Roseanne: Whatever Happened to Dan, Roseanne, Darlene, and the Rest?

The cast of RoseanneIt’s hard to believe that Roseanne first hit the airwaves 20 years ago. The blue-collar sitcom was very successful from the start and was a top 10 show in the ratings for the first seven of its nine seasons. In season nine, the show fell to #35 and was cancelled by ABC.

The show was recently honored at the TV Land Awards with the Innovator Award. Many of the Roseanne castmembers were on hand to celebrate the sitcom and accept the award. The show will be broadcast this Sunday night on TV Land. It’s nice to see them altogether but what have they been doing since the show went off the air? Well….

Roseanne Barr (Roseanne Conner) — Immediately following the close of her sitcom, the outspoken comedienne portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West in a lavish production of The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden. From there, she jumped into the daytime talk show arena and The Roseanne Show lasted for two seasons before ending in 2000. One of the highlights was a reunion of most of the Roseanne cast in 1998. In 2003, Barr concurrently starred in a cooking show and a reality show about hosting the cooking show. Unfortunately, food poisoning and an emergency appendectomy caused the premature end of both. In 2005, she returned to stand-up and in 2006 she co-wrote and starred in an HBO special called Roseanne Barr: Blonde and Bitchin’. The following year, she signed on to host The Search for the Funniest Mom in America for Nick @ Nite. Barr is currently a headliner at the Sahara Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. She has been married and divorced three times and has given birth to five children.

Barr and GoodmanJohn Goodman (Dan Conner) — The affable actor has also been incredibly busy since the show went off the air. On stage, he has played such roles as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse. On TV, he starred in two short-lived series — Father of the Pride and Center of the Universe — as well as guest-starred on shows like Ed, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Most of his work has been in live-action and animated feature films. Cartoon-wise he’s been in The Emperor’s New Groove, Cars, Bee Movie, and Monsters, Inc. His live-action movie projects have included Evan Almighty, Death Sentence, Masked and Anonymous, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? He played Pops in the recent Speed Racer movie and has several upcoming movies. Goodman has been married since 1989 and the couple has one daughter.

Laurie Metcalf (Jackie Harris) — She won three consecutive Emmy Awards for her work on the sitcom and has gone on to many other TV projects. Most notably, Metcalf was a series regular on The Norm Show which ran for three seasons on ABC. Metcalf has had guest shots on series like Malcolm in the Middle, Frasier, Without a Trace, Grey’s Anatomy, and Raines. She also had a multiple episode run on Desperate Housewives in 2006 as uptight neighbor Carolyn Bigsby. Most recently, she played Sheldon’s mother on CBS’ The Big Bang Theory, acting alongside fellow Roseanne veteran Johnny Galecki. She is married to actor Matt Roth, who incidentally appeared with her on Housewives and actually played a key role in her character’s death. Metcalf has two biological children with Roth, an adult daughter from a previous marriage, and a foster child. They currently live on a ranch in Idaho.

Sara Gilbert (Darlene Conner) — Gilbert’s appeared in a few movies — High Fidelity, Riding in Cars with Boys, and Laws of Attraction — but most of her post-Roseanne work has been in television. Since leaving the Conner household, she’s been a series regular in three series — 24, Welcome to New York, and Twins. Gilbert has had recurring roles on The Class, ER, and currently on The Big Bang Theory, opposite her Roseanne husband Johnny Galecki. She’s also put in memorable guest appearances on shows like Will & Grace (the Barry Manilow episode), Strong Medicine, and Private Practice. She is the adoptive half-sister of Little House on the Prairie’s Melissa Gilbert and Jonathan Gilbert. Sara Gilbert is a longtime vegetarian and supports PETA, as well as numerous AIDS organizations. She has been in an openly lesbian relationship with Allison Adler since 2002 and the couple has two children. Adler gave birth to their son and Gilbert carried their daughter.

