Patricia Richardson (born February 23, 1951 in Bethesda, Maryland) is an American television and motion picture actress best known for her role as "Jill Taylor" on Home Improvement.
Born to a Navy family, Richardson attended the Hockaday School for Girls in Dallas, Texas, and was a 1973 graduate of Southern Methodist University, where she was friends with classmate Beth Henley. She began as an understudy in Angela Lansbury's Broadway production of Gypsy: A Musical Fable, eventually playing several parts.
With early roles in programs such as Double Trouble and The Equalizer, Richardson also appeared in small roles in the films C.H.U.D. and You Better Watch Out, before finding her break-out part in 1991 as Jill Taylor in Home Improvement.
Although considered sometimes overwrought and tightly-wound as a character, Jill Taylor was seen by critics as a fair representation of motherhood, on the whole more balanced than the usual sitcom representation. Possibly Jane Kaczmarek's role on Malcolm in the Middle could be seen as a more extreme offshoot of this character type. Richardson received four Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations in this role.
After Home Improvement, Richardson appeared in several guest television roles, as well as made-for-TV movies, and won an Independent Spirit nomination in 1997 for her first starring film role, in Ulee's Gold. Since 2002, Richardson had a recurring role on the Lifetime medical drama program Strong Medicine as Dr. Andy Campbell.
From 2005 to 2006, Richardson has had a recurring role on The West Wing as Republican presidential candidate Arnold Vinick's campaign director.
She is divorced from Roy Baker, with three children.