Almost all of us have heard of Home Improvement star, Tim Allen. However, it’s not often that we get to hear the story behind the lead actress in the show, Patricia Richardson. Richardson plays Jill, Tim’s witty and loving wife, and mother of three.
During an interview, Richardson opens up about her experiences on the show. When asked about Tim Allen, Richardson says, “Immediately, I loved him.” She continues, “Everything that we dealt with in terms of marriage and family and kids, really were just classic, ongoing deals.”
Richardson Began Her Career As A Broadway Actress
Richardson began her career as a serious theater actress. The first Broadway show she auditioned for was Gypsy. She says that she was so nervous that she messed up the entire audition. However, that same nervousness actually landed her the role of Louise in the show.
“I was auditioning for Louise, who doesn’t know what she’s doing. And I didn’t know what I was doing. I was a complete idiot. And terrified. The whole thing was a disaster. And everything I did they thought was hilarious,” says Richardson. After starring in the show, Richardson’s career skyrocketed. One day, her agent called to offer her the role of Jill on Home Improvement.
Richardson Says She “Never Heard” Of Tim Allen
“I didn’t audition for it. They just came to me and said, ‘We want you to start tomorrow.'” says Richardson. “I didn’t know anything. They called me and said ‘there’s this guy, he’s a stand-up. He did this show, it won an award.’ I never heard of him,” she continues.
Shortly after its premiere, Home Improvement because a household name. The show aired for eight years with a total of 204 half-hour episodes.
“He [Allen] wanted that show to go on forever,” says Richardson.
Even when she wanted to quit the show, producers still looked for ways to continue recording. “They said, ‘Let’s do it with dead Jill,'” says Richardson. However, Allen knew the show would never work without his co-star and on-screen wife. “And then Tim was like, “Uh, yea, I don’t think we can do that.’ So then he went out and said, ‘I think it’s time to end Home Improvement,'” say Richardson.
Despite becoming an iconic show about family values, Richardson reveals that the premise of the show started out much differently. Richardson jokes that producers constantly reminded her that the show demonstrated, “this is why men and women shouldn’t live together.” However, Richardson says that they proved that statement wrong. “What we’re doing with the show is showing how they can,” she says.
And in 2015 Richardson and Allen reunited for the show Last Man Standing. Richardson guest-starred as Allen’s new neighbor who bothers him by using her power tools early in the morning. Although the two do not play husband and wife on the show, fans were still delighted to see them onscreen together again.