Home Improvement was one of the most watched sit-coms of the ’90s, loved by American families, as well as tool enthusiasts – who related to Tim Taylor, the tool man. But while the show went off the air over 20 years ago, the cast has moved on to other ventures, whether in acting or in pursuing other careers. If you’re intrigued to see what the actors have been up to in the last two decades, look no further.
Tim Allen as Tim Taylor
Tim Taylor is the main character on Home Improvement. He’s husband of Jill, and father to three boys – Brad, Randy and Mark. Tim is most enthusiastic about cars, tools, and building things.
He’s often found fixing things or trying to enhance them for “more power”, but usually causes accidents in the process. He even hosts his own TV show called Tool Time, in which he teaches the audience about Home Improvement – along with his assistant, Al – and tries to best his enemy, Bob Vila.
Tim Allen – today
Tim Allen portrays the head of the family, Tim Taylor. After the years of Home Improvement, Tim reprised his role as Buzz Lightyear in the sequels of hit Pixar franchise Toy Story, most recently Toy Story 4.
The actor is also widely known for his role as Mike Baxter in the ABC comedy Last Man Standing, which was cancelled in last spring, after six seasons. Tim also took part in the Netflix original comedy, El Camino Christmas, which came out in 2017.
Patricia Richardson as Jill Taylor
Jill Taylor is the loving wife of Tim on Home Improvement. She serves as the family’s voice of reason, often trying to prevent Tim from ruining appliances around the house while trying to give them “more power”.
She isn’t just your typical housewife, but a feminist and a career woman. Daughter to a military man, Jill is quite bossy and strong-willed, and is better not to be messed with, because she has one heck of a right hook.
Patricia Richardson – today
Patricia Richardson returned to television not long after the show ended, appearing in NBC’s political drama, The West Wing. Later on, the actress starred in the medical drama Strong Medicine, which aired for six seasons on Lifetime.
Patricia also made a guest appearance on Tim Allen’s TV show, Last Man Standing, in which the two made Home Improvement references about their former “marriage”. Besides her acting career, Patricia is the National Spokesperson for Cure PSP, an organization dedicated to researching the disease from which her father passed away in 2005.
Zachery Ty Bryan as Brad Taylor
Brad is the most athletic of the Taylor brothers, with soccer being one of his major interests as a teenager.
He was even offered to play for a professional soccer team in England, which is turned down for a scholarship to UCLA. Another major interest of Brad is girls, and so he has several love interests on the show. He is particularly close with Randy in the early years, as they pick on their younger brother Mark, but eventually grows closer with Mark as well.
Zachery Ty Bryan – today
Zachery played the role of Brad, the oldest of the Taylor boys. Currently 36 years old, he’s married to his high-school sweetheart, and is father to three daughters. After Home Improvement, he landed guest roles in other popular shows such as supernatural dramas Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Smallville, and Veronica Mars.
The actor took part in the Fast and Furious sequel, Tokyo Drift, and also starred in TV movie Thor: Hammer of the Gods. This year, Zachery will appear in superhero action series, Adi Shankar’s Gods and Secrets.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Randy Taylor
Randy is the middle brother of the three. As a kid, he constantly teams up with Brad to play pranks on their younger brother, Mark.
But in his teenage years he left his mischievous days behind (although he always remained a jokester) and became more focused on his interests. Unlike his brothers, Randy never cared too much about tools, but instead loved acting in school plays, and grew an interest in keeping the environment safe.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas – today
Jonathan Taylor Thomas plays Randy, the golden-haired heartthrob, who was every girl’s dream in the days of the show. After Home Improvement ended, Jonathan graduated high-school and enrolled in Harvard University, where is studied philosophy and history.
The actor appeared on several TV shows, like UPN drama Veronica Mars, legal drama Ally McBeal and even guest starred as Kaley Cuoco’s love interest on comedy 8 Simple Rules. The actor also reunited with his TV father, Tim Allen, when he guest starred in his comedy TV show, Last Man Standing.
Taran Noah Smith as Mark Taylor
Mark Taylor, the youngest of the Taylor boys, started out as a “dork”, often mocked by his older brothers and wearing glasses.
Building confidence as the show progressed, Mark took on a more rebellious personality in his teen years, listening to punk rock bands and even dyeing his hair green at one point. However, his childhood interests, like karate and cooking never went away, and by the end of the show grew out of his gothic attitude.
Taran Noah Smith – today
Taran Noah Smith portrayed the role of Mark on the show, since he was seven years old until he was sixteen. Upon leaving the show, Taran decided to leave his acting days behind him.
