With Roseanne making a return to our screens, let’s look back on the best-loved characters of the comedy show, and catch up with what they’re doing now.
Roseanne debuted in 1988, created by and starring Roseanne Barr as the head of a working-class Illinois family.
With her husband Dan, played by John Goodman, Roseanne tried to juggle work with raising her kids properly while dealing with more relatable problems faced by families, like poverty, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy.
Let’s see how much they’ve changed!
Roseanne Barr as Roseanne Conner
Then: Comedian Roseanne Barr created the show and created a realistic world including gay characters and tackled issues such as poverty, drug abuse, and teen pregnancy.
Now: Barr has kept a low profile since Roseanne. She appeared in guest slots mostly in TV comedies like My Name is Earl, Portlandia, and The Office. She also starred in a short-lived Lifetime reality series called Roseanne’s Nuts, about her life running a macadamia farm. Weird.
John Goodman as Dan Conner
Then: John Goodman perfectly played Roseanne’s husband, construction worker Dan Conner.
Now: Goodman has gone on to be a pretty big star, appearing in Coen Brothers movies like Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou, and Inside Llewyn Davis. Goodman is of course also the voice of Sully in Pixar’s Monsters Inc. and still appears in blockbusters today!
Laurie Metcalf as 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.
Now: Metcalf has since appeared in films like Scream 2 and Runaway Bride, and like John Goodman has voiced in Pixar movies; she’s Andy’s mom in Toy Story! She was nominated for an Emmy for her role on Desperate Housewives, and she’s also appeared in The Big Bang Theory, which provides a connection for many Roseanne stars, as we will find out!
Sara Gilbert as Darlene Conner
Then: Sara Gilbert played Darlene, the rebellious Conner daughter who is just starting to become a young woman.
Now: Gilbert has only appeared in few films since Roseanne ended, like High Fidelity and Riding in Cars with Boys. More recently, she’s guest-starred on HawthoRNe and Grey’s Anatomy, and is a co-host on daytime talk show The Talk, as well as also appearing in The Big Bang Theory.
Johnny Galecki as David Healy
Then: Johnny Galecki played troubled teen David Healy, Darlene’s boyfriend. He moved in with the Conner family and eventually got with Darlene at college.
Now: Galecki is best known these days as Leonard Hofstadter on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory. Sara Gilbert guest starred as his love interest Leslie Winkle, and Laurie Metcalf guested as his roommate Dr. Sheldon Cooper’s mother. Galecki also appeared in the films I Know What You Did Last Summer, Vanilla Sky, and Rings, a reboot of Japanese horror The Ring.
Alicia Goranson as Becky Conner
Then: Alicia Goranson played Becky, the middle Conner child who eventually elopes with her boyfriend. Goranson played Becky for the first five seasons of the show, leaving to study at college, before returning to share the role of Becky in Season 8. Confusing, right?
Now: Goranson appeared in the films Boys Don’t Cry and The Extra Man, and has frequently guest-starred on TV, in Sex and the City, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Fringe, and Damages.
Sarah Chalke ALSO as Becky Conner!
Then: Sarah Chalke replaced Goranson in season 6 of Roseanne, and the show often made light of the obvious switch. Goranson returned in the show’s 8th and final season, both actresses taking turns to play the part of Becky. Real confusing!
Now: Chalke is now best known for her long-running role as Dr. Elliott Reed in the sitcom Scrubs. She also appeared in How I Met Your Mother and Cougar Town, and recently voiced various characters in the hilariously weird Rick and Morty, including main character Morty’s mom.
Michael Fishman as D.J. Conner
Then: Michael Fishman played D.J., the youngest Conner sibling.
Now: After Roseanne ended, Fishman had guest spots on Walker, Texas Ranger and Seinfeld, a small role in Steven Spielberg’s A.I., and also popped up in Roseanne’s Nuts.