Patricia Richardson is best known for her portrayal of Jill Taylor on the long running series "Home Improvement," in which she co-starred with Tim Allen. For her work on the series, she received four Emmy® nominations and two Golden Globe® nominations as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. While performing in "Home Improvement," she also co-hosted the Emmy® Awards with Ellen DeGeneres. In 2009, the cast members of "Home Improvement" received a Fan Favorite Award from the TV Land Awards. She has also received a Vision Award and a Women In Film Award in Texas and commendations from the Prism Awards for her work in the show. For two years, she had a recurring role on "The West Wing" as Sheila Brooks, Sen. Arnold Vinick's (Alan Alda) chief of staff. She was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her role in "Ulee's Gold," opposite Peter Fonda and directed by Victor Nunez.
Previously, Richardson garnered rave reviews for her portrayal of Marilyn Monroe's mother in the CBS miniseries "Blonde." She played twins in "Viva Las Nowhere," co-starring Danny Stern and James Caan, which was released on video under the title "Dead Simple" and won a Seattle Film Festival Award. She received more great reviews for her role in Lifetime's "Sophie & the Moonhanger," co-starring Lynn Whitfield and Jason Bernard and "Undue Influence," with Brian Dennehy. Other films include "Lost Angels," "In Country," and "Beautiful Wave." She was brought out to Los Angeles from New York after several years of doing theater, first by Norman Lear and then Alan Burns, to do three different series prior to "Home Improvement" - "Double Trouble" for Lear and then "Eisenhower and Lutz" and "FM" for Burns.
Richardson took some time off from her career to get her kids through school and returned to work a few years ago when the youngest went off to college. She has happily returned to the East Coast to do theater. She did "The Graduate" first for the Cape Theatre, then the world premiere of Alfred Uhry's "Apples and Oranges," directed by Lynne Meadow for MTC and the Alliance Theatre. She recently starred in the Off-Broadway production of "I Forgive You Ronald Reagan" at the Samuel Beckett Theatre.
Richardson was born in Bethesda, Maryland and was one of four daughters of a Naval aviator, who became an aeronautical engineer and corporate executive. The Richardson family moved around the country frequently while Richardson was growing up. She is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where she received a B.F.A. in Acting. She met several people at SMU that she ended up working with later in New York, such as the playwrights Jack Hefner ("Vanities") and Beth Henley ("Crimes of the Heart"). Richardson originated parts in New York in Henley's "The Wake of Jamie Foster" and "The Miss Firecracker Contest," as well as "Loose Ends" by Michael Weller, "Fables for Friends" by Mark O'Donnell and "Cruise Control" by Kevin Wade. She received her Equity card from Arthur Laurents when she first arrived in New York and auditioned for "Gypsy" with Angela Lansbury. She understudied "Gypsy" for a year, but never went onstage on for the part.
Richardson is the National Spokesperson for CUREPSP and serves on their Board of Directors. PSP is the rare brain disease that killed her father and she has been working to raise money and awareness for all brain disease, particularly the "tau" related ones such as PSP, Alzheimer's and TBI.