At the age of 17, he married Heidi van Pelt, who was 33 years old at the time. The couple started a company for manufacturing vegan cheese, but unfortunately, the couple divorced in 2007. Taran’s mother wrote a book called “Stardom Happens” about her son’s child actor days, warning parents about the hazards of the profession.
Pamela Anderson as Lisa
Lisa, played by the beautiful Pamela Anderson, is the first “Tool Time” girl. Her role involves introducing Tim and Al at the beginning of the show, handing tools as necessary to them, and bring in the fan mail at times.
She also modeled for a calendar of Binford Tools. When Pamela Anderson left the show to star in Baywatch, the character of Lisa left “Tool Time” to go study medicine and be a paramedic, coming back for only a few guest appearances.
Pamela Anderson – today
Pamela appeared in Home Improvement before she was cast on the hit show Baywatch, a show that she is most recognized with until today. Aside from Baywatch, Pamela also starred in shows like action comedy Valley Wonka and Fox comedy Stacked, and participated in hilarious parody flicks Superhero movie and Scary Movie 3.
She was formerly married to drummer Tommy Lee, as well as producer Rick Salomon, and is currently involved with professional footballer Adil Rami. The actress also promoting several charity organizations, and is mainly advocates for animal rights.
Richard Karn as Al Borland
The character of Al Borland, portrayed by Richard Karn, is Tim’s good friend and confidant. Al is also his “Tool Time” side-kick, although it seems he knows more about home improvement than Tim generally does.
He constantly wears flannel shirts, and dons a beard, which is often made fun of. Although Tim likes to make fun of Al for being unattractive, Al is quite popular with the female viewers of “Tool Time”, and has several girlfriends during the show. He eventually ends up marrying Trudy in the series finale.
Richard Karn – today
Following the days of Home Improvement, Richard Karn returned to the silver screen in several guest performances on programs like That 70’s Show, Courtney Cox drama Dirt, and even Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing. He also appeared in the NBC comedy Ctrl, which ran for one season.
But that wasn’t all; Richard hosted the popular game show Family Feud between 2002 and 2006, and hosted Game Show Network’s Bingo America. The actor has participated in several movies as well, including comedy The Back-up Bride and 2017 drama Christmas in Mississippi.
Sherry Hursey as Ilene Markham
Dr. Ilene Markham, an orthodontist and Al’s main love interest on the show, is the sister of one of Jill’s colleagues. As per her love of matchmaking, Jill sets Al and ilene up, and the two hit it off.
Ilene and Al date each other from seasons three to five, and even get engaged. However, on their wedding day, they decide together that they shouldn’t go through with marriage and end things in a good way.
Sherry Hursey – today
Sherry Hursey is mostly familiar due to her role as Ilene Markham on Home Improvement, as well as Paula Carson on the daytime drama Days of Our Lives.
In the years following the show, the actress guest starred in crime dramas NYPD Blue and CSI, and played Kirsten Dunst’s mother in the hit cheerleader flick, Bring It On. Sherry has also created and starred in TV movie Lilly’s Light, a magical family drama, and is currently filming a boxing drama called Underdog.
Debbe Dunning as Heidi Keppert
After Pamela Anderson left the show, Debbe Dunning took her place as “Tool Girl”, with the character of Heidi Keppert.
Heidi is very attractive, and it seems that many of the “Tool Time” male viewers are there only to see her, but she is also a master electrician. She wasn’t just popular with “Tool Time” viewers, but real life viewers as well. As her character gained popularity, she got her own storylines, focusing on her marriage and having children.
Debbe Dunning – today
Debbe Dunning is mostly familiar by her role as gorgeous “Tool Time” assistant Heidi, which she landed after a guest appearance in an earlier episode of the show. Debbe, who was a huge sensation, appeared in several commercials for big brands like Footlocker, Ford and Taco Bell, and even had her own calendar in 1996.
She also guest starred on Baywatch and popular comedy Married with Children. Debbe currently hosts her own TV show, Dude Ranch Roundup, and is set to appear in a new drama called The 11th Commandment.
Betsy Randle as Karen Kelly
Portrayed by Betsy Randle, Karen Kelly is Jill’s best friend on the first two seasons of Home Improvement. Karen is very vocal in her feminist opinions, and enjoys mocking and aggravating Tim whenever she comes around.
She’s often making Jill insecure of her marriage and putting Tim’s faithfulness to her in doubt, but to her it’s all part of a harmless rivalry with Tim. After two seasons on the show, Karen eventually moves to California.
Betsy Randle – today
After her appearance in Home Improvement, Betsy Randle was cast in the NBC family drama Boy Meets World.
