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What happened to the cast of Home Improvement? From jail time to tragic deaths

THE 90s was a heyday for long-lasting and iconic sitcoms – with Home Improvement among the most loved and highly rated. 

Launching in September 1991, the show followed the life of DIY show host Tim Taylor and the antics of his family. 

The cast of Home Improvement was a much-loved sitcom

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The cast of Home Improvement was a much-loved sitcomCredit: Alamy

The show ran for eight seasons and earned a Golden Globe during its run, setting up the cast on the path for stardom. 

But what happened once the show closed its doors?

Here’s what the cast have been doing since the show wrapped in 1999.

Tim is beloved as the voice of Buzz Lightyear

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Tim is beloved as the voice of Buzz LightyearCredit: Getty

Tim Allen

Tim Allen was the show’s leading man – rebuilding his career by playing The Toolman Tim Taylor when Home Improvement launched in 1991. 

Previously spending time in prison for drug trafficking, Tim rebuilt his career by moving to LA and working as a stand-up comic, before landing the role of Tim. 

Since then he has focused solely on comedy on both TV and film, with films including The Santa Clause, The Shaggy Dog, and Christmas With The Kranks. 

He is currently on Fox sitcom Last Man Standing, and is internationally beloved as the voice of Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear. 

Pamela Anderson's TV career was launched by Home Improvement

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Pamela Anderson’s TV career was launched by Home ImprovementCredit: Getty

Pamela Anderson

Pamela Anderson only appeared on 24 episodes of the sitcom as ‘Tool Time Girl’ Lisa, but is arguably one of the best known faces from the cast.

Starring in the first two seasons, she then joined the line-up of beach drama Baywatch, playing the sought-after CJ Parker.

Pamela also had a career as a glamour and Playboy model, but now focuses a lot of her time on activism for animal rights and sexual violence charities.

Most recently, she has become a regular on the reality competition circuit, appearing in UK’s Dancing On Ice in 2013, and two versions of Dancing With The Stars.

A bio-series on her three-year marriage to Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee is currently in production, with Lily James playing her during the 1995 to 1998 period.

Earl died aged 61 from lung cancer in 2003.

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Earl died aged 61 from lung cancer in 2003.Credit: Getty

Earl Hindman

On Home Improvement, Earl was best known as the nosey ‘unseen’ neighbour next door, Wilson W Wilson Jr. 

Part of the running gag was that his face was always obscured by a fence or other object separating him from the Taylor family’s home. 

Following his time on Home Improvement, he largely stepped away from the limelight, appearing in two episodes of Law and Order, and spin-off Law and Order: Criminal intent

Earl died on December 29th, 2003 from lung cancer. He was 61 years old. 

He was survived by his wife of 27 years Molly McGreevey, whom he met on the set of Ryan’s Hope. 

In January this year, Tim paid tribute to him on Last Man Standing, re-enacting his classic gag. 

He later said: “I adored the man and we kind of brought that up in the story.

“I started thinking about all the history I had with that TV show, how I compare it to my life on this show. It’s all about loss, is all I kept saying in that episode.”

Taran quit the industry and now works with submarines

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Taran quit the industry and now works with submarinesCredit: Getty

Taran Noah Smith

Taran appeared on Home Improvement from the ages of seven to 16 – and never worked again as an actor after that. 

In a 2001 interview, he explained his decision and said: “I never had the chance to decide what I wanted to do with my life.” 

In April that year, he married 33-year-old Heidi van Pelt – which caused controversy as Taran was only 17 at the time. They were together for six years before divorcing. 

Now, he teaches people how to pilot submarines, and in 2019 caused a stir by appearing in San Francisco in the underwater vehicle. 

Initially feared to be drug smugglers, Taran quickly went on record to state it was indeed his boat and not to worry. 

He told the San Francisco Gate: “No, we are not smuggling drugs, we are not attacking the U.S., we are just all Californians having a good time.” 

“We want to be able to help people with the true beauty and wonder that is under the ocean at all times,” he added. 

Zachary plead guilty to two counts connected to a domestic violence dispute

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Zachary plead guilty to two counts connected to a domestic violence disputeCredit: Getty

Zachery Ty Bryan

Zachery Ty Bryan has continued to act since his time in the Taylor household. 

He appeared as Peter in Buffy The Vampire Slayer in 2002, and Caz as Veronica Mars in 2006. 

He also played villain Clay in the 2006 instalment of the Fast and Furious franchise, Tokyo Drift. 

Zachery married Carly Matros in 2007, and together they have four children. 

They announced their separation in 2020, and two weeks later he was held on charges of felony strangulation, fourth-degree assault and interfering with a police report following the assault of his new girlfriend.

In February 2021, he pled guilty to two class A misdemeanour counts. 

He was sentenced to three years bench probation, with conditions including a batterer intervention program.

All other charges, including the strangulation and police report interference, was thrown out. 

Patricia reunited with Tim Allen for a couple of episodes of Last Man Standing

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Patricia reunited with Tim Allen for a couple of episodes of Last Man StandingCredit: Getty

Patricia Richardson

As Tim’s wife Jill, Patricia Richardson knew how to keep her family in line. 

She the series ended in 1999, the star focused largely on theatre work, and later returned to TV as Dr Andy Campbell as Strong Medicine in 2002. 

Other roles include a recurring character in The West Wing, guest appearances alongside Tim on Last Man Standing, and TV Movies including A Christmas in Tennessee. 

She has three children with her husband of three years, Ray Baker. 

Jonathan studied philosophy and voiced Young Simba on The Lion King

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Jonathan studied philosophy and voiced Young Simba on The Lion KingCredit: Getty

Jonathan Taylor Thomas

Jonathan Taylor Thomas played middle child Randy Taylor on the series for 180 episodes, before leaving the show two episodes into season eight. 

His most prominent working years were during his time on the show, most notably voicing Young Simba in The Lion King in 1994. 

He later voiced Tyler Tucker in The Wild Thornberrys and continued his stint in sitcoms with 8 Simple Rules. 

Jonathan was last seen on screen in TV series Last Man Standing. 

Away from the cameras, he enrolled at Harvard University and studied philosophy and history before moving over to Scotland’s St Andrew’s University.