What The Cast Of Home Improvement Looks Like Today

The cast of "Home Improvement" graced American television screens for eight years between 1991-1999, earning the ABC show consistently high ratings. Led by Tim Allen as Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor in the role that launched his acting career, many members of the cast have become synonymous with the show. They're often instantly recognizable as their "Home Improvement" characters, whether as part of the Taylor family, colleagues of Taylor's on the show-within-the-show "Tool Time," or as friends from the Taylors' suburban Detroit neighborhood. Perhaps the most notable exception is the late Earl Hindman who played the Taylors' next-door neighbor Wilson W. Wilson, whose face was always partially obscured in a running joke throughout the series. 

While some of the actors from "Home Improvement" have gone on to star in other television shows and movies, others left the spotlight after the series ended. Here's what the cast of "Home Improvement" looks like today.

Tim Allen has gone from TV dad to Santa and back again

It's hard to remember a time when Tim Allen wasn't a household name in both movies and television, but when "Home Improvement" premiered in 1991, he wasn't well known outside of standup comedy. By the time "Home Improvement" went off the air in 1999, Allen had become a household name, thanks to the wildly popular television series, as well as his roles in family favorites like "The Santa Clause" and "Toy Story." 

While Allen appeared in a few other films after "Home Improvement," it was reprising his roles in those two film franchises that kept him busy through the early 2000s. Then, in 2011, Allen made a return to the small screen as another TV dad on "Last Man Standing." Though the series was canceled on its original network (ABC), it was picked up on Fox in 2018 before finally wrapping in 2021, according to Variety. Regarding filming the final episodes of the show, he told Parade, "Every time we got into the family that lived in the sitcom, it got very emotional. When it got to be the actors looking at the characters they're playing in a very sly way, it became funny. It was tough."

Now, the TV dad is returning to the Santa suit for a limited series on Disney+ where he'll reprise his role of Scott Calvin, according to the official press release announcing the series.

Patricia Richardson has proven she's more than just mom Jill Taylor

Unlike her on-screen husband, Patricia Richardson already had several acting credits under her belt when she was cast as Jill Taylor on "Home Improvement" in 1991, including the TV series "Double Trouble," "Eisenhower & Lutz," and "FM." Like Allen, however, it was "Home Improvement" that really made her a star. In fact, it was Richardson's decision to not continue "Home Improvement" that ultimately led to the series' end. Richardson told ET of her departure, "So then they went to Tim, and they said let's do it with dead Jill. And then Tim was like, I don't think we can do that. So then he went out and said well, I think it's time to end 'Home Improvement.'"

Richardson then landed a lead role in "Strong Medicine" from 2002-2005, followed by a guest appearance on "The West Wing" for nine episodes from 2005-2006. Richardson pivoted to movies and the occasional guest appearance on established television shows. She even guest-starred on Allen's "Last Man Standing" as Helen Potts for two episodes in 2015 and 2016. In March 2022, Richardson tweeted that she would be reprising her role in the sequel for 2017's "County Line," which is expected to premiere in 2022.

Zachery Ty Bryan made a career shift to producing

Zachery Ty Bryan played eldest Taylor son, Brad, on "Home Improvement" for all eight seasons. After the series wrapped, Bryan mostly made guest appearances on television shows until he was cast as Clay in "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" in 2006. Bryan then stepped away from acting for a while in favor of producing. In 2020, he made headlines in a new way when he was arrested for allegedly choking his then-girlfriend. According to Today, Bryan pleaded guilty to two charges stemming from the incident and was sentenced to three years of probation. 

