The Cast of “Home Improvement”: Where Are They Now?

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The beloved 1990s series about a semi-famous family in Detroit starred Tim Allen and made household names out of its child actors

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> The Cast of <p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> The Cast of

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

The Cast of ‘Home Improvement’ in 1995

Kids of the ’90s will never forget that unique theme song: whistles, electric guitar and that unmistakable Tim Allen grunt.

Home Improvement was a primetime mainstay, running on ABC from 1991 to 1999 with Tim Allen’s Tim Taylor at the helm as host of home series Tool Time, and child actors Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Zachery Ty Bryan and Taran Noah Smith rising as the series’ popularity grew. The show earned three Emmy nominations for outstanding comedy series and Allen often talks about his desire to do a reboot.

In the years since it ended, many of its stars have retreated from the spotlight, but the love for the sitcom remains.

Here, catch up with the stars of Home Improvement, then and now.

Tim Allen as Tim Taylor

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Tim Allen on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty</p> Tim Allen on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty

Tim Allen on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

Tim Allen was best known as a comedian when he stepped into the role of Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor on Home Improvement. But the work never stopped coming afterward: the Golden Globe Award winner has starred in the Santa Clause franchise, Jungle 2 Jungle, Joe Somebody, Wild Hogs, Last Man Standing and perhaps most famously, the Toy Story movies.

In a 2020 chat with Kelly Clarkson, he said people on the street still ask him to grunt (even cops!) in a nod to Taylor’s trademark.

His earlier years weren’t so sunny: after a 1978 arrest for cocaine possession at a Michigan airport, Allen spent two years in jail. He also opened up about his alcohol addiction in a 2019 interview on CBS Sunday Morning. Now, he has been sober for more than 20 years. “It doesn’t happen overnight,” he told Clarkson. “It’s a day to day thing.”

Allen’s love for Home Improvement continues to run deep: he showed CBS that he kept the Tool Time set and in 2018, told ET he was “very interested” in bringing the series back. He actually played Taylor again on a 2021 episode of Last Man Standing, and welcomed Home Improvement costars to the show during its run.

Allen, now 70, is a father to two daughters, one with ex-wife Laura Deibel and one with current wife Jane Hajduk.

Patricia Richardson as Jill Taylor

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Paul Archuleta/Getty</p> Patricia Richardson on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Paul Archuleta/Getty</p> Patricia Richardson on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Paul Archuleta/Getty

Patricia Richardson on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

A theater veteran with some TV work under her belt, Patricia Richardson joined the cast as Tim’s strong and steady wife Jill — taking over for the first actress chosen for the part, Frances Fisher.

“I didn’t audition for it. They just came and said, ‘We want you to start tomorrow,’ ” Richardson recalled to ET in 2020. “I didn’t know anything [about the show]. I’d never heard of [Tim]. Immediately, I loved him. Everything that we dealt with in terms of marriage and family and kids … were just really classic, ongoing deals. [Tim] wanted that show to go on forever.”

Richardson went on to earn four Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe Award nominations for her work. The actress next tackled parts on Strong Medicine, The West Wing and Allen’s latest series, Last Man Standing. She also earned an Independent Spirit Award nomination for her role in Ulee’s Gold.

Richardson, 73, has three grown children with ex-husband Ray Baker.

Zachery Ty Bryan as Brad Taylor

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Zachery Ty Bryan on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Zachery Ty Bryan on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Zachery Ty Bryan on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

The actor behind oldest Taylor sibling Brad, Zachery Ty Bryan had a few television roles on his résumé when he joined the series. In a 2018 Access Hollywood interview, he recalled growing up on set around his TV family, in the same orbit as other child actors.

“We were like brothers. We either loved or hated each other,” Bryan said of the dynamic. “I remember Disney was really good to us at the time,” he added. “They gave us a full basketball court, a gaming room. We could get a lot of our extra energy out.”

In the years since, he’s continued working steadily in TV and film, with parts on Smallville, Veronica Mars and Boston Public and the movies First Kid and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. He also moved into producing, including on the films Skin and The Kindergarten Teacher.

However, the father of seven, now 42 years old, has also faced some personal battles. A lengthy 2023 piece by The Hollywood Reporter detailed ups and downs with cryptocurrency and allegations of fraud.

On Feb. 17, 2024, he was taken into custody by La Quinta, California, police around 2:30 a.m. on a felony DUI charge, as well as a misdemeanor for alleged contempt of court. In July 2023, Bryan was arrested and charged with fourth-degree felony assault, third-degree robbery and harassment after an hours-long dispute with a woman was reported to police. He was ordered to serve seven days in jail after pleading guilty to the felony assault charge while the second count was dismissed as a term of a “negotiated resolution.”

In 2020, Bryan was arrested on a similar charge for allegedly strangling a woman, whom he later confirmed to be his fiancée Johnnie Faye Cartwright. His sentencing included 36 months of “bench probation” and participating in a program called Bridges2Safety.

“Zach is a great kid who has grown into a complex man,” former TV dad Allen told The Hollywood Reporter in 2023. “All you can do is step aside and let somebody go through their process.” 

Jonathan Taylor Thomas as Randy Taylor

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock</p> Jonathan Taylor Thomas on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock</p> Jonathan Taylor Thomas on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Matt Baron/BEI/Shutterstock

Jonathan Taylor Thomas on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

The heartthrob of his time, Jonathan Taylor Thomas played middle Taylor child Randy, leaving the series before its end to attend school. (To make it work on TV, his character moved to Costa Rica.)