The actress also guest starred in the show’s sequel series, Girl Meets World, as well as the supernatural drama, Charmed. Most lately, Betsy participated in a thriller called Painter, which is set to premiere in 2018. The Chicago born actress is currently residing in California with her husband, film editor John Randle, and their two children, Jessica and Aaron.
Earl Hindman as Wilson Wilson, Jr.
The character of Wilson Wilson, Jr., the Taylor family’s neighbor, is quite enigmatic as he is mostly hidden behind objects – mainly the fence that separates their houses.
He has a Ph.D in the field of Forgotten Languages and Cultures, and is generally very wise – which is why he is often found giving advice to the Taylors (especially Tim, who usually later misquotes him). Wilson’s entire face was only exposed for a second throughout the whole show, but was revealed in the series finale, as the cast bowed to the audience.
Earl Hindman – deceased
Earl Hindman was best known for his role in Home Improvement as Wilson Wilson Jr.
But before Home Improvement, Hindman played the part of Bob Reid in the TV drama Ryan’s Hope for fifteen years, alongside his wife, Molly McGreevey. Unfortunately, the actor was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2003 and passed away that year at the age of 61, but his iconic role as the wise neighbor of the Taylors’ will never be forgotten.
Shirley Prestia as Delores
Delores is the wife of Harry Turner, the owner of Harry’s Hardware, a store in which Tim spends a lot of his time, and Al later becomes part owner of.
His marriage to Delores isn’t exactly described as “happy”. In fact, the two are often found complaining about one another behind each other’s backs. When Tim tries to give Harry marital advice, he causes problems between him and Delores, which he eventually manages to fix, not without effort.
Shirley Prestia – deceased
Other than her role as Delores in Home Improvement, Shirley Prestia had guest roles in other high profile comedies such as Suddenly Susan, Will and Grace, Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The War at Home.
However, having being diagnosed with brain cancer in 2004, the actress had decided to retire from acting to focus on her health. After battling with the illness for eight years, Shirley sadly passed away in 2011, but will always be remembered for her brilliant ability to make us laugh.
Tammy Lauren as Patty
Tammy Lauren appears in the sixth and seventh season of Home Improvement, as Jill’s good friend, Patty.
In one of the episodes, Jill confides in her when a man she meets at the gym asks her out, and she ends up having a romantic dream about him. When Jill eventually confesses to Tim about her dream, they both agree that it’s natural to be attracted to other people sometimes – after which, Tim admits he is a little attracted to Patty.
Tammy Lauren – today
Tammy is also a cast member who started her way as child actress, portraying Melissa on Who’s Watching the Kids.
The actress had a recurring role as Detective Sullivan in the CBS soap The Young and the Restless, in addition to several guest roles on sit-coms like The Drew Carey Show, and popular NBC comedy Two and a Half Men. The actress appeared on the big screen as well, landing the lead in the horror film Wishmaster, and taking part in thriller Mad City, with Dustin Hoffman and John Travolta.
Bonnie Bartlett as Lucille Taylor
Portrayed by Bonnie Bartlett, Lucille Taylor is the widowed mother of Tim Taylor and his seven brothers.
When Tim was only eleven years old, she lost her husband in a car accident, when he collided with a driver who was under the influence (the same way that Tim Allen’s father had died in real life). Lucille appears in a few episodes of the show, in one of which she starts dating Tim’s former tool shop teacher, much to Tim’s disapproval.
Bonnie Bartlett – today
You may know Bonnie Bartlett as Lucille Taylor, but long before that, she was Ellen Craig on the NBC medical drama St. Elsewhere, a role for which she won an Emmy award.
In fact, her husband and co-star William Daniels, received an Emmy as well on the same night. The couple also both appeared on comedy Boy Meets World, alongside Home Improvement’s Betsy Randle, and eventually got married on screen, too. Bonnie also appeared in drama Once and Again, Grey’s Anatomy and crime drama Better Call Saul.
Blake Clark as Harry
Harry Turner is the owner of “Harry’s Hardware”, a hardware store often visited by Tim, and which Al eventually becomes part-owner of.
Harry is married to Delores, although their marriage is described to be less than perfect. The two have four sons, and it is known that Harry has s rocky relationship with at least one of them – Dennis. Harry is also a veteran, having served in the Vietnam War in the United States Marine Corps.
Blake Clark – today
Blake Clark portrayed Harry, the hardware store guy. Aside from doing stand-up comedy, the actor and comedian was cast in several Adam Sandler flicks, including The Waterboy, Mr. Deeds, 50 First Dates, and Grown Ups – just to name a few.
