Christine Taylor Biography


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Birth Name: Christine Taylor
Born: 07/30/1971
Birth Place: Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA


Born Christine Joan Taylor on July 30, 1971 in Allentown, PA, she was the daughter of Joan and Skip Taylor, who owned a security company. Raised in a relatively conservative home environment, she attended the Allentown Central Catholic High School. A shy wallflower by no means, Taylor displayed an early interest in theater, getting her feet wet in local productions of "Grease" and "Fiddler on the Roof" as a teen. With the help of an encouraging mother, the budding thespian soon found professional acting work in commercials and by the time she had graduated from Allentown Central in 1989, Taylor had landed her big break as a cast member of "Hey Dude" (Nickelodeon, 1989-1991), one of the network's first live-action shows. As perky lifeguard Melody Hanson, Taylor remained on the series throughout its run, before moving to Los Angeles, where she quickly began to accumulate guest star credits on popular teen-themed series like "Life Goes On" (ABC, 1989-1993), "Saved by the Bell" (NBC, 1989-1993) and "Blossom" (NBC, 1991-95). In 1992, she joined the cast of the now-legendary stage spoof "The Real Live Brady Bunch" at the Westwood Playhouse, in a role that people had been telling her she was born to play all her life - due in no small part to her striking physical similarity to original Marcia Brady, Maureen McCormick.

Taylor made her feature film debut the following year with a minor role in the Jason Priestley vehicle "Calendar Girl" (1993), a 1950s dramedy about three teenage boys on a road trip to Hollywood to meet their dream girl, Marilyn Monroe. More substantial roles in forgettable offerings like the martial arts actioner "Showdown" (1993) and the horror sequel "Night of the Demons II" (1994) preceded Taylor's breakout role as Marcia in a feature film spoof of the iconic family sitcom "The Brady Bunch" (ABC, 1969-1974). Thanks to her work on the "Real Live Brady Bunch" stage production, Taylor had nailed the oldest Brady sister's mannerisms to a tee, right down to the punctuating flip of her blonde hair. Simultaneously paying homage to and skewering the social morays and fabulous fashions of the original, "The Brady Bunch Movie" (1995) was led by veterans Shelley Long and Gary Cole as the parental Bradys riding herd over a talented cast of relative newcomers, including Taylor. A hit with audiences and the majority of critics, it officially put Taylor on the map in Hollywood and landed her another role based on a classic TV character - incongruously pretty cousin Marilyn on the nostalgic sitcom reboot, "Here Come the Munsters" (Fox, 1995).

Although a supporting turn as a high school bully in the teen occult thriller "The Craft" (1996) temporarily detoured from good girl-next-door roles, Taylor's return as Marcia in "A Very Brady Sequel" (1996) later that summer threatened to irreversibly typecast the likable actress. Hoping to shed her squeaky clean image, Taylor was thrilled to land a starring role as the titular wild child club hopper on "Party Girl" (Fox, 1996), a sitcom based on the film of the same name starring Parker Posey. Unfortunately, it failed to find its audience and was canceled after a mere four episodes. Moving forward, Taylor maintained her television presence with memorable guest turns as Jerry's "too perfect" girlfriend in a 1997 episode of "Seinfeld" (NBC, 1989-1998) and as a naïve romantic rival tricked into shaving her head by an unscrupulous Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) on a trio of "Friends" (NBC, 1994-2004) episodes that same year. A supporting role as Drew Barrymore's best friend Holly in "The Wedding Singer" (1998) brought her more screen time in a hit film, although it was her experience on a failed television pilot the following year that would have the biggest impact on Taylor's future personal and professional life.

Cast as a no-nonsense sheriff on the bizarre sci-fi action sitcom "Heat Vision and Jack" (Fox, 1999) - a concept that featured Jack Black as an astronaut endowed with unlimited mental abilities after passing too close to the sun, Owen Wilson as the voice of his talking motorcycle, and actor Ron Silver (playing himself) as the man sent to assassinate Black - Taylor soon found herself smitten by the show's director, actor Ben Stiller. Although "Heat Vision and Jack" was not picked up for series, Taylor's experience on the project quickly led to a relationship that culminated in a wedding ceremony on the Hawaiian island of Kauai in the spring of 2000. Not long after, the couple joined each other on screen for the first of many fruitful collaborations when she was cast opposite Stiller in the ridiculous action-adventure-modeling comedy "Zoolander" (2001). Released immediately after the tragic events of 9/11, the film went largely unseen as a country still reeling from the horror of the attacks was in no mood for frivolity. Thanks to a second life on DVD, the film fortunately later achieved status as a cult favorite and came to be regarded as one of Stiller's more inspired cinematic efforts.

After giving birth to the couple's first child, Ella Olivia Stiller, in 2002, Taylor chose to remain closer to home in order to focus on raising their daughter. Two years later, she returned to theaters, once again opposite her husband, in the sports comedy "Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story" (2004) as a lawyer helping an underachieving gym owner (Vince Vaughn) keep his club out of the hands of a megalomaniacal fitness guru (Stiller). Not long after, the couple followed with the birth of a second child, son Quinlin Dempsey, in 2005. Continuing to work, the actress logged in more guest appearances on series like Larry David's sardonic hit sitcom "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (HBO, 2000- ) and the cult-favorite comedy "Arrested Development" (Fox, 2003-06/Netflix, 2013), prior to appearing alongside "Friends" alum Lisa Kudrow in the independent film festival darling "Kabluey" (2007) and a supporting turn as bride-to-be Mandy Moore's sister in the prenuptial comedy "License to Wed" (2007). She appeared briefly in a hilarious and uncomfortable moment of Stiller's scatological war movie-within-a war movie comedy "Tropic Thunder" (2008) then returned to starring roles on television with projects like the holiday romance "Farewell, Mr. Kringle" (Hallmark Channel, 2010) and the comedy "Rip City" (TV Land, 2011). Back in theaters, Taylor appeared as the mother of a young girl (Britt Robertson) navigating the tricky waters of teen love in the coming-of-age romantic comedy "The First Time" (2013), the directorial debut of Jon Kasdan, son of acclaimed filmmaker Lawrence Kasdan.

By Bryce P. Coleman




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