See the Cast of ‘Roseanne’ Then and Now
In 1988, a new kind of sitcom debuted: ‘Roseanne,’ created by and starring Roseanne Barr as the matriarch of the working-class Conner family living in Illinois. With her husband Dan, played by John Goodman, Roseanne tried to juggle work and raising her kids properly while dealing with more relatable problems faced by families, like poverty, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy. The show ended its long run in 1997, and today we take a look back at the cast 17 years later to see what they’re up to now.
Roseanne Barr, Roseanne Conner
Then: Comedian Roseanne Barr created the show and fought to control her vision of a modern working class family, with stories to which real families could relate, including characters who were openly gay. Barr played the matriarch of the Conner family, who was also named Roseanne.
Now: Barr hasn’t appeared in many films — in 2001, she played David Spade’s mother in ‘Joe Dirt,’ but her scenes were deleted and she was replaced. She lent her voice to the animated films ‘Home on the Range’ and ‘A Dairy Tale,’ both released in 2004. She’s guest-starred on episodes of ‘My Name is Earl,’ ‘Portlandia,’ and ‘The Office,’ and starred in the short-lived Lifetime reality series ‘Roseanne’s Nuts,’ about her life running a macadamia farm.
John Goodman, Dan Conner
Then: John Goodman played struggling construction worker Dan Conner, Roseanne’s husband. At the time he was best known for his role in the Coen Brothers’ film ‘Raising Arizona.’
Now: Goodman went on to star in several more films for the Coen Brothers, including ‘Barton Fink,’ ‘The Big Lebowski,’ ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou,’ and more recently, ‘Inside Llewyn Davis.’ Goodman is also the voice of Sully in Pixar’s ‘Monsters Inc.’ and ‘Monsters University,’ and has also recently appeared in ‘The Campaign’ and ‘Argo.’ He can be seen next in ‘The Monuments Men,’ co-starring and directed by George Clooney, who appeared in the first season of ‘Roseanne.’
Laurie Metcalf, Jackie Harris
Then: Laurie Metcalf played Jackie, Roseanne’s goofy sister who always has trouble figuring out what she wants to do with her life. When the series begins, Jackie becomes a police officer, and eventually decides to become a truck driver.
Now: Metcalf has since appeared in the films ‘Scream 2′ and ‘Runaway Bride,’ and lent her voice to the ‘Toy Story’ films as well as ‘Meet the Robinsons’ and ‘Hop.’ She was nominated for an Emmy for her recurring role on ‘Desperate Housewives,’ and reunited with ‘Roseanne’ co-star Johnny Galecki for a series of episodes of ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ Recently she starred on the new HBO series ‘Getting On.’
Michael Fishman, D.J. Conner
Then: Michael Fishman played D.J., the youngest Conner sibling. He was played by child actor Sal Barone in the pilot, but Barone and actress Sara Gilbert clashed, so he was replaced by Fishman in the second episode. D.J. didn’t have as much of a story as the other Conner children until season 7.
Now: After ‘Roseanne’ ended, Fishman had guest spots on ‘Walker, Texas Ranger’ and ‘Seinfeld,’ and a small role in the film ‘A.I.: Artificial Intelligence’ as “Teen in Van.” He co-hosted Barr’s short-lived 1999 talk show ‘The Roseanne Show,’ and appeared on one episode of her reality series, ‘Roseanne’s Nuts’ in 2011. He can be seen in the upcoming 2014 film ‘Undrafted’ with Aaron Tveit and Chace Crawford.
Sara Gilbert, Darlene Conner
Then: Sara Gilbert played Darlene, the rebellious tomboy Conner daughter who is just starting to become a young woman when the series begins. She eventually starts a relationship with David (Galecki), who moves in with the Conner family.
Now: Gilbert has only appeared in a handful of films since ‘Roseanne’ ended, most notably ‘High Fidelity’ and ‘Riding in Cars with Boys.’ She had a recurring role on ‘ER,’ and reunited with Galecki for a recurring spot on ‘The Big Bang Theory.’ More recently, she’s guest-starred on ‘HawthoRNe’ and ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and is a co-host on the CBS daytime talk show ‘The Talk.’
Alicia Goranson, Becky Conner
Then: Alicia “Lecy” Goranson played Becky, the middle Conner child who has more boy trouble than her sister Darlene and eventually elopes with her boyfriend Mark. Goranson played Becky for the first five seasons of the show, leaving to pursue her college education, but returned to share the role of Becky in season 8.
Now: Goranson appeared in the films ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ and ‘The Extra Man,’ and has guest-starred on ‘Sex and the City,’ ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,’ ‘Fringe,’ and more recently, in a 2012 episode of ‘Damages.’ She recently completed filming on a short called ‘The Wood House.’
Sarah Chalke, Becky Conner
Then: Sarah Chalke replaced Goranson in season 6 of ‘Roseanne,’ and the show often made humorous nods to the obvious switch. Goranson returned in the show’s eighth and final season, and both actresses took turns playing the part of Becky.
Now: You probably know Chalke best for her role as Dr. Elliott Reed on the long-running NBC sitcom ‘Scrubs.’ She’s also had recurring roles on ‘How I Met Your Mother’ and ‘Cougar Town,’ and starred on the short-lived 2013 sitcom ‘How to Live with Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life).’ Chalke currently lends her voice talents to ‘Rick and Morty,’ the new Adult Swim animated series from Dan Harmon, the creator of ‘Community.’
Johnny Galecki, David Healy
Then: Johnny Galecki played David Healy, troubled teen and boyfriend of Darlene. He moves in with the Conner family and eventually (secretly) bunks up with Darlene when she goes to college.
Now: Galecki went on to appear in the films ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer,’ ‘Vanilla Sky,’ and ‘Happy Endings’ — the latter of which starred Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr’s ex-husband. He’s recently appeared in the films ‘In Time’ and ‘CBGB,’ but he’s best known for the role of Leonard Hofstadter on the CBS sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory.’