Holland Taylor
Taylor in 1994
Holland Virginia Taylor

(1943-01-14) January 14, 1943 (age 81)
Years active1965–present
PartnerSarah Paulson (2015–present)
RelativesBrad Anderson (nephew)

Holland Virginia Taylor (born January 14, 1943)[1] is an American actress. She won the 1999 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as Judge Roberta Kittleson on ABC's The Practice (1998–2003) and she received four Primetime Emmy Award nominations for her portrayal of Evelyn Harper on the CBS comedy Two and a Half Men (2003–15).

Taylor's other notable television credits include starring roles on the sitcoms Bosom Buddies (1980–82), The Powers That Be (1992–93) and The Naked Truth (1995–98). She also appeared as Jill Ollinger on the soap opera All My Children (1981–83), as Peggy Peabody on The L Word (2004–08), and as Ida Silver on Mr. Mercedes (2017–19). In 2017 she played Alice Lewis, Letty's jewel thief grandmother, in the TNT series Good Behavior.

In 2020, she received critical praise and her eighth Primetime Emmy Award nomination for portraying Ellen Kincaid in the Netflix miniseries Hollywood.

Taylor's feature film credits include Romancing the Stone (1984) and its sequel The Jewel of the Nile (1985), Alice (1990), To Die For (1995), One Fine Day (1996), George of the Jungle (1997), The Truman Show (1998), Happy Accidents (2000), Keeping the Faith (2000), Legally Blonde (2001), The Wedding Date (2005), Baby Mama (2008), Gloria Bell (2018), Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020), and The Stand In (2020).

Taylor wrote and starred in the one-woman play, Ann (Broadway, 2013), based on the life and work of Ann Richards. For this she received a nomination for the Tony Award for Best Actress. She returned to the role in the 2022 West Coast premiere at the Pasadena Playhouse.[2] Her other notable Broadway credits include Butley (1972), We Interrupt This Program... (1975), Moose Murders (1983), and The Front Page (2016).

Early life

Taylor was born in 1943 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,[1] to Virginia (née Davis), a painter, and C. Tracy Taylor, an attorney.[3] She is the youngest of three daughters in the family; her sisters are Patricia and Pamela, and through Pamela, she is an aunt of director Brad Anderson.[citation needed] She attended high school at Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school in West Chester, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1960. She majored in Theatre at Bennington College,[4] graduating in 1964, before moving to New York City to become an actress.[5]


Taylor began in the theater. Throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, she appeared in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions, including starring roles in Simon Gray's Butley and A. R. Gurney's The Cocktail Hour; for the latter, she was nominated for a Drama Desk award. In 1983, Taylor appeared in Breakfast with Les and Bess, which prompted the New York magazine theatre critic John Simon to sing, "...Miss Taylor is one of the few utterly graceful, attractive, elegant and technically accomplished actresses in our theatre...seeing her may turn you, like me, into a Taylor freak..."[6]

Taylor took the role of Denise Cavanaugh on the soap opera The Edge of Night, who killed herself just to frame her husband. Then encouraged by her acting coach, Stella Adler, Taylor took a role that would make her well known: Tom Hanks' sexy, demanding boss in the 1980s sitcom Bosom Buddies.[7]

She proved herself to be equally adept at both comedy and drama.[5] In 1985, she co-starred with Lisa Eilbacher in the ABC detective series Me and Mom. Two years later, she played opposite Alan Arkin in the short-lived ABC sitcom Harry, in which she received "starring" billing. In 1990, Taylor reunited with former Bosom Buddies executive producers Thomas L. Miller and Robert L. Boyett for a role on their ABC sitcom Going Places, playing grand dame television producer Dawn St. Claire for the show's first 13 episodes. From 1992 to 1993, she starred in Norman Lear's The Powers That Be with John Forsythe and David Hyde Pierce, playing the wife of Forsythe's character, a U.S. senator.[8]

In early 1994, she joined the cast of Saved by the Bell: The College Years as Dean Susan McMann, just episodes before its cancellation. Following this was her role as high-powered newspaper editor Camilla Dane on the ABC/NBC sitcom The Naked Truth; Taylor was one of the few cast members to last through the show's entire run through 1998, despite several retoolings.[4]

She played the part of Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice. Originally intended to be a one-time appearance, the role lasted from 1998 to 2003. She won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1999; in her acceptance speech, she is remembered for claiming the statue and exclaiming, "Overnight!" Taylor thanked David E. Kelley, The Practice's producer/writer and creator, for "giving me a chariot to ride up here on: A woman who puts a flag on the moon for women over 40—who can think, who can work, who are successes, who can cook, and who can COOK!"[citation needed] She was nominated in the same category for the same role the following year.

