Al Borland in "Home Improvement"
Born in Seattle, Richard Karn's earliest acting memory is of his fifth-grade play, in which he played a boy who ate too much Thanksgiving dinner. But he knew he was on to something special when he won an award playing a series of Feiffer's People sketches in his sophomore year of high school. In his senior year, he was singled out for Best Actor in their Winter Festival and again for playing Henry Higgins in the school's spring musical, "My Fair Lady." It was also during high school that he began performing in community theater and summer stock.
Although he was accepted for admission to New York University on a scholarship, Karn attended the University of Washington, where his first year included six months in Scotland at the Edinburgh Festival. His second year, he auditioned for the professional theatre program at the University and was accepted.
After finishing college, Karn went to New York; as a 23-year-old 'character man,' Karn got his first work and his first agent. Eleven years' worth of regional theatre followed, interspersed with work both on and off Broadway.
In New York, he played the lead in an off-Broadway production of "Losing It" and "The Other Shore," the play in which he met the actress who later became his wife, Tudi Roche. For Karn's first Broadway credit, he played the "suit of armor" in the smash Broadway musical "Me & My Girl."
For two summers, Karn was a participating actor at the New Harmony Project in Indiana, a script workshop for playwrights and screenwriters. It was there that he first met producer/writers Matt Williams, David McFadzean and Carmen Finestra, who were involved in overseeing scripts-in-progress.
After moving to Los Angeles, Karn had a small role on Carol Burnett's "Carol & Company" as his prime time TV debut and his film credits include "Desperate Seeking Susan" and "House of Games" (both performances in which he wound up on the cutting room floor!).
Karn's most recent stage work includes a leading role in the production of "Our Father" at Gorky's, which was recognized with a "Critics Choice" award from the Los Angeles Times.
Karn's mother, Lou Wilson, was a well-known Pacific Northwest artist, and his father, Gene Wilson, is an architect who built homes in the Seattle area. They were both supportive of his performing interests, and his father now gets a big kick seeing his son as the brains behind "Tool Time," the cable fix-it show that Tim Taylor (Tim Allen) hosts on "Home Improvement."
Karn and his wife have been married seven years and recently "improved" their own home with their latest addition -- a son named Cooper.
Thanks to Touchstone Television for providing the information.