Barr, Goranson, Chalke and GaleckiLecy Goranson (Becky Conner #1) — In 1993, Goranson began attending Vassar College in New York as an English Major. Becky appeared in occasional household scenes for awhile but eventually, the writers decided to have her elope and live out of state. For season six, they decided to bring Becky back but Goranson was still not available full-time so they recast the role with Sarah Chalke. Goranson was able to return for some episodes in seasons seven and eight and the two actresses shared the role. She opted not to appear in season eight. Since that time, Goranson’s appeared in a few films (Boys Don’t Cry, Death 4 Told, Love, Ludlow) and has guest-starred in TV series like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Sex and the City. As an adult, she’s credited as “Alicia” and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Sarah Chalke (Becky Conner #2) — Prior to Roseanne, Chalke was already a veteran of TV movies and films, most notably Ernest Goes to School. After the sitcom ended, she played Gloria on the Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy series in Canada and had roles in several other projects. In 2001, she was cast as a series regular on NBC’s Scrubs. The series ran for seven seasons on the peacock network and will have an eighth year on ABC for the 2008-09 season. In addition, she’s recently had a recurring role on CBS’ How I Met Your Mother and may return for future episodes. Chalke was born in Canada and became a naturalized American citizen two months ago. She is an advocate for breast cancer awareness and became engaged to entertainment lawyer Jamie Afifi during a vacation in Hawaii in December 2006.

FishmanMichael Fishman (DJ Conner) – At the age of six, Fishman actually replaced another actor in the role of DJ. He was 15 when the sitcom ended. He attended Los Alamitos High, the same school as Jodie Sweetin (Full House) and Allison Mack (Smallville). Fishman then went on to attend a performing arts school in Orange County. After Roseanne, he acted in the A.I. – Artificial Intelligence movie and an episode of Walker, Texas Ranger. In an October 2005 interview with Larry King, Fishman expressed interest in returning to acting and in becoming a writer as well. He married Jennifer Briner on his 18th birthday in 1999 and they have a son and a daughter together.

What have the rest of the actors been up to? Find out by clicking here. TV Series Finale home page

Canceled and renewed TV show

15 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Jaci says

    I started watching Roseanne when it first came on the air when I was only 13! I can’t believe it came on tv 20 yrs ago!!!

    I love the older episodes, not that into the newer ones when they become rich. I liked them as the regular Blue collar family, struggling like most of us today. Very relatable to people in these days and times.

    Like most of you, I did not like how the show ended. Seemed like a cop out to me. Sad to see Dan die and find out her life was a story. But, I think another ended would have been better suited.

    I also watch her on TVLAND late at night. May the show live on!

  2. maxine ross says

    No reunion…be happy with years and years of reruns. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it…it’s never the same. You can’t go home again. Move on to “Modern Family’…it’s the 21st Century, for God’s sake!

  3. jane white says

    It was the most selfish season finale.Rosanne was so rediculous towards the end, nasty character was coming through the TV set….she was dying as an enternainer…and no reunion garbage..please

  4. Melissa says

    They need to have a reunion! Its so sad and twisted how it ends. I would have prefferred it ended when they came home and were giving thanks for all they had, not carried on to be that the last season was all a made up story that helped roseanne cope with dans death and the things she was unhappy with. Hate the ending…

    • Monica Ortega says

      I agree with everyone. We need a reunion show. I continue to watch the show on tvland and have bought some of the DVDs. I always looked forward to the show on Tuesday nights. The only show that was realistic.

  5. rebecca hopkins says

    i grew up watching the roseanne show with my mom and her best friend at which i call aunt paula could have been roseannes twin sister she acted and talked just like roseanne there was never a dull moment watching the show and visiting my aunt the show was awesome and i really liked the original becky a reunion show would be awesome i know it would be a hit and the ratings would go sky high

  6. Nicki says

    I agree! I just read about what happened to Mark Heeley from the show. I don’t know if I could handle seing anyone else play Mark, but I think this is the show that could and still can make a hit today! Roseanne was one of those shows that could stand the test of time. No other sitcom has been able to touch it.

  7. Meghan says

    I agree with Marc and Stacey and Stephanie. They need to bring everyone back that they can I am most interested in the babies like Jerry and Andy and Harris and the one Becky was pregnant with in the last show.

  8. Stacey says

    I agree with marc, the last episode still makes me cry when I see it to this day, and I would LOOOVVEE a reunion show! That would be the BEST!

  9. marc says

    I thought that the final episode of Roseanne was the saddest thing that I had ever watched. I would like to find out more about what the cast thinks of the final episode and of the choice to have Dan pass away. I think they need to do a reuion show!

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