She made a living out of playing haughty, sharp-tongued patricians, but Holland Taylor herself is a down to Earth, plain-speaking broad. And she’s got a very special milestone to celebrate.
Happy Birthday, Holland Taylor!
And that’s because she was born on January 14, 1943, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which means that this talented, intimidating lady is turning 78 years old today! At age 22, Taylor moved to New York City with the ambition to become “a great big Broadway star.”
For the next few decades, she appeared on stage in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions as well as in small parts in various film and television projects. Her on-camera debut came courtesy of the made-for-TV movie J.T. (1969) and she subsequently gained roles on the soaps Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1971), and Somerset (1973), the primetime serial Beacon Hill (1975), and films like The Next Man (1976).
In 1977, she joined the cast of The Edge of Night in the role of Denise Cavanaugh, a sociopath and hypochondriac who was married to the much younger Miles Cavanaugh, M.D.
When it became clear that she wouldn’t be able to convince her fed-up husband to stall divorce proceedings, Denise faked having a fatal medical condition. Later, when she discovered that she was ACTUALLY dying of a fatal medical condition, Denise schemed to commit suicide and stage her death to look like murder…a murder committed by Miles!
The first part of Denise’s diabolical plan succeeded, but it was her sister-in-law, April Scott, who stood accused of murder. And while April rotted away in a prison cell (and developed Extrasensory Perception!), the very real Holland Taylor moved on to other acting jobs.
After an uncredited role in the 1980 film Fame and an episode of the anthology series ABC Afterschool Specials (1981), Taylor landed the role that would make her well known: Bosom Buddies’ Ruth Dunbar, the lascivious plagiarist who ruled the Livingston, Gentry & Mishkin advertising firm with an iron fist. The sitcom proved a springboard for the then relatively unknown Tom Hanks.
During her tenure with Bosom Buddies, Taylor paid a brief return to EDGE during a storyline that saw a drug-addled Miles hallucinate a revenge-seeking Denise. After its ending, she joined the cast of All My Children in a recurring role and appeared in several projects including the TV movie The Royal Romance of Charles & Diana (1982), Kate & Allie (1984), and Murder She Wrote (1989).
She also starred in several unsuccessful comedy series including Going Places and The Powers That Be. The latter show starred John Forsythe (of Dynasty fame) and featured Joseph Gordon Levitt and David Hyde Pierce, who was offered the part of Niles Crane based on his performance as Theodore Van Horne.
Taylor went on to garner significant critical acclaim for her work on The Practice where she recurred as Judge Roberta Kittleson. For her efforts, Taylor received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. During her acceptance speech, she infamously joked that she had become an “overnight” sensation.
Taylor’s other acting credits include the snobbish and overbearing Evelyn Harper on Two and a Half Men (2003-2015), the indomitable billionairess Peggy Peabody on The L Word (2004-2008), Elle Woods’ tough, but fair Harvard law professor in the 2001 comedy film Legally Blonde. and Texas Governor Ann Richards in the play Ann: An Affectionate Portrait of Ann Richards, which was penned by Taylor herself.
Entertainment Hub would like to wish Holland Taylor a very happy birthday, and you can too by clicking on the Twitter link below.