Roseanne cast now – heroin, homelessness, incest accusations and awful tragedy

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Roseanne was one of the first primetime TV characters to “tell it like it is” – and her show did the same.

Barr co-created and starred in the eponymous sitcom as a working class matriarch just trying to make do.

The hit show became remarkable for depicting gay characters at a time of stigma for the LGBT community, particularly as it coincided with the AIDS crisis of the late-80s and early-90s.

Its realism, loveable characters and strong jokes led the show to forge a big and loyal audience.

With 21.4 million viewers tuning in for its premiere, Roseanne quickly became the number-one show on American TV, keeping the crown for its first two seasons.

It went on to win four Emmys and gained 27 nominations, also picking up three Golden Globes. In 2018, it was rebooted with a tenth season.

But it wasn’t all good news for the show’s talented cast and creators, who it’s fair to say have lived eventful lives since the end of Roseanne’s first run in 1997.

Daily Star has taken a closer look at what some of the show's biggest stars did next as Roseanne celebrates her 69th birthday.

Roseanne Barr

Where to start with Roseanne herself?

The Utah-born comic started her career in stand-up before co-creating the sitcom with Cosby Show writer Matt Williams.

Barr was a minor celebrity when Roseanne began in 1988, but it soon catapulted her to superstardom, pulling in millions of viewers.

She married her first husband, former motel clerk Bill Pentland, in 1974, and the couple had three children together before divorcing in 1990, when the show was at its peak.

Around the time they parted company, Barr gave a now infamous performance of the US national anthem.

She performed the Star-Spangled Banner at a nationally televised baseball match in San Diego, delivering a screechy off-pitch tone, before grabbing her crotch and spitting.

Barr said he was trying to be funny, but few were impressed. President George HW Bush called it "disgraceful".

It was Roseanne's first, but not last, glimpse at notoriety.

She married comedian Tom Arnold just days after her first divorce, but they separated just four years later.

In 1995 she married again, this time to her former security guard Ben Thomas. They had one child and divorced in 2002.

Barr had given birth to her first child back in 1970, when she was just 17. The little girl was put up for adoption and the pair reunited many years later, when Barr was famous.

She also had one or two issues with her own parents. As a teenager she ran away from home after telling her parents she would be gone for just a few days.

Barr later accused them of molesting her as a child, even calling herself an 'incest survivor'.

Her parents strenuously denied the claims, even taking – and passing – a lie detector test, and in an interview with Oprah Winfrey in the late 1990s, Barr admitted it was in fact all "made up".

She said "incest" was the wrong word and blamed mental health issues and psychiatric drugs which caused her to lose touch with reality, adding: "I just wanted to drop a bomb on my family."

During the 1990s, Barr underwent several cosmetic surgeries including a tummy tuck, nose job and gastric bypass.

Her greatest controversies came long after Roseanne ended in 1997.

For many years a left-wing campaigner and activist, Barr became a conservative in the run-up to the infamous 2016 US presidential election.

An avid opponent of Hillary Clinton, she tweeted support for the notorious "Pizzagate" conspiracy alleging a Clinton adviser ran a child sex ring in the basement of a popular Washington DC pizza restaurant.

Barr then became a leading supporter of President Trump and the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, arguing Hungarian billionaire George Soros had collaborated with the Nazis during WWII.

In May 2018 she was accused of making racist comments on Twitter about Valerie Jarrett, a black former Barack Obama adviser.

Barr, now 68, tweeted if "muslim brotherhood and planet of the apes had a baby = vj".

Barr apologised saying she had written the comment in the early hours of the morning while on Ambien, a sedative used to treat sleeping problems.

Her show was immediately cancelled and the ABC network president described her comments as "abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values."

Parent company Disney's CEO Bob Iger revealed he personally made the decision to fire Barr, saying the same rules apply to any employee of the entertainment giant.

He wrote in his memoir in 2019: "If any of our employees tweeted what she tweeted, they'd be immediately terminated."

John Goodman

Monsters Inc and Big Lebowski star John Goodman was already quite a big deal when he joined Roseanne in 1988, having acted in the Talking Heads comedy True Stories and in the Coen Brothers' Raising Arizona alongside Nicholas Cage.

But Roseanne offered him a new level of fame and he has remained a big name in Hollywood ever since.

Goodman played Roseanne's embattled, underemployed husband Dan, winning a Golden Globe for his role in the 2018 reboot of the show.

A calm and cautious voice in contrast to the hysterics of his other half – whether Roseanne or Mike Wazowski – Goodman remains one of the show's best-loved figures.

Sober since 2007, Goodman has lost almost 50kg of weight in the past decade.

