“Doing Roseanne made me famous.
To this day, people will call me Dan Conner.
They’ll shout out, ‘Where’s Roseanne?’”
John Goodman made his mark on popular culture through a long line of acting and comedic credits. He is often viewed as the modern-day “everyman” with flaws and strengths that people around the world relate to. He was the affable husband of Roseanne Barr on the show Roseanne and the star of numerous movies. Goodman often jokes that he is actually from L.A., meaning “Lower Affton.”
THE EARLY YEARS
John Stephen Goodman was born on June 20, 1952, and raised in the St. Louis suburb of Affton. He graduated from Affton High School in 1970, where he was a high school football star. His ability on the field earned him the chance to play at Southwest Missouri State University in Springfield, but a knee injury ended his playing days and forced the “big man on campus” to find a different activity to focus his energy. The stage allowed him to perform in front of an audience, which proved to be just the right touch for the popular student.
RISE TO FAME
Goodman focused his time studying drama after his football days were over with fellow students Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper. He graduated with a degree in theater in 1975 and then hopped on an Amtrak train for New York to pursue his dream of professional acting. Goodman picked up a few acting jobs, including ads for car dealers, Burger King, and Campbell’s Chunky Soup. He also landed roles on the stage in children’s theater and in Off-Broadway shows including A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
His stage acting got the attention of directors and producers, which led to two Broadway shows, Loose Ends in 1979 and Big River in 1985. He even landed a spot on the classic 1980s film Revenge of the Nerds, which made him an instant cult favorite. This exposure made Goodman a marketable character actor with a unique look and style.
SHOW ME SUCCESS
Goodman first became a nationally known celebrity with the sitcom Roseanne. He played the role of Dan Conner in a show that was a ratings success for eight consecutive seasons. He earned seven Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award for his work on the show.
John’s talents also expanded to movie theaters in the critically acclaimed Raising Arizona and The Big Lebowski. He also continued to rack up awards on the small screen, as he received an Emmy nomination for Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long and for his role in the CBS production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.
Goodman continues to be one of the most in-demand character actors today. He has often said that no matter what he does for the rest of his career, people
will only want to talk about Roseanne. He also expanded his business interests in his hometown when he bought a restaurant and a radio station in the St. Louis area. He left Missouri for Hollywood several decades ago but continues to make an impact on the people of the Show Me State.
*His character on Roseanne ranked thirteen on the list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time.”
*He earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for the movie Barton Fink.
*One of his more memorable roles was that of Fred Flintstone in The Flintstones movie.