Holland Taylor is all confident, sassy fun in her role on CBS’s “Two and a Half Men,” but off-camera, the 70-year-old actress has faced a dark personal struggle over the years.
Taylor, who’s played the sitcom’s matriarch Evelyn Harper for nine seasons, discusses her longtime battle with depression in a new interview with Parade magazine.
“I’ve suffered depression,” Holland revealed, adding her illness was bad enough for her to “entertain the idea of going into a hospital.”
“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,” Taylor said. “I was on antidepressants for over 15 years, with very intermittent counseling. It was a very dead period of my life.”
Taylor says she was on medication for a long time, but ultimately, it was not the solution for her.
“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.”
In the interview, Taylor also discussed her former “Two and a Half Men” co-star Charlie Sheen, who’s had his own struggles with personal demons, and she continues to be one of the actor’s top supporters.
“Anybody who’s spent time with Charlie likes him. He’s as smart a person as you’ll ever find,” Taylor said, adding that she believes Sheen’s unconventional upbringing with his actor father Martin Sheen may have contributed to Charlie’s bad-boy behavior.
“He grew up with a movie star father [Martin Sheen] who was gallivanting around the world. … Back in the day, Martin was a young, crazy, brilliant talent—always gone, always traveling, sometimes bringing his kids along,” Taylor said. “It was just a madhouse way [for Charlie] to grow up.”
So what does she think of Charlie’s replacement on “Two Men,” Ashton Kutcher?
“He’s very charming. Very affable and smart,” she said. “But I’ve hardly been exposed to him at all.”
Taylor was up for a Tony for Best Lead Actress in a Play for her one-woman Broadway show “Ann,” which she also wrote, for her portrayal of the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards (but she lost out to Cicely Tyson, 88, who took home the award Sunday night for her role in “The Trip to Bountiful”).