Where Are They Now: Home Improvement.

First things first, it has been a while since I have last updated this blog, and I apologize for the lack of posts over the last week.  This has been due to a very busy few days, so much going on.

Today I am introducing a(-nother) new category of postings to this blog… It is called ‘Where Are They Now’ or W.A.T.N. for short.  I am going to take a television program that was extremely popular at the time, from the last forty or so years including the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and the 2000’s, that is unlikely to be on the air as re-runs around the world now, and do a short write up on what the program was about, and then do a small biography of each of the characters and the actors that played them, and after a little bit of research in to each of them, letting you know what they have been up to since the show ended.

I have a few television shows on my list that I will be publishing over the next few weeks, but if there is a television program that you remember watching in the years mentioned above and would like to know what has happened to the actors from that show, then let me have your suggestions in the comments below.

The first television show on the list is:

Home Improvement

Home Improvement was an American television sitcom created by Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra and David McFadzean.

The show aired from September 17, 1991 to May 25, 1999.  The show follows the daily tribulations of Tim Taylor (Tim Allen).  In the 1990s, it was one of the most watched sitcoms in America, it ran for a total of eight seasons with a total of 204 episodes, the show also won many awards.

Home Improvement was and still is one of my favorite television shows I watched growing up during the 90’s.  I have all the DVD’s and on occasion’s like to watch them again.  I still get a good laugh out of the things Tim Taylor screws up.

Tim Allen (Tim Taylor)
Born: Timothy Allen Dick on June 13, 1953

Tim is a typical American male, who loves power tools, cars and sports. He is a former salesman for the fictional Binford Tool company, and is a very accident-prone know-it-all. Witty but flippant, Tim jokes around a lot, even at inopportune times.

Each episode included a showing of Tim’s own ‘home improvement show’, called Tool Time. Many of the Tool Time viewers assume that the accidents on the show are done on purpose, to demonstrate the consequences of using tools improperly. Many of Tim’s accidents are caused by his devices’ being used in an unauthorized manner, designed to illustrate his love of “More power!”.

Tim Allen started his career as a comedian in 1975 on a dare from one of his friends.  Since the show ended Tim Allen has been in a number of television shows and movies, including, Galaxy Quest staring alongside Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Sam Rockwell, as well as The Santa Clause 3, and Crazy on the Outside – Tim Allen currently stars in the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing playing the role as Mike Baxter, a dad fighting for his manhood in a house full of women.

Tim Allen is expected to star in the upcoming movie Geezers! due for release in 2012.

Patricia Richardson (Jill Taylor)
Born: Patricia Castle Richardson on February 23, 1951

Patricia Richardson’s early roles include Double Trouble, The Equalizer and Quantum Leap before landing the role on Home Improvement after Frances Fisher tested poorly for the role of Jill Taylor.

After Home Improvement, Patricia appeared in many made-for-TV movies and won an Independent Spirit nomination in 1997.

Richardson also appeared in the first season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. In 2010 she appeared in an NBC made for TV film, The Jensen Project, and in 2011 she appeared in the TV film Bringing Ashley Home. In 2011 she also finished taping the movie Beautiful Wave, and is currently filming the movie Avarice.

Zachery Ty Brian (Bradley Taylor)
Born: Zachery Tyler Brian on October 09, 1981

Before his appearance on Home Improvement Zachery Ty Brian was known for his Print and Television advertising around Denver.

Playing the role as Brad, the oldest Taylor child,  known for experimenting with different hair styles as well as being the child most often in trouble.

Since Home Improvement ended, Zachery has made brief appearances on television shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Veronica Mars.

More recently, he played defenseman Harry Keough alongside Gerard Butler in the 2005 movie The Game of Their Lives otherwise known as The Miracle Match about the 1950 US upset at the World Cup. In 2006, he played as Clay in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.

As of today, Zachery keeps busy running his own production company, Vision Entertainment Group.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Randy Taylor)
Born: Jonathan Taylor Weiss on September 08, 1981

Jonathan Taylor Thomas actually started his acting career as the role of Kevin Brady on the TV-show The Bradys a spin-off show of the 70’s show The Brady Bunch.

At the age of 10, he won the role of Randall William “Randy” Taylor on Home Improvement. He remained with Home Improvement well into his teenage years, but left the show in 1998 to focus on his academics.

He had a guest roles on the 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage DaughterSmallville, Veronica Mars, and was also featured on The E! True Hollywood Story’s show on Home Improvement.

During filming of Home Improvement, he was the voice of young Simba in the 1994 Disney film The Lion King.

He starred in such films as I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Man of the House, Tom and Huck, The Adventures of Pinocchio, Wild America, Common Ground, Walking Across Egypt, and Speedway Junky.

His last role and the last we had heard of him, was in 2005 as the voice of Prince Ragis in the movie Thru the Moebius Strip.  He has also directed a short film The Extra in 2006.

