Holland Taylor

2012 Honoree - Citizen-Artist Award


Legendary stage, film, and television actress Holland Taylor learned about how the arts can be powerful and transformative at an early age from her mother, an artist. A proud Philadelphia native, she went to Westtown Friends School in the area and earned a B.A. from Bennington College. In 2005, she became a student again, earning an M.A. from the University of Santa Monica.

The New Yorker has called Ms. Taylor “the first vaudeville Gentile we ever saw.” Her New York stage performances include Bess in Breakfast with Les and Bess and the original productions of Butley, opposite Alan Bates, and A.R. Gurney’s The Cocktail Hour. In 2006, Ms. Taylor began researching, writing, and producing a one-woman play that was to become ANN, an affectionate portrait of the legendary Texas Gov. Ann Richards. ANN just completed highly successful runs in Texas, Chicago, and most recently at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Ms. Taylor has also 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, Legally Blonde, and Baby Mama with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.

On television, Ms. Taylor is a seven-time Emmy nominee, winning Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her role as sexually popular Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice. Among her numerous starring roles: The Powers that Be, Norman Lear’s short-lived but highly acclaimed political satire; Bosom Buddies with Tom Hanks; and currently, Two and a Half Men with John Cryer and Ashton Kutcher. She has performed narrations with the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Essa-Pekka Salonen and John Adams, and narrated the Harry Potter Suite for John Williams at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Taylor is an active philanthropist supporting many organizations, including The Actors Fund, Broadway Cares, and NPR. She is tireless in her fundraising efforts on behalf of The Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders, to which she provides a portion of the play’s proceeds.