UH? The Home Improvement Cast
The cast of "Home Improvement" spent eight highly rated seasons (1991-99) on television and have gone on to collect a steady residual income from the show’s endless life in rerun syndication. Surprisingly, beneath the sunny suburban exterior, the actors behind the hit show include a felon, a sex tape star and a lawsuit-happy vegan. An all-American sitcom family, “Home Improvement” remained a top ten show throughout the 90s and had its own trademark catchphrase—“UH,” the sound of a confused groan. The Taylor clan (patient wife, Jill, and three smart-aleck sons) endured the well-intentioned buffoonery of dad, Tim, who worked as a host of the handyman show, “Tool Time.” The covered the usual family situational comedy storylines, but managed to keep the slapstick quotient high amidst the heartfelt moments.
Tim Allen. Born Timothy Dick, he was lucky (or fated) to develop a sense of humor. Allen began standup comedy in Detroit, Michigan during the mid-1970s, but a drug arrest sent him to federal prison for over 2 years. He eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where comedy club and late night guest appearances led to his own series. Once “Home Improvement” made him a star, Allen translated that popularity to big screen success in “Toy Story” and “The Santa Clause.” He recently returned to TV in a new sitcom "Last Man Standing."
Pam Anderson. Better known for her red bikini on “Baywatch,” this blonde beauty first titillated the TV audience as Lisa, the “Tool Time” shows eye-candy assistant for “Home Improvement” during the first two seasons. To many, Pam will be best remembered for the “stolen” sex tape featuring the well-endowed Mr. Anderson, a.k.a. Tommy Lee of Motley Crue, and his well-endowed missus, enjoying a quiet evening at home.
Richard Karn. As Tim’s long-suffering co-host, Al Borland, Karn brought the much-needed mechanical competence to the show-within-the-show” “Tool Time.” After the series ended, Karn transitioned to game show host, helming “Family Feud” for four seasons and currently presenting “Bingo America.”
Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Of all the Taylor sons, Thomas, as middle son Randy, seemed most likely to succeed post-sitcom. He left the show a season early to pursue movie stardom, but after some initial success he has quickly faded from the up-and-coming list of Hollywood stars.
Earl Hindman. Though never fully revealed as the Taylor’s neighbor, Wilson, Hindman played the voice of reason and obscure wisdom from next door. His trademark became hiding the lower half of his face. Perhaps he was hiding from his soap opera persona, Bob Reid, that he played on ABC’s “Ryan’s Hope” from 1975-1989. Earl died of Lung Cancer at the age of 61 on December 29, 2003.
Patricia Richardson. After eight comedy seasons of the male-centric “Home Improvement” show, Richardson went on to the uber-female Lifetime network for the drama “Strong Medicine.” She also played Alan Alda’s campaign director for the last two season of “The West Wing.”
Taran Noah Smith. The youngest Taylor son, Mark, was often took the brunt of his older brothers schemes. In real life, Smith has had to fight his parents for control of his earnings after they allegedly spent a large portion of his childhood earnings. He put his vegan lifestyle into a business venture called Playfood, Inc. with his then-wife, Heidi van Pelt. Sadly, they soon headed to both divorce and civil court severing their personal and professional ties, which made Smith fodder for the tabloid circuit.
Zachery Ty Bryan. After playing eldest son, Brad, the young actor has largely made a steady career of guest appearances on shows such as “Veronica Mars,” “Cold Case” and “Burn Notice.” Now using Zachery Bryan as his professional name, the 30-something actor has also ventured into producing.