Taylor was also nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her recurring role on AMC's The Lot, and has been nominated for Emmys five times since 2003: four for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role on the TV series Two and a Half Men, playing Evelyn Harper, the snobbish, overbearing mother of Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer's characters, and one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role as Ellen Kincaid, a studio executive and mentor for aspiring actors, in the miniseries Hollywood. Taylor's television movie and series guest roles have been extensive and include appearances on ER and Veronica's Closet, and recurring roles on Ally McBeal and Monk, and as billionaire Peggy Peabody on The L Word.

Holland Taylor at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival

Taylor's movie roles have included Reese Witherspoon's character's tough Harvard law professor in the 2001 comedy Legally Blonde, Tina Fey's character's mother in Baby Mama, The Truman Show, Happy Accidents, Next Stop Wonderland, George of the Jungle, The Wedding Date, How to Make an American Quilt, Romancing the Stone, D.E.B.S., Cop and a Half, and One Fine Day.

Taylor's animated roles include that of Prudence, the castle's majordomo and love interest of the Grand Duke, in Disney's Cinderella II and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time. She also played a role in the animated show American Dad! as Francine's biological mother.

Taylor began researching, writing, and producing a one-woman play about the late Texas Governor Ann Richards in 2009.[5] The two-act play, originally titled Money, Marbles, and Chalk, starring Taylor as Richards, was first workshopped in May 2010 at The Grand 1894 Opera House in Galveston, Texas.[9] It was later retitled Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards[10] and opened in Chicago November 16, 2011, where it was billed as a "pre-Broadway" engagement. It played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., from December 17, 2011, through January 15, 2012. The show next opened on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theatre on March 7, 2013. For this role, Taylor was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Lead Actress in a Play.[11] PBS Great Performances broadcast the premiere of the play, now titled simply Ann, on June 19, 2020. It had been recorded at the Zach Theater in Austin, Texas, following its national tour and Broadway run.[9]

Personal life

On November 30, 2015, while answering a question about marriage, in a radio interview with WNYC, Taylor revealed that she was in a relationship with a younger woman and that most of her relationships have been with women.[12][13] Her partner was later reported to be actress Sarah Paulson.[14][15][16][17] In March 2016, Taylor and Paulson's relationship was confirmed when Paulson stated during an interview that they had been dating since early 2015.[18] In August 2020, Taylor told the LGBTQ&A podcast that she identifies as gay.[19]

Taylor has been a supporter of Aid for AIDS in Los Angeles, serving on their Honorary Board and as an ongoing participant in their largest annual fundraiser, Best in Drag Show, among other fundraising efforts.[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1976 The Next Man TV Interviewer
1979 3 by Cheever: O Youth and Beauty! Beverly
1980 Fame Claudia Van Doren Uncredited
1983 Reuben, Reuben Uncredited
1984 Concealed Enemies Mrs. Marbury
Romancing the Stone Gloria Horne
1985 Key Exchange Mrs. Fanshaw
The Jewel of the Nile Gloria Horne
1987 Tales from the Hollywood Hills: Natica Jackson Ernestine King
1988 She's Having a Baby Sarah Briggs
1990 Alice Helen
1993 Cop and a Half Captain Rubio
1994 The Favor Maggie Sand
1995 To Die For Carol Stone
How to Make an American Quilt Mrs. Rubens
Last Summer in the Hamptons Davis Mora Axelrod
Steal Big Steal Little Mona Rowland-Downey
1996 One Fine Day Rita
1997 George of the Jungle Beatrice Stanhope
Just Write Emma Jeffreys
Betty Crystal Ball
1998 The Unknown Cyclist Celia Uncredited
The Truman Show Alanis Montclair/Angela Burbank
Next Stop Wonderland Piper Castleton
1999 The Sex Monster Muriel
2000 Happy Accidents Maggie Ann "Meg" Ford
Mail to the Chief Katherine Horner
Keeping the Faith Bonnie Rose
2001 Town & Country Mistress of Ceremonies
Legally Blonde Professor Elspeth Stromwell
2002 Fits and Starts
Cinderella II: Dreams Come True Prudence Voice role
Home Room Dr. Hollander
Spy Kids 2: The Island of Lost Dreams Grandma Helga Avellan
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Cameo
Intent Judge Cavallo
2004 D.E.B.S. Mrs. Petrie
2005 The Wedding Date Bunny Ellis
2007 Cinderella III: A Twist in Time Prudence Voice role
2008 Baby Mama Rose Holbrook
2010 The Chosen One Ruth
2017 Kepler's Dream Violet von Stern [21]
2018 Gloria Bell Hillary Bell
2019 Bombshell Faye Uncredited[22]
2020 To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Edith "Stormy" McClaren-Sheehan
Bill & Ted Face the Music The Great Leader
The Stand In Barbara Cox
2023 Quiz Lady Francine