He has been married to Annabeth Hartzog since 1989, just after the show began.

Their daughter Molly was born one year later and works as a production assistant in Hollywood.

Goodman now plays the lead in the Roseanne spinoff The Conners, which stars most of the original cast with the exception of Barr.

Michael Fishman

Fishman didn't play DJ Conner in the pilot of Roseanne (that was Sal Barone), but took the part of Roseanne and Dan's youngest son once the show was greenlit.

Just six-years-old when he started on the show, Fishman is now 39 and still plays DJ Conner on spinoff The Conners.

But his own family life has been less easy-going than a scripted TV show.

Fishman lost his eldest son Larry to a drug overdose in June 2020.

Though fiercely private, he told Tamron Hall in an appearance on her show that his adopted son Larry had struggled for some time.

Fishman said: "I feel like I came to Larry, maybe later than I wish I could. And I think for parents, you know, you wish you had more time.

"You don't always get the time that you want."

Fishman also has daughter Isabelle and son Aaron with ex-wife Jennifer Briner.

The couple divorced in 2017.

Glenn Quinn

Dublin-born actor Quinn found himself in LA at a young age, his family having moved out West when he was just 18.

Quickly his twinkly eyes and chiseled face made him a shoo-in for Pepsi and Ray-Ban adverts.

But he got his big break when he acted alongside John Travolta and debutant Gwyneth Paltrow in 1991's Shout.

Though the film commercially flopped, Quinn shared a kiss with Paltrow in her first film role.

Quinn joined the Roseanne cast as Becky Conner's love interest Mark Healy in 1990, a recurring role from the fourth season to the ninth.

His American accent had become so good, few viewers realised he was Irish.

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But Quinn's struggles with drug addiction followed him his entire adult life.

Quinn had first become a user as a 17-year-old and in LA things only got worse.

When Roseanne ended in 1997 his addictions came to a head and Quinn was bought out of the Goldfingers nightclub he part-owned with some friends in LA.

Quinn would visit quietly in the middle of the week and staff never realised he had a 50% share in the place.

In 2002 he tragically died of a heroin overdose at a friend's house in North Hollywood after spells of homelessness.

The fourth episode of the show's tenth season was dedicated in Quinn's memory.

Sara Gilbert

Big Bang Theory star Gilbert, who played the Conners' bright daughter Darlene, dated co-star Johnny Galecki in real life while they filmed Roseanne and later on the CBS sitcom in character.

Gilbert has said she realised he was a lesbian during their teenage romance.

The actress and producer was married to singer Linda Perry from 2014 to 2019.

Gilbert gave birth to son Rhodes Emilio in February 2015.

She also dated Canadian writer Ali Adler for a decade, separating in 2011.

They had two children, Levi and Sawyer, in 2004 and 2007 respectively.

She came out in 2010 and said she didn't think it was a big deal.

Gilbert said: "I just think I am who I am, and when topics come up that are appropriate, I’ll talk about them and share when it seems right.”

Gilbert continues to star as middle child Darlene in The Conners. She is also an executive producer on the show.

Sarah Chalke

Chalke was the second actress to play Becky Conner on Roseanne, after Lecy Goranson left the show to attend university.

After a season and a half without the character, the producers decided to recast Becky and brought Sarah Chalke in to play the part.

Chalke herself has had a relatively peaceful family life, albeit with some challenges.

Her son Charlie was born in 2009 with Kawasaki disease, an incredibly rare illness which can be fatal if not treated within 10 days of birth.

Thankfully, Charlie is okay. Chalke dealt with the experience in a 2013 appearance on medical drama Grey's Anatomy.

Her daughter Frankie was born in 2016.

She has starred in shows including Scrubs and Friends From College and now voices Beth Smith in the hit Adult Swim animated series Rick & Morty.

Chalke is engaged to lawyer Jamie Afifi.

Goranson reprised the role of Beck in The Conners.

Laurie Metcalf

Probably best known on these shores as the voice of Andy's mum in the Toy Story films, Laurie Metcalf is another seasoned pro who helped make Roseanne one of the most popular shows of the 1990s.

She played Roseanne's sister Jackie and won three consecutive Emmys for her troubles.

Metcalf was married to actor Jeff Perry for a short time in the 1980s.

She remarried in the 1990s, tying the knot with Roseanne co-star Matt Roth while they worked together on the show.

Unusually for Hollywood, she was 9 years his senior.

They divorced in 2014 and she has not remarried since.

Metcalf gained Oscar and BAFTA nominations for her acclaimed role in 2018 coming-of-age film Lady Bird, starring alongside Saoirse Ronan.

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  • Hollywood

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