Since Home Improvement ended, a gap of almost twelve years that any of his on-screen family has seen of him.  Jonathan Taylor Thomas has been attending school and traveling.

He recently did an interview with American – Entertainment Weekly – Magazine after the whole Home Improvement cast got together for a reunion, he said in this interview “…I think at this point, I’d eventually like to work behind the camera. That’s not to say I would never act again, I’m not quite sure to be honest. I still have a passion for TV and film could see myself working in it.” [link to EW Interview]

I think it would be nice to see Jonathan Taylor Thomas back on our screens – I have seen some of his movies he did and he is actually a very good actor.  One other thing, against popular belief

[Fact] He actually hates been called JTT.  He has also been a vegetarian for much of his life.

Taran Noah Smith (Mark Taylor)
Born: Taran Noah Smith on April 08, 1984.

Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be much information about Taran, he was most notably known for his role as Marcus “Mark” Jason Taylor on Home Improvement.

He has been involved in some movies during and after Home Improvement ended.  Most notable are:

  • Ebbie (December 4, 1995) – Tiny Tim
  • Little Bigfoot 2: The Journey Home (1997) – Brian Ferris
  • Speedball: The Movie (2002) – David Zoran

At the age of 17, he married a woman 16 years his senior and moved her into the home where they ran an vegan restaurant and catering service, making “Cheesy Cheese” their own vegan cheese product… from nuts.  It is now believe that they have since divorced, and the house went into foreclosure.

There doesn’t appear to be any further information on the guy.

Earl Hindman (Wilson Wilson)
Born: Earl John Hindman on October 20, 1942
Died: December 29, 2003 (61)

Best-known for his role as the kind neighbor to the Taylor’s offering Tim Taylor his wisdom of the various cultures and phrases – his face was always obscured from sight behind the garden fence. Wilson W. Wilson Jr.  He played this role from the start of the show through to the end.

Long before this role, however, he played bad guys in two 1970s thrillers, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three and The Parallax View. He also played the part of J.T in the Lawrence Kasdan film Silverado.

Hindman’s most famous and enduring pre-Home Improvement role was as Bob Reid in Ryan’s Hope. He played this role for 459 episodes from 1975 to 1989. Ex-police officer Bob Reid was everybody’s best friend who never got the girl, and was the long-suffering brother of the soap’s serial bride Delia Reid Ryan Ryan Coleridge. Hindman’s wife Molly McGreevey was also on the soap 1977-1981 as Polly Longworth, best friend to media tycoon Rae Woodard.

Earl Hindman sadly died in December of 2003 after suffering from Lung Cancer.  He was a long time smoker.  He is survived by sister Anna Dean Shields and a brother Ray Hindman.  He will be sadly missed.

Richard Karn (Al Borland)
Born: Richard Karn Wilson on February 17, 1956

He too is best known for his role as Al Borland on Home Improvement.  The long suffering side-kick of Tim Taylor on Tool-Time – He would have to endure the trials and tribulations of Tim’s  jocularity as well as his love of more power and powering up everything and anything he could lay his hands on.

Richard’s story of how he got the part of Al Borland on Home Improvement is quite interesting to say the least – After receiving a traffic citation, Karn attended a traffic school and sat beside an agent who told him about casting for the new television show called Home Improvement. The role of Al Borland had already been given to Stephen Tobolowsky, but when filming was scheduled, Tobolowsky was busy with another movie and the role had to be recast. Karn was a guest star in the pilot episode but then became a regular cast member when the show was picked up by the network.

Karn went on to replace Louie Anderson as the fourth host of the game show Family Feud. Karn left the show in 2006 and was replaced by John O’Hurley.

Other movies Karn has been involved in are Picture Perfect (1995), Legend of the Mummy (1997), The Pooch and the Pauper (1999), MVP 2: Most Vertical Primate (2001), Sex and the Teenage Mind (2002), Reality School (2002), Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch (2002), Air Buddies (2005), Mr. Blue Sky (2006), and Snow Buddies (2008).

His latest project is Poolboy: Drowning Out the Fury as Bill Witherspoon which was released in 2011.

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Well that is it for Home Improvement hope you enjoyed the catching up on what everyone has been up to since the show ended.  If you have any questions or comments about this post, I look forward to reading them at the end of this post.

Other Example Television Programs on the agenda (not in any particular order) – if however, there is an overwhelming majority of comments for a particular show, then I will make it a priority.

Due to the fact that I am only (and I use the word only loosely) 34 Years Old this year, the programs are those that I remember when I was growing up.

  • 7th Heaven
  • Everwood
  • SeaQuest DSV
  • Streethawk
  • Prisoner Cell Block H

Movies I am considering researching include:

  • Mighty Ducks
  • Neverending Story
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day
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