“I’d been going nonstop since I was 8 years old,” he told PEOPLE in 2013. “I wanted to go to school, to travel and have a bit of a break.”

His career started with some TV and voice work before Home Improvement launched his star, leading to major roles in The Lion King, Man of the House, Tom and Huck and Wild America, among others.

In the nearly a decade away from the limelight through the early 2000s, save for some bit TV parts, he attended Harvard, Columbia and St. Andrew’s University in Scotland. He returned to Los Angeles to try his hand at writing and directing, though did get back in front of the camera with Allen for a guest spot on Last Man Standing.

“I never took the fame too seriously,” Thomas added to PEOPLE in 2013. “It was a great period in my life, but it doesn’t define me. When I think back on the time, I look at it with a wink. I focus on the good moments I had, not that I was on a lot of magazine covers.”

The 42-year-old has managed to keep his personal life under wraps; he was last publicly photographed on a walk with his dogs in 2021.

Taran Noah Smith as Mark Taylor

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Stephen Shugerman/ Getty</p> Taran Noah Smith on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Stephen Shugerman/ Getty</p> Taran Noah Smith on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Stephen Shugerman/ Getty

Taran Noah Smith on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

Home Improvement was pretty much the beginning and finale of Taran Noah Smith’s acting career. Just 7 when the show started, he portrayed youngest Taylor son Mark until the series ended in 1999.

Two years later, he sued his parents over the money he made as a minor, alleging they were squandering his trust fund. His parents denied the accusation and at 18, he gained access to the money. He and his mother later cowrote a book about navigating childhood fame: Stardom Happens: Nurturing Your Child in the Entertainment Business.

In 2012, Smith was arrested for DUI and drug possession, according to a TMZ report. He was later “sentenced to a 12-hour program for the DUI offense, and a 6-month drug diversion program for the weed charge,” TMZ reported at the time. He was placed on three years probation, as well.

A LinkedIn profile for a Taran Smith, 39, lists a current occupation of sea recovery technician at SpaceX. Smith was married as a teen but is now divorced.

Richard Karn as Al Borland

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Richard Karn on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Richard Karn on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Richard Karn on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

Richard Karn played Al Borland, Tim Taylor’s punching bag of a Tool Time costar. Home Improvement marked the actor’s big break; he went on to a slew of movie and TV performances — including the Air Bud series, the show Ctrl and most recently, PEN15 — and hosted game shows including Bingo America and Family Feud.

He and Allen have remained close through the years and recently reunited for the History Channel home workshop show Assembly Required and its follow-up, More Power.

“I wanted to have Richard a part of this because it seemed like a reality extension of what Tool Time really was, where I add more power to it, I break something, he’d be the reality side of it, and it was a good fit,” Allen explained of Assembly Required at the time. “This [show] is improv for 12 hours a day and I’m out of my mind. It’s just like Al Borland and Tim Taylor.”

Karn, 68, has one grown child with wife Tudi Roche.

Pamela Anderson as Lisa

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Pamela Anderson on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Samir Hussein/WireImage</p> Pamela Anderson on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Samir Hussein/WireImage

Pamela Anderson on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

Pamela Anderson had been busy with TV guest spots before landing the role of Lisa “the Tool Time girl” on Home Improvement. She stayed for the first two seasons of the series before famously moving on to Baywatch.

In her 2023 memoir Love, Pamela, she alleged that Allen flashed her on the first day of filming as she walked through the hallway.

“He said it was only fair, because he had seen me naked. Now we’re even. I laughed uncomfortably,” she wrote. In a statement to Variety, Allen denied the allegations.

Baywatch truly launched Anderson info the stratosphere, with roles on V.I.P. and Stacked and dozens of movies following. She also appeared in the 2017 Baywatch movie.

Now 56, Anderson has two grown sons with her ex-husband Tommy Lee: Brandon and Dylan.

Debbe Dunning as Heidi Keppert

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Debbe Dunning on 'Home Improvement' and now<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty</p> Debbe Dunning on 'Home Improvement' and now

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Debbe Dunning on ‘Home Improvement’ and now

After grabbing a few bit parts on popular sitcoms, model Debbe Dunning stepped in for Anderson beginning in 1992 as Heidi “the Tool Time girl,” staying through the end of the show’s run. She popped up on Baywatch, too, in addition to Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Jamie Foxx Show, though has largely stayed out of the spotlight since the early 2000s.

Dunning, now 57, has three children with her ex-husband, volleyball player Steve Timmons. Per her Instagram account, she appears at fan events from time to time and is hopeful for that rumored Home Improvement reboot.

Earl Hindman as Wilson Wilson, Jr.

<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Earl Hindman on 'Home Improvement' and in the late 1990s<p>ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty</p> Earl Hindman on 'Home Improvement' and in the late 1990s

ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty; Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty

Earl Hindman on ‘Home Improvement’ and in the late 1990s

Before joining Home Improvement, theater actor Earl Hindman was best known for his work as Lt. Bob Reid on the series Ryan’s Hope, which ran from 1975 to 1989.

As Wilson Wilson Jr. on Home Improvement, he was actually never fully seen, instead mostly hiding behind the fence to give Tim Taylor neighborly wisdom. He died in 2003 at 61 years old following a lung cancer diagnosis. He was survived by his wife and siblings.

Allen later told EW that “Earl meant the world to me and everyone at Home Improvement.”

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