Year Title Role Notes
1969 J.T. Mrs. Arnold Television film
1971 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Trish Wanamaker Unknown episodes
1973 Somerset Sgt. Ruth Winter Unknown episodes
1975 Beacon Hill Marilyn Gardiner Unknown episodes
1977 Kojak Elizabeth 1 episode
1977–1980 The Edge of Night Denise Norwood Cavanaugh, R.N. Unknown episodes
1980–1981 Bosom Buddies Ruth Dunbar 21 episodes
1981 ABC Afterschool Special Francine Martin Episode: "My Mother Was Never a Kid"
1981–1983 All My Children Jill Ollinger Unknown episodes
1982 The Royal Romance of Charles and Diana Frances Shand Kydd Television film
I Was a Mail Order Bride Dottie Birmington Television film
1983 The Love Boat Kathy Brighton 1 episode
1984 Kate & Allie Linda Cabot 1 episode
1985 Me and Mom Zena Hunnicutt Unknown episodes
Perry Mason Returns Paula Gordon Television film
1987 Harry Ina Duckett, R.N. 7 episodes
Perfect Strangers Olivia Crawford 1 episode
1987–1989 CBS Summer Playhouse Fran Grogan 2 episodes
1989 Murder, She Wrote Winifred Thayer 1 episode
1990 Wiseguy Allison Royce 1 episode
People Like Us Dolly Television film
Big Deals Mrs. Bluett Television film
1990–1991 Going Places Dawn St. Clare 3 episodes
1991 The Rape of Doctor Willis Dr. Greenway Television film
1992–1993 The Powers That Be Margaret Powers 20 episodes
1993 With Hostile Intent Lois Baxter Television film
1993–1994 Saved by the Bell: The College Years Dean Susan McMann 7 episodes
1994 Betrayal of Trust Mary Shelton Television film
In the Best of Families:
Marriage, Pride & Madness
Florence Newsom Television film
The Counterfeit Contessa Wallace Everett Television film
1994–1995 Diagnosis: Murder Agent Gretchen McCord 2 episodes
1995 A Walton Wedding Aunt Flo Television film
Awake to Danger Dr. Joyce Lindley Television film
1995–1998 The Naked Truth Camilla Dane 23 episodes
1996 Something So Right Abigail 1 episode
1998–2003 The Practice Judge Roberta Kittleson 29 episodes
1998 Veronica's Closet Millicent 2 episodes
Buddy Faro Olivia Vandermeer 1 episode
1999 ER Phyllis Farr 1 episode
The Lot Letitia DeVine Unknown episodes
My Last Love Marnie Morton Television film
1999–2000 Ally McBeal 2nd Woman in Face Bra Infomercial /
Judge Roberta Kittleson
2 episodes
2000 Strong Medicine Lillian Pynchon 1 episode
DAG Katherine Twigg 1 episode
The Living Edens Narrator 1 episode
The Spiral Staircase Emma Warren Television film
The Deadly Look of Love Evelyn McGinnis Television film
2001 Strange Frequency Marge Crowley Television film; segment: "Room Service"
The Fighting Fitzgeralds Rose 1 episode
The Day Reagan Was Shot Nancy Reagan Television film
2002 Fillmore! Mrs. Cornwall (voice) 1 episode
2003–2015 Two and a Half Men Evelyn Harper 101 episodes
2004–2008 The L Word Peggy Peabody 8 episodes
2005–2007 Monk Peggy Davenport 2 episodes
2007 American Dad! Cassandra Dawson (voice) Episode: "Big Trouble in Little Langley"
2012 Electric City Ruth Orwell (voice) 20 episodes
McDonald's Thanksgiving Parade Grand Marshal Television special
2017–2019 Mr. Mercedes Ida Silver 29 episodes
2017 The Orville Jeannie Mercer Episode: "Command Performance"
Speechless Andrea Episode: "B-R-I-- BRITISH I-N-V-- INVASION"
Good Behavior Alice 2 episodes
2019 Spirit Riding Free Madame Gummery (voice) Episode: "Lucky and the New Frontier: Part 1"
Dollface Guest speaker Episode: "Feminist"
Better Things Herself Episode: "The Unknown"
2020 Hollywood Ellen Kincaid Main role
2021 The Chair Professor Joan Hambling Main role
The Morning Show Cybil Richards Recurring role
2022 The Great North Goldie (voice) Episode: "As Goldie as It Gets Adventure"
2023 Billions Dr. Eleanor Mayer 3 episodes



Year Title Role Venue
1965–66 The Devils Ensemble Broadway Theatre, Broadway
1972–73 Butley Anne Butley Morosco Theatre, Broadway
1975 We Interrupt This Program... Amanda Williams Ambassador Theatre, Broadway
1975–76 Murder Among Friends Angela Forrester Biltmore Theatre, Broadway
1977 Something Old, Something New Cynthia Morse Morosco Theatre, Broadway
1983 Moose Murders Hedda Holloway Eugene O'Neill Theatre, Broadway
2013 Ann Ann Richards Vivian Beaumont Theatre, Broadway
2016 The Front Page Mrs. Grant John Golden Theatre, Broadway


