Having memorably played a tough but warm-hearted Harvard Law professor in Legally Blonde and sassy mom Evelyn Harper on Two and a Half Men, veteran actress Holland Taylor is now up for a Tony Award for Broadway’s Ann, her one-woman show in which she plays the late, feisty Texas Gov. Ann Richards.
Doubly remarkable is not only that Taylor stars in the show, but she wrote it herself. (The Tonys air live on CBS Sunday at 8 p.m.)
And while the Emmy winner has enjoyed career success, life has not been entirely glamorous for the 70-year-old, who opens up about her own personal challenges – including a long struggle with depression – in this weekend’s Parade.
“I wasn’t actually a danger to myself but I really sometimes wondered how I could get out of the house to go get food,” says Taylor. “I was on antidepressants for over 15 years, with very intermittent counseling. It was a very dead period of my life.”
Of her medications, she says, “Antidepressants take away the lows but they also reduce the highs. And for me, over a long period of time, they didn’t really work. So I quit taking them and my life has been afire since then.”
As one who has battled health issues, Taylor praises Angelina Jolie for sharing her story about her double mastectomy, and says that the real Ann Richards, who was open about her own struggles with alcoholism, would have approved.
“I thought it was a wonderful sharing, and just fantastically wonderful for thousands of people who are going through that,” Richards says. “I think the world of Angelina Jolie, and infinitely more now, because that was really a dazzling, generous effort on her part. Ann Richards would just think that was the bomb.”
And who couldn’t ask Taylor about her TV son on Two and a Half Men, Charlie Sheen?
“Anyone who’s spent time with Charlie likes him,” Taylor says. “He’s as smart a person as you’ll ever find.”
As for his successor, Ashton Kutcher, she’d had less exposure to the actor, but finds him “very charming. Very affable and smart.”