The Original Actor Who Played Home Improvement’s Jill Taylor Was Fired Because Viewers Thought She Felt Like Tim Allen’s Victim

In Hollywood, the vast majority of celebrities try their best to stay relatively quiet about their political views. The reason for that is pretty obvious, when a star is outspoken about their politics, they will almost certainly turn off a huge portion of the public.

Since Tim Allen has been outspoken about his political views, there are people on both sides of the aisle who read between the lines of every headline about him. With that in mind, it is important to note that the story is about the original actor who was cast as Jill Taylor had nothing to do with Allen doing anything wrong behind the scenes.


Throughout Hollywood history, there have been many times when a pair of gorgeous and talented actors who have no chemistry have been cast together. Similarly, there have been times when talented actors who were cast in comedies together simply weren’t funny together.

According to reports, Tim Allen and Richard Karn didn’t see eye to eye when they started to work together, but they were still able to make things work. When it comes to the actor who was first hired to star in Home Improvement as Jill Taylor, however, her comedic chemistry with Allen was so far off that she reportedly felt like Tim’s victim. And that actor was Titanic star, Frances Fisher…

Why Was Frances Fisher Fired From Home Improvement?

From 1991 to 1999, millions of fans looked forward to the time that they would be able to turn on their televisions and watch each new episode of Home Improvement as it aired. On top of that, many of those same fans have spent hours watching reruns of Home Improvement and streamed the sitcom.

Tim Allen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas and the Home Improvement Cast Photo from early season
Via: Twitter

Now that so many people have watched Home Improvement over the years, it can be hard to imagine what the show would be like if it underwent a huge change. With that in mind, it is amazing to know that a completely different actor was originally going to play Home Improvement’s Jill Taylor.

In April 1991, Preparations were being made to film the original pilot for Home Improvement when the show was titled Hammer Time. During the rehearsals for the pilot, an actor named Frances Fisher was the one who was there to bring Jill Taylor to life.

Related: 8 TV/Movie Roles Fans Didn’t Realize Were Recast With New Actors

During Fisher’s long career, she has never reached a level of fame that resulted in most people knowing her by name. However, Fisher undoubtedly has a lot to be very proud of when it comes to her career. Since Fisher has appeared in so many movies and shows, it is also clear that she is one of those actors most people recognize from somewhere.

Looking over Fisher’s filmography, there is no doubt that her biggest claim to fame is the role she played in Titanic. Cast as the mother of Kate Winslet’s Rose, Fisher did a wonderful job bringing that character that could easily have been cartoonish to life.

Kate Winslet and Frances Fisher from Titanic
Via: Instar

On top of her most famous role, Fisher has also played notable roles in a long list of other movies. Some of Fisher’s most popular films included Unforgiven, House of Sand and Fog, True Crime, and The Host. On top of those roles, Fisher was also part of HBO’s 2019 Watchmen series.

Given everything Fisher accomplished during her career, there is no way she would get fired from Home Improvement because she is a bad actor.

Since Home Improvement was such a popular show, its cast continues to be asked about the sitcom. In 2016, Richard Karn was interviewed about his experiences making Home Improvement, and he revealed many fascinating tidbits.

Related: How Frances Fisher Really Felt About Working With Director James Cameron On Titanic

On top of talking about things like how Stephen Tobolowsky was originally set to play his character, Al Borland, Karn spoke about why Fisher was fired from Home Improvement. According to Karn, Fisher was fired during rehearsals for Home Improvement’s pilot because of what people thought about her interactions with Tim Allen.

“At the very beginning, the role of Jill was going to be played by Frances Fisher. Frances is a great actress, but in this role with Tim, she came off more as a victim to him than his equal.”

Frances Fisher smiled
Via: Instar

Given that Allen was a veteran comedian and Fisher is known as a serious actor, it is easy to imagine how Tim could steamroll over Frances comedically speaking. Still, Karn says he didn’t see why Fisher wasn’t a good fit for Home Improvement until Patricia Richardson was brought in to replace her.

“I didn’t quite understand that until they brought Pat in and after the first read-through it was a very different thing going on with the same words. Pat was way more of an equal to Tim.”

Why Patricia Richardson Almost Passed On Home Improvement

When a show or movie fires a key actor so soon before filming is about to begin, the pressure producers feel to recast quickly and effectively is immense. With that in mind, this is a wonderful thing for people who were in charge of Home Improvement that they founded Patricia Richardson. Unfortunately for them, however, Richardson wasn’t overly interested in headlining Home Improvement at first.

Related: Patricia Richardson Was Offered Only Half The Salary Of Tim Allen To Continue Home Improvement

In 2020, Patricia Richardson spoke to Entertainment Tonight about how she wound up starring in Home Improvement. First off, Richardson revealed the kind of actor the show’s producers were looking for, and what she said backed up Karn’s version of events.

“[The network said] we need to have someone that challenges him and is as much a feminist as he is a masculinist.” Richardson then went on to explain why he wasn’t interested in Home Improvement at first.

Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson as Tim Taylor and Jill Taylor
Via: YouTube

“They called me in and said, ‘There is this guy, he’s a standup, he won an award, he has a special on Showtime’ I had never heard of him, I had never heard of that show and I had already seen one show that had failed… that had been done with a standup and a family and everything.”

Luckily for Home Improvement fans everywhere, Richardson wound up changing his mind about starring in the show. As it turned out, there was one reason why Richardson chose to take the role starring in Home Improvement, she couldn’t deny the chemistry she shared with Time Allen.