He also took part in other TV comedies like The Jamie Foxx Show, Boy Meets World, and even a guest cameo on Last Man Standing, Tim Allen’s show. More recently, the actor played the role of Joe in the Showtime comedy SMILF.
Megan Cavanagh as Trudy McHale
Trudy McHale is portrayed by Megan Cavanagh on Home Improvement. Trudy is a professional electrician, and she’s the heiress to a fortune, left to her by her family.
After Harry experiences ups and down in his relationships on the show, he eventually meets Trudy in the last season of the show, and the two tie the knot in the final episode, making us viewers happy to see Harry finally getting his happy ending on the show.
Megan Cavanagh – today
Prior to being on Home Improvement, this actress has had several roles in TV shows, like comedy series Bob and A League of Their Own, and guest appearances on Friends, Roseanne, and even medical drama E.R.
After Home Improvement, Megan Cavanagh continued her career mainly in television, mostly as Judy Neutron in the animation franchize Jimmy Neutron. Recently, the actress also voiced Luna in the Winx Club animated series, and is set to appear in 2018 comedy flick Freelancers Anonymous.
China Kantner as Willow Wilson
China Kantner plays Willow Branch Leaf Wilson on the show. Willow is Wilson Wilson Jr.’s uniquely named niece. She goes by the name Willow (saying she “pruned it back”), and is depicted as mellow and laid back.
In the episode “The Niece”, she surprises her uncle with a visit. Since she is unhappy with her life back home, Wilson gives her the option of staying for a longer period of time, but when he ends up trying to control her life too much for her liking, she eventually leaves.
China Kantner – today
China is the daughter of two musicians – Paul Kantner and Grace Slick – both members of the rock band Jefferson Airplane. Before Home Improvement, the actress had roles in comedies like Monty and Murphy Brown, as well as action series L.A. Firefighters.
She also made regular appearances as a VJ on MTV. After Home Improvement, she landed a role in the 2001 comedy, Burning Down the House, after which she decided to quit acting and focus on studying. China studied art history, and later obtained a degree in Christian theology.
Polly Holliday as Lillian Patterson
Lillian Patterson, played by the wonderful Polly Holliday, is Jill’s mother – also known as “Nana”. Before she appears on the show, Tim often makes fun of her weight on his show, Tool Time.
But when she finally makes an appearance, she is discovered to be thin again, and claims it were Tim’s jokes that motivated her to lose the weight. Lillian is a caring mother and grandmother, often supportive of Jill whenever she experiences trouble.
Polly Holliday – today
Polly Holliday is one actress with a rich background in television, cinema, and theater as well. Her career began as she played a role in the play All Over Town, directed by Dustin Hoffman.
The two later appeared together in All the President’s Men. The actress had a memorable role of sassy waitress Flo in the ’70s comedy Alice, which later got her own spin-off series. Polly also appeared in comedies like The Parent Trap, Mrs. Doubtfire, and The Heartbreak Kid, but later 2010, she stepped away from acting.
Kathleen Garrett as Stacey Lewis
Stacey Lewis is one of Tim’s former girlfriends, whom he dated in high school. In the season two episode called “Ex Marks the Spot”, Tim and Al run into her, and Al almost invited her over to meet Jill.
Tim objects to the two meeting, because he’s never really ended things officially with Stacey. Eventually, Jill finds out anyway and gets upset with Tim. Al also briefly considers dating Stacey as well, before he realizes he isn’t really that interested.
Kathleen Garrett – today
Kathleen Garrett is another actress on the cast who has a history in theater. She played in a production of Hamlet, as well as a solo play called The Last Flapper, which she also co-produced.
Aside from being on-stage, the actress also appeared on the silver screen in an impressive amount of guest performances on comedies such as Ugly Betty, Dharma and Greg, and Malcolm in the Middle, as well as dramas like Beverly Hills, 90210, The West Wing, Melrose Place, and Law and Order.
Jensen Daggett as Nancy Taylor
Jensen Daggett portrays Nancy Taylor on Home Improvement. Nancy, who is married to Marty Taylor, is Tim’s sister in law.
Marty is younger than Tim by ten years, and since their father died, Tim has been a father figure to him. For the most part of the show, Nancy and Marty are married to one another, and have two girls – identical twins Gracie and Claire. However, in season eight they unfortunately become divorced from each other.
Jensen Daggett – today
In addition to Home Improvement, the Connecticut born actress has been credited for many guest appearances, in television shows like 21 Jump Street, Melrose Place, and comedies Step by Step and Will & Grace.
