‘The Real Housewives of Orange County’ Adds Former ‘Beverly Hills’ Cast Member Taylor Armstrong

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Taylor Armstrong, an original cast member of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” is joining the upcoming season of the “Orange County” version of the franchise. Armstrong — according to People magazine, which broke the news of her casting — lives in Orange County with her husband John Bluher and her daughter, Kennedy, now 16. She will appear as a “friend,” which in Bravo nomenclature is a recurring cast member.

The Real Housewives of Orange County” premiered on Bravo in March 2006, and Armstrong is the first “Real Housewives” cast member to jump from one series to another.

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Armstrong appeared on the first three seasons of “Beverly Hills,” and has been seen on it since as a guest star, never leaving the Bravo-verse. Of late, she starred on the recently concluded Season 2 of “The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip,” as a member of the “Ex-Wives Club.”

Armstrong’s time on “Beverly Hills” took place during a calamitous period in her life. In August 2011, two weeks before the premiere of the second season of the show, her husband Russell Armstrong died by suicide, reportedly because of financial problems he was having.

Right before he died, Armstrong had filed for divorce, citing verbal and physical abuse. During the show’s first season, she had been open about the problems in her marriage, and Russell Armstrong had appeared on camera with her, always seeming miserable. Before his death, Armstrong had stopped short of talking on camera about being abused, but has since campaigned for survivors of domestic violence.

“Orange County” is set to begin production on its 17th season this summer. The quotable lightning rod Tamra Judge, who starred on Seasons 3-14 of the show, was recently brought back to the flagship “Real Housewives” series. Judge and Armstrong were castmates “Ultimate Girls Trip,” and seemingly have parlayed their “Ex-Wives” status to get back into the “Houswives” fold.

And Dr. Jennifer Armstrong and Noella Bergener, who’d been added to “The Real Houswives of Orange County” for Season 16, proved to be, as Bravo fans say, one-and-done.

This story has been updated to clarify that Armstrong will be appear on the show as a “friend.”

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