Few Hollywood actresses subvert aging with more panache than Holland Taylor, 77, a Tony Award-nominated stage great who turned TV star at 37 in Tom Hanks’ first show Bosom Buddies and perfected an acerbic, smart persona, playing wised-up, sometimes sexed-up grownups who look about 50 to 70, no matter how old she is at the time: the professor in Legally Blonde, the matriarch in Two and a Half Men, a judge in The Practice, and now, the Great Leader of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter in Bill & Ted Face the Music, the decades-in-the-making threequel to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989) and Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991). Taylor talks with AARP about breaking boundaries in her roles and how the new Bill & Ted is more about aging than you’d imagine.
In the third Bill & Ted movie, the now middle-aged guys face the music — that is, face the facts of aging and what's important in life. What's your role?
Birthdate: Jan. 14, 1943
Breakout role: Bosom Buddies
Emmy for: The Practice
I’m the most important person in the universe! If you recall, in the original Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, George Carlin played the Great Leader who kept the universe going, who came from the future in a phone booth and told them what to do. My character is Mrs. George Carlin, now the Great Leader from the cosmic hub 700 years in the future, where the nobles and the elders of the society are. I give them their assignment: to write a great song, which allows them to recapture the quest of their youth.