Holland Taylor Steps Off Her Island | WBEZ
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Death, Sex & Money

Holland Taylor Steps Off Her Island

Actress Holland Taylor has played roles like Judge Roberta Kittleson on The Practice, an ad executive in Bosom Buddies, and the emotionally distant mother Evelyn Harper on Two and a Half Men. She's built a reputation for playing patrician, self-assured women who don’t need anyone else. Which, in many ways, has also been a pretty accurate reflection of her personal life. "I was always at a certain safe remove I think," Holland says. "No matter how much I might have loved a person, I was at some sort of a safe ground, still with a foot on my own island." 

When Taylor’s mother died several years ago, she says she started to think about the relationships in her life more deeply. "I just suddenly got the sense that I was living a very shallow life," she says. "I had not had wonderful relationships. I had stayed very solo." Holland says that feeling of loneliness, combined with an "aging spurt" at 70, sent her into a major depression after her Tony-nominated one-woman Broadway show, Ann, ended its run in 2013.

But now, at 72, Holland says that without that period of breakdown, she wouldn't have been able to get where she is todayin her first-ever deeply committed relationship. "It’s the most wonderful extraordinary thing that could have ever possibly happened in my life," she says. Holland didn’t want to discuss her partner’s identity in detail, nor did she want to turn her own sexuality into a political conversation ("I haven’t come out because I am out," she says, adding, "I live out."). But she did share that she's with a younger womanand that they've started to talk about marriage. "Given my generation it would not be something that would automatically occur to me," Holland says, adding, "But as a symbol, as a pledge, as a plighting one's troth, it would be a wonderful thing to do." 

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