I thought that moving to Texas would be the worst thing that ever happened to me, but it saved my life. It happened during my junior year in high school, which was really traumatic. All my life I had never been at the same school for more than two years, and at the time, I was in love with this boy in Washington, D.C. But my parents wouldn’t let me stay in D.C. as a boarding student, so they enrolled me at Hockaday. I was sort of the black sheep of the family, really rebellious, and they were afraid that if they let me out of their sight, they would never see me again. But on my first day of class I went to a drama club meeting, where I met a girl named Frances Aronson. She dragged me over to St. Mark’s to check out the drama program there. And that’s all I did once I started: theater twelve hours a day at Hockaday and St. Mark’s. I had been a real problem child, but once I got into acting, my parents never had any more trouble with me, because all of that energy was directed in a positive way.

Patricia Richardson lived in Dallas from 1966 to 1972, and she earned a degree in theater arts from Southern Methodist University. She co-stars on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement.