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