During the 90s, the ABC sitcom Home Improvement was one of the last great sitcoms of the 20th century. The show followed Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen) as he hosted a home-improvement show titled “Tool Time,” while taking care of his TV family. When not on set with his “Tool Time” sidekick and best friend Al Borland (Richard Karn), Tim spent time at home with his wife, Jill (Patricia Richardson), and their three sons: Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan), Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Mark (Taran Noah Smith).
The series ran for eight seasons from 1991 to 1999 and helped catapult several cast members like Tim Allen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas to stardom. Of course, we all know Tim Allen’s transition to animation voice overs as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Disney’s Toy Story, but what happened to the rest of the Home Improvement cast? And what have they been up to since the show ended over 20 years ago?
As Home Improvement‘s lead character Tim Taylor, Tim Allen was easily the most recognizable member of the cast. Even during his time as the fictional television handyman, Allen was involved in several projects, and after the show ended, that momentum did not stop.
He voiced Buzz Lightyear in every Toy Story film, led the Santa Clause film trilogy, and starred in hit movies like Galaxy Quest, Christmas with the Kranks, Wild Hogs, and Ralph Breaks the Internet.
He once again returned to the sitcom world in 2017 as the lead character of Last Man Standing, which he also executive produced.
After her time as the matriarch of the Taylor family in Home Improvement, Patricia Richardson has continued to act and landed roles on Strong Medicine from 2002 to 2005 and The West Wing from 2005 to 2006. She also reunited with Allen on Last Man Standing for two episodes in 2015 and made a cameo in Blindspot in 2019.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Aside from Tim Allen, Jonathan Taylor Thomas was seen as one of the biggest stars of the show, thanks to his teen heartthrob status. As a child actor rising in popularity, Thomas also featured in films like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Wild America during his time on Home Improvement. However, he was also still an aspiring student, and in 1998, he exited the show before the end of the series to pursue his education.
In 2000, he graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory School in California, then went on to study philosophy and history at Harvard University. In 2010, he graduated from Columbia.
After Home Improvement, he appeared in multiple TV shows and movies, including 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, Smallville, Veronica Mars, and I’ll Be Home for Christmas. His last acting role was in 2015, as he appeared as a guest star on Allen’s Last Man Standing. He also directed an episode in 2016.
In addition to being known for his warm-hearted role as Tim Taylor’s sidekick on Home Improvement, Richard Karn is also recognized as the fourth host of Family Feud from 2002 to 2006. Karn has starred in dozens of TV shows and movies, including That ’70s Show, Ctrl, The Bold and the Beautiful and PEN15.
Zachary Ty Bryan
After his time on Home Improvement as eldest son Brad Taylor, Zachary Ty Bryan appeared on many TV shows following the show’s finale, including Boston Public, Family Law, and Veronica Mars. He married Carly Matros in 2007 and the pair share four children: twin daughters Taylor Simone Bryan and Gemma Rae Bryan, born in 2014; daughter Jordana Nicole Bryan, born in 2016; and son Pierce, born in 2019.
Taran Noah Smith
As youngest son Mark Taylor, on Home Improvement, Smith’s role wasn’t as prominent of a character as the rest of his co-stars, despite having acted on the show from age 6 to 16. After the show ended, Smith disappeared into the shadows, making it clear that he was done with acting.
He briefly ran a vegan restaurant and catering company called PlayFood in L.A., volunteered in the Philippines for the not-for-profit organization Communitere, and later worked for the Community Submersibles Project. Outside of that, not much is known about Smith’s life after his time on Home Improvement. The last time the former child actor was in the spotlight was when he married Heidi van Pelt in April 2001 at the age of 17 while she was 33. The two divorced in 2007.
Though we never really got to see his face past that wooden fence, Earl Hindman was memorable for his time as Tim Taylor’s wise older neighbor, Wilson. After his time on Home Improvement, Hindman went on to appear in Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Final. Unfortunately, the actor died of lung cancer in 2003 at the age of 61. He was survived by his wife of more than 20 years, actress Molly Wheaton McGreevy. Sadly, she passed away two years later. As far as anyone knows, they had no children.
Many fans who may not remember, but before Pamela Anderson became the notorious actress that she is today, she actually got her first recurring TV role on Home Improvement as the first “Tool Time” girl, Lisa from 1991 to 1993. Her time on the show helped Anderson land her breakout role on the iconic Baywatch, which catapulted her to sex symbol status and pop culture icon.
After her time as a TV star ended, Anderson continued to model and feature on dozens of magazine covers. She also starred in multiple movies, oftentimes playing an exaggerated version of herself.
Outside of acting, Anderson is also well known for her turbulent personal life. She was married to rocker Tommy Lee from 1995 to 1998 and the pair had two children, Brandon and Dylan, in 1996 and 1997, respectively. She married Rick Salomon in 2007 but they had their marriage annulled the following year. In 2014, she announced they had remarried but they divorced for good in 2015. In January 2020, she married Jon Peters, but the pair split only one month later.
After Pamela Anderson left Home Improvement in 1993, Debbe Dunning joined the cast to replace her as the new “Tool Time” girl and continued to play the role until the series’ finale in 1999. Dunning went on to appear in multiple comedies, including The Misery Brothers and Now You Know. In 2017, she began hosting a travel show, Debbe Dunning’s Dude Ranch Round-Up, on DirecTV’s The Cowboy Channel. Dunning married volleyball pro Steve Timmons in 1997 and the pair share three children: Spencer, born in 1996; Stoney, born in 2000; and Sysco, born in 2008. The duo split in 2018.