Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
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Holland Virginia Taylor (born January 14, 1943) is an American actress of film, stage, and television, and playwright. Her notable television roles include Ruth Dunbar in Bosom Buddies, senator's wife Margaret Powers on Norman Lear's The Powers That Be, Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice and Evelyn Harper in Two and a Half Men. She is also the author of the solo play Ann, based on the life and work of Ann Richards.
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Holland Taylor (born January 14, 1943) is an American actress, known for her film, television and theatre work. She is perhaps best known for her roles as Ruth Dunbar in Bosom Buddies, as Judge Roberta Kittleson in The Practice and as Evelyn Harper in Two and a Half Men.
Taylor was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1943, the daughter of Virginia, a painter, and C. Tracy Taylor, an attorney. She is the youngest of three girls in the family and her sisters are Patricia and Pamela. Taylor attended high school at Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school then majored in drama at Bennington College in 1964, before moving to New York City to become an actress.
Taylor`s first credits were in the theater and throughout the 1960s and 1970s she appeared in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions. Taylor went on to star in Breakfast with Les and Bess and A.R. Gurney`s The Cocktail Hour. In 1978, she expanded her range with extensive dance training in ballet, jazz and tap at the renowned Joffrey Ballet.
On television, from 1978 to 1979 Taylor was cast as the purely evil Denise Cavanaugh on the long running soap opera, The Edge of Night. Encouraged by her acting coach, Stella Adler, Taylor took two roles that would make her well known: alongside Tom Hanks in the 1980s sitcom Bosom Buddies, and a supporting role in the 1984 film Romancing the Stone. After several years of traveling between California and New York, she finally decided to move permanently to California. The actress` rising fame, built slowly over many years, led her to roles that made her a well known name in the industry. She proved herself to be equally adept both at comedy and at drama.
She also starred from 1992 to 1993 in Norman Lear`s The Powers That Be with John Forsythe and David Hyde Pierce, from 1995 to 1998 on The Naked Truth. She played the recurring role of Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice from 1998 to 2003, for which she was nominated for two Emmys, winning one for best supporting actress. In her Emmy speech, she brought the house down when she lifted the Emmy over her head and said, "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!" She has had an Emmy-nominated supporting role on the TV series Two and a Half Men since its inception in 2003, playing Evelyn Harper, the snobbish, overbearing mother of the two main characters Charlie and Alan.
Taylor again played a legal professional in the 2001 movie Legally Blonde, a comedy in which she played a tough Harvard law professor. From 1999 to 2001, she played the Hedda Hopper-esque Letitia Devine on The Lot for which she was also nominated for an Emmy. Other guest roles include appearances on ER, Veronica`s Closet, and recurring roles on Monk and as billionaire Peggy Peabody on The L Word.
Taylor`s only animated role was that of Prudence, castle majordomo and love interest of the Grand Duke, in Disney`s Cinderella II and Cinderella III: A Twist in Time.
After less than a week of rehearsal Taylor stepped into what had been Eve Arden`s lead (until she quit after the first preview) in Moose Murders, a play which opened and closed in one performance and is infamous as Broadway`s greatest flop.
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University of Santa Monica
Full Name at Birth
Holland Virginia Taylor
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Claim to Fame
Two and a Half Men
C. Tracy Taylor (attorney)
Often plays classy or ritzy characters
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