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Jan. 18, 2004
60 min.
Showtime TV Network

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The L Word

The L Word is the intimate story about the lives and loves of a group of lesbian friends living in Los Angeles.

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Characters: #12 of 23 (Full List)
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Phyllis Kroll The L Word
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Phyllis Kroll

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  Played by:
Cybill ShepherdCybill Shepherd
Cybill Shepherd, former beauty queen and model, rebounded from a disastrous early career in motion pictures ...

Character Bio

Phyllis Kroll photo
Occupation: Chancellor of California University

Family: Husband (Leonard), two daughters (one is Molly)

Personality Type: B, warm and caring

L Word(s) That Best Describes Phyllis: Late bloomer

Signature Look: Pearls

Endearing Trait(s): her humor and naivete

Strengths: Strong conviction to leave her heterosexual marriage.

Season 4

Phyllis is secretly bisexual, married with children, and is Bette Porter's boss at California University, who comes out in the fourth season. She has a short affair with Alice Pieszecki, with whom she falls in love, but who ends the relationship because Phyllis has a husband and two college age daughters. Phyllis was moving too quickly for Alice. Bette and Jodi Lerner support Phyllis through her difficult breakup. She remains undecided as to what she should do in her marriage, seeing that she cannot change her lesbian feelings. Phyllis is eventually confronted by her daughter Molly and husband Leonard, but soon decides to divorce Leonard. She hires Joyce Wischnia, a strong lesbian lawyer who has legally assisted Bette and her friends with several legal matters over the years, to represent her in the proceedings, but soon Joyce and Phyllis began a romance of their own.

Season 5

Phyllis and Joyce's relationship eventually grows rocky when Phyllis refuses to commit to her new partner at this early stage of her sexual awakening. She continues to look up to, and seek relationship advice from, Bette and Jodi, often ignoring her administrative duties in favor of conversing with them in matters of lesbian culture. She is very dismayed when Bette and Jodi break up, but nonetheless remains a peripheral member of Bette's circle of friends.

However, Phyllis is full of disapproval when her daughter Molly breaks off her own marriage engagement to pursue a relationship with Shane McCutcheon, the most promiscuous and seductive member of Bette's circle. In her mind, while Shane was good enough to be Phyllis' friend, she was too problematic to be Molly's lover. Phyllis confronts an unwavering Molly with her concerns, and when this fails she cruelly convinces Shane that she is not good enough for Molly and to back off. Molly, however, is not completely ready to give up on Shane and tells her to reconnect when she is ready.

Season 6

Phyllis finally accepts a marriage proposal from a nude Joyce in her office (much to onlooker Bette's shock); the nuptials are to be presided over by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom.

When Bette tries to force her employee and ex-lover Jodi—who embarrassed her with a personal, accusatory art exhibit— to resign, the matter is brought before Phyllis. Jodi refuses to resign and Phyllis privately tries to convince Bette that Bette herself should resign instead. She informs Bette that she had already helped cover up a potential scandal involving Bette's brief fling with her graduate student assistant, and that any potential sexual harassment proceedings from Jodi would further endanger the university's reputation.

Immediately afterwards, Phyllis makes a pass at Bette at a bar, claiming she was always strongly attracted to her and could pursue a relationship with her now that Bette was no longer her employee, even if it meant leaving Joyce. A disgusted Bette quickly rejects Phyllis' advances and submits her resignation from the university.

In the final episode, Phyllis and Joyce appear together in a video tribute to Tina and Bette that it is edited by Jenny Schecter. They wish Bette and Tina well on their move to New York.

Episode Screenshots

05x04 - Let's Get This Party Started
Season 5, Episode 04
01x13 - Limb from Limb
Season 1, Episode 13
01x07 - L'Ennui
Season 1, Episode 07
04x11 - Literary License to Kill
Season 4, Episode 11
[More Episodes]

Phyllis Kroll Photos

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