Tim Allen (Tim Taylor)
Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor is the macho, slightly chauvinist lead of the show as well as the host of the show-within-the-show Tool Time. His projects typically end in disaster thanks to his constant attempts to supercharge them with "more power!" although Tim is also shown to be highly competent in auto restoration and a few other builds. Although often obstinate and selfish, Tim was also shown to be a caring father and husband.
Tim Allen got into comedy on a dare, starting with stand-up acts. This coincided with a rather unsavory start to adulthood, namely an involvement in cocaine trafficking. After he was caught with 1.4 pounds of the stuff at a Michigan airport in 1978, he cooperated with investigators to put other dealers away and wound up serving two years and four months in prison. He managed to revive his comedy career after his release, although he was arrested for DUI in 1997, near the end of Home Improvement's run, and sentenced to a year of probation. Since the end of the show, Allen has starred in a number of critically panned comedy films as well as some more memorable pictures including The Santa Clause, the Toy Story trilogy, and GalaxyQuest. Now 59, Allen is currently starring in the sitcom Last Man Standing and also has his own line of power tools.
Patricia Richardson (Jill Taylor)
Zachery Ty Bryan (Brad Taylor)
The oldest of Tim and Jill's sons, Brad was best known for his relative popularity and athletic ability, including a proficiency at soccer. He struggled academically at times but still managed to earn a college scholarship near the end of the series. Despite getting in trouble on a few occasions and sometimes clashing with his parents, Brad also got along well with Tim through common interests such as auto restoration.
Zachery Bryan (he's dropped the Ty) had parts in a few family movies during his Home Improvement run, but started to transition to other roles with appearances in films such as Carrie 2: The Rage in 1999 and The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift in 2006. He graduated high school the year after the show ended. Since the end of Home Improvement, Bryan (now 31) has scored guest roles on a number of TV shows including ER, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Smallville, and Burn Notice. His last acting role was as Thor in the 2009 SyFy movie Hammer of the Gods. He founded the production company Vision Entertainment Group in the same year. He's had a producer credit on four movies since then, most recently Rogue River and The Grief Tourist in 2012. He also joined a couple of partners in opening the Hollywood sports bar "Big Wangs," although he later sued them in 2010 for allegedly using profits for personal expenses.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas (Randy Taylor)
Taran Noah Smith (Mark Taylor)
Taran Noah Smith, now 28, had a much rockier post-show experience than his peers. The show led to a falling out with his parents, as he accused them of misusing his earnings from the show and in 2001, when he was 17, he sued for control of that money. The same year he married Heidi Van Pelt, a woman nearly twice his age, and the two began a vegan restaurant and non-dairy cheese manufacturing business named Playfood out of their Los Angeles home. The couple divorced in 2007 and the house went into foreclosure the same year, after which it was apparently trashed by vandals. The duo went through another court battle soon after when Van Pelt tried to gain control of Playfood. Smith reportedly won control of the company but it is unclear if he has managed to keep it going. The whole affair led him to reconcile with his parents, who apparently opposed the marriage from the start. In 2012, Smith was convicted of DUI and marijuana possession and sentenced to probation, a drug diversion program, and a fine.
Richard Karn (Al Borland)
Al was Tim's perpetually put-upon co-host on Tool Time, a frequent victim of Tim's backfiring fixes as well as jokes about his beard, flannel outfits, mother, and numerous other things. Despite this, the two remain good friends. Al gets married later in the series. And for some reason, the Wikipedia entry on Home Improvement characters at the time I'm writing this particular section has a whopping five subsections for Al Borland. Someone likes their fictional TV friends/co-workers.
Richard Karn, now 56, graduated from the University of Washington with a drama degree and got his role on Home Improvement through a stroke of luck. Though the show had already cast Borland's character, Karn met a casting agent while answering a traffic citation in court and was brought on board after the original choice (Stephen Tobolowsky) had to drop out. It was the first major role for Karn, who is still appearing mostly in family comedies. After Home Improvement, his most prominent role was as a game show host, including a four-year stint on Family Feud.
Earl Hindman (Wilson Wilson Jr.)
Debbe Dunning (Heidi Keppert)
Heidi was Tool Time's sexy "Tool Girl" assistant, introducing the show and helping out around the set. She occasionally figured more into a plot, experiencing a bit of martial trouble and having two kids over the course of the show.
Debbe Dunning started out in modeling and advertising before landing the role on Home Improvement. She has been married to volleyball player Tim Simmons since 2007 and, like her character, she has two children. Her first role was in the 1989 movie Dangerous Curves, with a few appearances on shows such as Boy Meets World and Baywatch as well. Her last acting role was as Hope Lorca in the series Wicked Wicked Games.