Year Title Role Venue
1967 The Poker Session Irene Martinique Theatre, Off-Broadway
1968 The David Show Performer Players Theatre, New York City
1969 Tonight in Living Color Performer Actors Playhouse, New York City
1970 Colette Performer Ellen Stewart Theatre, New York City
1974 Fashion Kim Howard McAlpin Rooftop Theatre, New York City
1976 Children Barbara Manhattan Theatre Club, New York City
1979 Drinks Before Dinner Performer
1982–93 Breakfast with Les and Bess Bess Hudson Guild Theatre, New York City
1986 The Perfect Party Performer Playwrights Horizons
1988–89 The Cocktail Hour Sister Promenade Theatre, New York City
1989 Love Letters Melissa Gardner
1999 The Vagina Monologues Performer West Side Theater
2011 Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards Ann Richards
2015 Ripcord Abby

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Title of Work Result
1999 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series The Practice Won
2000 Nominated
Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series The Lot Nominated
2005 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Two and a Half Men Nominated
2007 Nominated
2008 Nominated
2010 Nominated
2013 Tony Awards Best Actress in a Play Ann Nominated
2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Hollywood Nominated


  1. ^ a b Bobbin, Jay (August 21, 2005). "Checking in with Holland Taylor". The Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, VA. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  2. ^ "Holland Taylor brings the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards' story to the stage one last time". Los Angeles Times. March 23, 2022. Retrieved April 8, 2022.
  3. ^ "Obituaries: C. Tracy Taylor, 77, Ex-allentown Lawyer". The Morning Call. Allentown, Penn. May 2, 1989. Archived from the original on July 15, 2014. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Holland Taylor returns to role in 'Naked Truth'". The Vindicator. Youngstown, Ohio. Associated Press. August 11, 1997. p. C12. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Rhodes, Joe (October 5, 2008). "Growing From Too Young to Grande Dame". The New York Times. Retrieved May 4, 2010.
  6. ^ Simons, John (August 8, 1983). "Uppie with Auntie". New York. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
  7. ^ Byrne, Bridget (November 8, 2004). "Stirring Things Up". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. Associated Press. p. D3. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  8. ^ Jacobs, Matthew (April 30, 2020). "Better With Age: The Holland Taylor Story". HuffPost. Retrieved July 19, 2020. I think that was possibly right after I did a show for Norman Lear, which was one of the things I'm proudest of, called "The Powers That Be."
  9. ^ a b Gutierrez, Trey (June 19, 2020). "A Broadway Veteran Channels Ann Richards". Texas Monthly. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  10. ^ "A Letter from Holland Taylor". The North Hollywood Arts Center. Retrieved June 12, 2016.
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew (December 17, 2011). "Ann, Created by and Starring "Two and a Half Men" Star Holland Taylor, Begins Kennedy Center Run Dec. 17". Playbill. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  12. ^ Hernandez, Greg (November 30, 2015). "Two and a Half Men mom Holland Taylor: 'My relationship is with a woman'". Gay Star News. Archived from the original on April 8, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  13. ^ Sale, Anna (November 30, 2015). "Holland Taylor Steps Off Her Island". Death, Sex and Money. WNYC. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
  14. ^ "Report: Holland Taylor dating Sarah Paulson". San Francisco Chronicle. December 2, 2015. Archived from the original on July 20, 2020. Retrieved July 19, 2020.
  15. ^ "Holland Taylor says she hasn't 'come out' because she 'lives out'". Fox News. May 2, 2016.
  16. ^ "Holland Taylor Confirms She Is in a Relationship with a Much Younger Woman". Extra. December 1, 2015.
  17. ^ Schulman, Michael (March 2, 2016). "Sarah Paulson Opens Up About Acting, Marcia Clark and Dating Older Women". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  18. ^ Wilkins, Vanessa (March 2, 2016). "Taylor and Paulson in relationship since early 2015". ABC News.
  19. ^ Masters, Jeffrey (August 18, 2020). "Why Holland Taylor Doesn't 'Have Any Impulse' to Define Herself". The Advocate. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "Partners/Celebrity Support". Aid For AIDS. Archived from the original on October 9, 2011. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  21. ^ "Exclusive Clip: Holland Taylor Bonding With Granddaughter in Kepler's Dream". LRM. December 5, 2017. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  22. ^ Weitzman, Elizabeth (December 9, 2019). "'Bombshell' Film Review: Margot Robbie and Charlize Theron Shine in Roger Ailes Downfall Saga". The Wrap. Retrieved December 9, 2019.