She also had recurring roles in dramas Medicine Ball and L.A. Firefighters, as well as ’90s comedy, The Single Guy. Her last acting role was in 2011, after which she took a step back from acting, and instead made a career in building green homes, some of which featured in different magazines.
William O’Leary as Marty Taylor
Martin “Marty” Taylor is Tim’s younger brother. He was only one year old when their father died, and was left to fend for himself against his older brothers, which often picked on him (similarly to how Tim’s children, Randy and Mark pick on their brother Brad).
He is married to to Nancy until their divorce on season eight of the show, and is often seen skipping from one job to the next, unable to keep going in one place.
William O’Leary – today
After his role in Home Improvement, William O’Leary’s television career kept growing. Over the years, the actor landed roles in high profile shows, such as The X-Files, American Dreams, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The West Wing and crime dramas like NYPD Blue, CSI: Miami, 24, and later Rizzoli & Isles.
He also appeared in comedy flick Is That a Gun in Your Pocket?, as well as another comedy set to release in 2018, called BitCoin.
Vicki Lewis as Maureen Binford
Maureen Binford, portrayed by Vicki Lewis, is John Binford’s overly ambitious daughter, who is often found annoying Tim.
As the legacy to Binford Tools, she was briefly given the job of producing Tool Time during season two – a title and job she used to drive Tim crazy. Often enough, she took advantage of her role as producer to make some changes to Tim’s beloved Tool Time, ones that Tim usually objected to and resented greatly.
Vicki Lewis – today
Vicki Lewis has a long, outstanding career in television and movies. Since her time on Home Improvement, she’s been credited in other comedy shows like Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, How I Met Your Mother, and Modern Family.
She is also widely recognized by her role as Beth in the ’90s comedy, Newsradio. The actress has been in films like The Ugly Truth and Finding Dory. While she had a relationship with Nick Nolte in the past, she is currently married to sound artist Philip G. Allen.
Bob Vila – as himself
Bob Vila, played by himself, is the legendary pioneer of home repairs – both on the show and in real life.
On the show, he actually serves as Tim’s “arch enemy”, as Tim is also host of his own home improvement program, and is often envious of Bob Vila’s success and popularity. Al Borland, Tim’s best friend and Tool Time co-worker, is funnily enough a huge fan of Bob Vila, to the great dismay of Tim.
Bob Vila – today
Bob Vila probably needs no introduction, as he is one of the most well-known Home Improvement gurus in the industry. Born in Miami, Bob studied journalism and even joined the Peace Corps, serving in Panama back in the ’70s.
However, Bob’s passion for building soon took over, as he landed a variety of home improvement and restoration shows like This Old House, Better Homes and Gardens, and more. He now runs his own Youtube channel and website on the subject, and sells tools of his own brand.
Gretchen German as June Palmer
Gretchen German brings the character of June Palmer to life on three episodes of Home Improvement.
She is described as Tool Time’s gadget expert, and she appears on the show to present the viewers with various gadgets related to home renovations and other solutions. In the episode “Her Cheatin’ Mind”, it has been hinted that she hasn’t been asked to appear on Tool Time for years, and thus holds somewhat of a grudge against Tim.
Gretchen German – today
Gretchen German played the role of June Palmer on Home Improvement, appearing in three episodes. Since then, she has kept her career focused mainly on television.
The Canadian actress has had a variety of guest roles in well-known comedies, some of which include Seinfeld, Will & Grace, and Modern Family. In addition to those, she also landed roles in the drama genre, on shows like Wings, NYPD Blue, medical drama Chicago Hope, and more recently, Criminal Minds.
Courtney Peldon as Lauren
Lauren is the third and most serious girlfriend of Randy, the middle Taylor brother.
Lauren, who is a bit of a tomboy, loves hearing about how Brad and he played pranks on Mark, and shares a lot of the same interests as Randy. Like him, she also takes part in the school’s newspaper, and interested in the enviroment. The two leave for one year of enviromental study in Costa Rica together, and are still going strong at the end of season eight.
Courtney Peldon – today
Courtney Peldon and her sister, Ashley, both started as child actors – Courtney as Randy’s girlfriend, Lauren, on Home Improvement, and Ashley as Marah Lewis in the soap Guiding Light.
Courtney, who’s both actress and talent agent, is widely known for her role as Becky in Boston Public, but also landed guest roles in other shows, like comedies That ’70s Show and Entourage, and action drama Nash Bridges. She also participated in movies, such as 2008 thriller Road to Hell and comedy flick Freeloaders, alongside The Big Bang actor Kevin Sussman.