Now, Bryan appears to be staging an acting comeback. He was cast as Mike in the first season of the Netflix series, "The Guardians of Justice (Will Save You!)," an offbeat superhero satire created by Adi Shankar and co-starring "Twilight" stars Jackson Rathbone and Kellan Lutz alongside Denise Richards, Jane Seymour, and wrestling superstar Diamond Dallas Page, to name just a few.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas became a teenage heartthrob

While Tim Allen may have become a household name thanks to "Home Improvement," it propelled Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played middle son Randy, into full teenage heartthrob status — it no doubt brought in the tween and teen girl demographic for the sitcom. While starring on the show, Thomas was cast to voice young Simba in "The Lion King" before starring in other family favorites, like "Man of the House," "Tom and Huck," and "Wild America." Eventually, he walked away from the spotlight to travel and go to school, including Harvard, Columbia, and St. Andrew's University in Scotland, according to People. This also meant walking away from "Home Improvement" before its final season, which led to a rift with his on-screen parents, according to the New York Post.

Despite the bad blood between Allen and Thomas, it was apparently put behind them by 2013 when Thomas was a guest star on the first of four episodes of Allen's show "Last Man Standing," in addition to directing three episodes. Don't take this as the sign of a comeback, though — Thomas has once again receded from the public eye, being photographed for the first time in years in 2021.

Taran Noah Smith gave up acting entirely after Home Improvement

While Zachery Ty Bryan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas have made sporadic film and TV appearances since their "Home Improvement" days, Taran Noah Smith, who played youngest brother Mark, walked away from show business entirely after the series ended. 

During a legal battle with his parents over allegedly misappropriating his funds, Smith told the Capital-Journal, "I started 'Home Improvement' when I was seven, and the show ended when I was 16. I never had the chance to decide what I wanted to do with my life. When I was 16, I knew that I didn't want to act anymore."

Instead, then 17-year-old Smith ran away with 33-year-old Heidi Van Pelt, which deepened the wedge with his family. The couple has since split and Smith has reconciled with his family. In a 2018 interview with Access Hollywood, Smith revealed he's been doing very different work these days. "Recently I've been working on a couple of different engineering teams, building machines that make water, first by desalinating out of the ocean and then recently one that actually pulls water out of the air," he told Access Hollywood. 

Richard Karn can still teach you about improving your home

Richard Karn starred as Tim Taylor's friend and "Tool Time" co-star, Al Borland, on all eight seasons of "Home Improvement," sporting flannel and generally having more knowledge of all things home improvement than the Tool Man himself. After the series ended, Karn continued acting, mostly in one-off roles on television shows and TV movies before co-starring in the 2009 series "Ctrl" as Arthur.

Like several of his former "Home Improvement" co-stars, Karn made a guest appearance on Allen's "Last Man Standing" for two episodes in 2013. He then starred as Fred Peters on the Hulu comedy series "PEN15" from 2019-2021. 

Acting isn't Karn's only talent, though. It turns out he actually has some building know-how and published two books about his own home improvement experiences and tips on how others can tackle DIY in 1999 and 2002, respectively. In 2021, Karn reunited with Tim Allen to co-host and judge the building competition show, "Assembly Required," on the History Channel.

Debbe Dunning went from Tool Time girl to cowgirl

"Tool Time," the show-within-the-show on "Home Improvement," wouldn't have been the same without the Tool Time Girl Heidi played by Debbe Dunning beginning in the third season of the series. Like several other stars on the show, "Home Improvement" was a launching pad for Dunning, who took on several other television guest roles while she was starring on the ABC sitcom.  

After "Home Improvement," Dunning took a bit of a break from television, in part to raise her three children. In 2017, she returned to television as the host and executive producer of "Debbe Dunning's Dude Ranch Roundup" on RFD-TV. In the series, which saw its third season premiere in 2021, Dunning travels around to dude ranches across the country to tell their stories. Dunning told Cowgirl Magazine, "The idea for the show came about for my love of dude ranching. There are so many incredible ranches across America that a lot of people don't know about and I wanted to share my passion for these wonderful treasures." 

Regarding her show, she said, "I approach each dude ranch or guest ranch individually and I have to pretty much sell my product," noting, "My strategy is to tell the correct story, to do it authentically, to capture moments that are not set up, like when a father and a daughter get up and do karaoke."

What hasn't Pamela Anderson done since her Home Improvement appearance?

Before Heidi, Lisa was the original "Home Improvement" Tool Time Girl played by Pamela Anderson. Anderson only stayed in the role for the first two seasons of "Home Improvement," save for an appearance in a single episode in the show's sixth season, because greener pastures came calling. Anderson was cast as C.J. Parker in "Baywatch" in 1992, and when scheduling conflicts between the two shows became a problem, Anderson chose the more adult-oriented "Baywatch."

Since then, Anderson has done a bit of everything, including finding herself in the tabloids on more than one occasion. From movie and television roles to her charity work with the Pamela Anderson Foundation, Anderson has stayed quite busy over the years. Now, she's trying a few new things, including a 2022 Broadway debut in the musical "Chicago" and a Netflix deal to tell her life story. After leaving social media in 2021, Anderson returned to Instagram in 2022 to announce the documentary with a handwritten note that reads, "My life/A thousand imperfections/A million misperceptions/Wicked, wild and lost/Nothing to live up to/I can only surprise you/Not a victim, but a survivor/And alive to tell the real story."

William O'Leary is still best known as Marty Taylor

William O'Leary joined "Home Improvement" in 1994 as Marty Taylor, the youngest brother of Allen's Tim Taylor, and appeared in 30 episodes through the series finale. Those 30 episodes fully solidified O'Leary as Marty Taylor, despite the fact that O'Leary has had roles in more than 40 television shows and movies since "Home Improvement" ended. O'Leary's largest role since "Home Improvement" was on the sci-fi series "Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight" as the evil alien General Xaviax in 34 of the series' 41 episodes. 

Otherwise, O'Leary has mostly had one-off appearances on television shows like "NCIS," "Rizzoli & Isles," "24," and "The West Wing." Most recently, O'Leary completed a three-episode arc as Sgt. Rucker on the Showtime series, "Shameless." Despite his notable acting career, O'Leary is still arguably best known as Marty Taylor and even appeared on the "Home Improvement"-inspired podcast, "Home Impodcast," in 2019.

You may barely remember Blake Clark as Harry the hardware store guy

Even if you don't know his name, chances are you know Blake Clark. He has 118 IMDb television and movie acting credits to his name as of this writing, beginning in 1980. Because of his longstanding career, you'd be forgiven if you remember him best in another role other than his time on "Home Improvement" as Harry. Clark appeared as Harry the hardware store owner in 23 episodes of "Home Improvement" beginning in 1994 and has continued to rack up roles since the series ended. 

While you may know him best from teaming up with Adam Sandler in movies like "50 First Dates," "The Waterboy," "Little Nicky," "Grown Ups" and more, Clark has also reunited with "Home Improvement" star Tim Allen. Beginning with "Toy Story 3" in 2010, Clark has voiced Slinky Dog in the beloved franchise. He took over the role after the original actor and his friend Jim Varney passed away in 2000. On taking over the role from his late friend, Clark told People, "I just try not to screw anything up."

Jimmy Labriola has mostly stuck to standup

In 1989, stand-up comedian Jimmy Labriola opened for fellow comedian Tim Allen, and the two quickly became friends. Fast forward to 1993 and Labriola was offered the role of Benny on "Home Improvement" alongside Allen. Labriola appeared in 24 episodes of the series from 1993-1999. He even got a part as a truck driver in Allen's "The Santa Clause" and as a bookie in Allen's "Joe Somebody" for good measure. 

Despite his years on "Home Improvement" and his appearances in those movies, Labriola is still a stand-up comedian at heart and has otherwise shied away from acting since the series ended. Labriola reinvented his comedy routine, taking it from being edgy and decidedly "adult-focused" to what he calls "clean comedy" and continues to perform at churches around the country. He has also appeared on former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's talk show and traveled around the country with the Tea Party Express in 2011.