The New Yorker has called Holland Taylor “the first vaudeville Gentile we ever saw.” Her New York stage performances include Bess in “Breakfast with Les and Bess,” the original productions of “Butley” opposite Alan Bates, and A.R. Gurney’s “The Cocktail Hour.” In Los Angeles she has performed in “Kindertransport” by Diane Samuels and played opposite Christopher Lloyd in Yasmina Reza’s “The Unexpected Man” at the Geffen.
While the stage is her natural habitat, she has worked extensively in film and television, appearing in “Romancing the Stone,” “Jewel of the Nile,” “To Die For,” “Next Stop Wonderland,” “One Fine Day, “George of the Jungle,” “The Truman Show,” “Happy Accidents,” “Spy Kids (2 & 3),” “Keeping the Faith,” “The Wedding Date,” “Legally Blonde,” “Baby Mama” and a soon-to-be-released independent feature “The Chosen One,” with Rob Schneider and Steve Buscemi
On television, Holland as been nominated for the Emmy six times, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for the sexually prolific Judge Roberta Kittleson on “The Practice.” Among her numerous series starring roles: “The Powers that Be,” Norman Lear’s short-lived but highly acclaimed political satire (which earned Holland EW’s “Cool Actress” award), “The Naked Truth” with Tea Leoni, AMC’s “The Lot,” “Bosom Buddies” with Tom Hanks, which enjoys a cult-like following in re-runs, and, currently, “Two and a Half Men,” as Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer’s mother-from-Hell.
Holland’s multitude of television movie roles include a much praised turn as Nancy Reagan in Showtime’s “The Day Reagan Was Shot,” the bedridden mother in a remake of the 1940s classic “The Spiral Staircase,” Kelly’s McGillis’ murdered mother in CBS’s “Bitter Blood” and an insanely vindictive hotel maid MTV’s “Strange Frequency.”
In the past few seasons Holland has visited the Los Angeles Philharmonic as narrator, appearing as Persephone for Essa-Pekka Salonen in the Stravinski Festival, and in Disney Hall for conductor John Adams in the Phillip Glass opera “Ahknaten”. Under Rachel Worby’s direction she visited the Pasadena Pops Orchestra for a 4th of July program at the Rose Bowl, and also appeared as Hedda Hopper in the Hollywood Bowl’s production of “Sunset Boulevard”.
Holland is active at the Stella Adler Studio, and has given talks about the work and cultural contribution of this great teacher.
Proud to be a Philadelphia native, Holland went to Westtown Friends School in that area, and then took a B.A. at Bennington College. In 2005 she became a student again, earning an M.A. from the University of Santa Monica.
Holland continues on CBS’ top-rated “Two and a Half Men” and is working hard to finish her one-woman show about the late, great Governor Ann Richards. The play is on track to work-shop in May 2010.