Home Improvement's Patricia Richardson Defends Tim Allen, Doesn't Understand Why People Think He's Bad At Acting

When I think about Tim Allen the first thing that comes to mind is his acting career. Some of Allen’s best movies include family classics like Toy Story and The Santa Clause, and he’s also well known for his long-lasting sitcoms like Home Improvement and Last Man Standing. However, when he started acting, some people thought he was no good, but his TV wife Patricia Richardson always thought he was fantastic, and doesn't understand why people would think her long-time co-star was bad. 

Patricia Richardson was with Tim Allen right at the beginning of his acting career. They stared as Jill and Tim Taylor on Home Improvement, which was the comedian's first acting gig, for years and loved working together. The series aired from 1991-1999, and it was the stand-up comedian's first big acting gig. Now, all these years later Richardson opened up to Fox News about the people would bug her co-star because they thought he was a bad actor. Well, she never thought that and was ready to defend him, saying: 

I kept telling the guys who would like, bug him, and after our first couple performances, they would be on him, and I would be like, 'Why are you giving him such a hard time? He's brilliant. He's better than a lot of actors I've worked with that are really actors in New York who don't even look at you, you know?

She continued saying she had worked in theater before making the jump to TV, and said the actors she worked with “have trouble listening.” Richardson noted that it felt like everyone was “self-conscious,” and they didn’t know what they were doing, so they had trouble listening and responding in her early days of acting. However, Allen did that immediately. 

The Home Improvement star continued, noting that it was Allen’s first time acting ever, and he put in the work to become an even better performer by taking lessons on the side. She also explained that the sitcom had storylines that were really emotional, and required the actors to dig deep, and Allen made for a great scene partner in both the funny moments and emotional ones. Due to her time working with Tim Allen, Richardson made sure to explain that there's a reason her long-time scene partner has had a long career as an actor:

Tim was right there for it always. And so it's not surprising that he went on to a long career of doing a lot of movies and other shows.

You know, I’m with Richardson, I don’t know why people would think Tim Allen is a bad actor. In the beginning, it makes sense that viewers didn't know if Allen would be a good actor or not, since he came from stand-up. However, he's proven time and time again that he's also a beloved actor, so I totally get why his TV wife is always ready to defend him.  

Since Home Improvement ended both Allen and Richardson have worked on tons of different projects that show their range as actors. Patricia Richardson popped up on NCIS a couple of years ago, and fans loved her performance so much that they wanted more, especially because of how different it was from her time on the ABC sitcom. She's also had small roles in other TV classics The West Wing, Last Man Standing and Grey's Anatomy.

As for Tim Allen, he starred in Last Man Standing from 2011-2021, and has taken on movies here and there. He also reprised his role as Scott Calvin in the new series The Santa Clauses, which got renewed for a second season recently, proving just how much people love to see the actor on screen. Not only did he reprise his role as Stana Claus, he’s also set to come back as the beloved Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 5 in the coming years. So, I bet all those people who doubted his talent all those years ago are having second thoughts. 

To catch up on Tim Allen’s latest project: The Santa Clauses you can use a Disney+ subscription to stream Season 1, and if you want to throw it back and watch him and Patricia Richardson in Home Improvement, you can do so with a Hulu subscription.  

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.