Evelyn Nora Harper (previously Gorsky and Leopold) is a fictional character from the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. Evelyn is played by actress Holland Taylor. The character has garnered three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series. She is the mother of Charlie and Alan Harper and the grandmother of Jake Harper.
Not much is known about Evelyn's childhood or life before her first marriage; she married Francis Harper young and had two sons with him, Charlie Harper and Alan Harper. She and her husband often had group sex with another couple which resulted in the birth of Francis's daughter Gloria. Francis died of food poisoning when her sons were young; Evelyn says she was a young wife and had not yet mastered cooking and kept fish in a drawer, Her son Charlie says that he knew the food was tainted. After Francis's death the young widow married a man named Harry Gorsky; the marriage was happy and Alan was fond of him but the marriage would end in divorce. Evelyn claimed she left him but she confessed to her sons while going to his funeral that he had left her for a younger woman. Evelyn would then marry a man Charlie describes as "The Fat Carpet Salesman"; it is unknown how that marriage ended, it is presumed he died as Charlie mentioned in "Fish in a Drawer" that Evelyn had bad luck in the dead spouse department. She later married a man again as Charlie describes as "The Texan who called them Buckaroos". Later in the series she would marry Teddy Leopold, who died at their wedding reception; it is revealed that Teddy was a con artist named Nathan Krunk had planned on taking Evelyn's money and running off with his daughter who was actually his partner.
Two of her unnamed husbands after Francis died from heart attacks, while the other was electrocuted in a bathtub.
Harper is a successful Estate Agent and it is mentioned that she has many adverts around the city, she is quite wealthy and often spends much money on shoes and her suits, her wide-ranging sex life is a recurring gag throughout the series and she mentioned Charlie was a planned child, while Alan was the unplanned child. Evelyn told Charlie that Alan was "a pitcher of margaritas and two condoms from a gas station."
She also has a rather strained relationship with her former daughter-in-law Judith, when Alan announced his separation from her, Evelyn and Judith had an argument and when Alan announced he and Judith might reconcile Evelyn said she would have to apologize to her, and she would "rather kill us all." Harper said she would like her headstone to read, "Evelyn Harper: Loving wife, devoted mother."
- Evelyn: I think God gives us children so that death won't come as such a disappointment.
- Evelyn: Good Lord, are you picking your nose?!?
- Jake: I had to. There was stuff in it.
- Evelyn: And just where were you planning to put it?
- Jake: I didn't really have a plan