Roseanne Barr, one of America's funniest comedians, has another side that not many people have seen. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. During her teenage years, she worked as a dishwasher at a local restaurant. She married Bill Pentland and they had three children together. They remained married for sixteen years, until Roseanne found her place as a comedian. She worked doing stand-up comedy until her 8/23/85 appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) thrust her into the limelight. In 1987, HBO offered her a show of her own, On Location: The Roseanne Barr Show (1987) (TV). It was canceled after a short time. In 1989, Roseanne starred opposite Meryl Streep and Ed Begley Jr. in She-Devil (1989). Though her first picture wasn't as successful as she might have hoped, her sitcom, "Roseanne" (1988), ran for nine seasons on ABC. During the show, Roseanne fell in love with fellow cast member Tom Arnold and divorced her husband Bill after nearly 20 years of marriage in order to marry Arnold.
After four years, Roseanne and Arnold divorced. Ratings on her TV show were also down. On Valentine's Day 1995, Roseanne married former bodyguard Ben Thomas. The marriage lasted until 2002. In 1996, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and won, but she was not there to accept it. After "Roseanne" (1988) was canceled, she went on Broadway to play "The Wicked Witch of the West" in "The Wizard of Oz" to rave reviews.
Roseanne Barr's story is one of the most controversial of any actresses. She dropped out of high school when she was 17 years old. After a car accident, she was admitted to a mental institution, claiming she was having nightmares and memory loss. She left the institute less than a year later. Soon after, she gave birth to her first daughter, Brandi Brown, and gave her up for adoption. She began working at a restaurant as a dishwasher and waitress. Her hilarious comments to the customers she waited on led her to doing standup comedy at the restaurant. After her first TV appearance on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962) in 1985, she wound up in her own standup comedy HBO show, On Location: The Roseanne Barr Show (1987) (TV). This led to the highly popular sitcom "Roseanne" (1988) , co-starring John Goodman, which dealt with real-life issues in a lower middle-class working family. During its first season on ABC, it leaped to #2. After the sitcom's first season, Roseanne Barr gained notoriety when she gave a screeching, crotch-grabbing performance of "The Star Spangled Banner" at a baseball game. When Roseanne divorced her first husband, _Bill Pentland_, after 16 years of marriage in 1990 and married "Roseanne" (1988) co-star Tom Arnold only four days later, her sitcom was already beginning its downward spiral. In 1991, she started to be billed as Roseanne Arnold.
Around this time, she began to claim that she, as well as her siblings, had been physically and sexually abused as a child. Both her siblings and parents denied the charges, and lie detector tests used on Roseanne's parents came back with negative results. The court battles led to 10 years of estrangement with her parents and siblings.
Her marriage with Arnold lasted four years before she filed for divorce from him for physical abuse and domestic violence. They proceeded to have one of the bitterest divorces Hollywood had ever seen. To this day, it is still not known if the accusations were true. Although she still insisted that he hit her, she admits that he never abused her three children from her previous marriage: Jessica, Jennifer, and Jacob Pentland. At that point, she had still not been reunited with her daughter Brandi Brown, whom she gave up for adoption when Roseanne was 17.
Luckily, Tom Arnold's exit from "Roseanne" happened towards the end of the sixth season, allowing the show to have an almost smooth ending. However, after the sixth season of "Roseanne" (1988), the plots started to run dry and ratings began to drop. During the season following her divorce, she insisted on being billed as simply "Roseanne." Shortly after her bitter divorce with Arnold, she married bodyguard Benjamin Thomas.
With Thomas, she had her tubal ligation surgery reversed in order to become pregnant with her fifth child, Buck Thomas. In 1997, she slowly tried to be known as "Roseanne Thomas." She was billed as Roseanne Thomas in the last few episodes of _Roseanne_ (as executive producer; she was still "Roseanne" in the cast credits), and she guest-starred in "The Nanny" (1993) as Roseanne Thomas in late 1997.
In 2002, she filed for divorce against Thomas for the second time (the first time, in 1998, she dropped the suit), accusing him of being disturbed and claiming that he threatened to run off with their son. After the divorce, she began to study the Kabballah, a form of Jewish mysticism, and those around her said she became amazingly centered and stable. Two years later, she ended the feud with her parents and siblings and went back to being billed as Roseanne Barr.
Today, Roseanne Barr Pentland Arnold Thomas spends her time with her now 8-year-old son, Buck, and her other children in her new home in El Segundo, California.
|Ben Thomas||(14 February 1995 - October 2002) (divorced) 1 child|
|Tom Arnold||(20 January 1990 - 9 December 1994) (divorced)|
|Bill Pentland||(4 February 1974 - 16 January 1990) (divorced) 3 children|
Deadpan, biting sarcasm
Her daughters Brandi Brown, Jennifer and Jessica Pentland all worked with her on her talk show.
Has three children with Bill Pentland: Jennifer, Jessica and Jacob.
Has one son with Ben Thomas: Buck.
Has a daughter from a previous relationship named Brandi, whom she put up for adoption. She searched for and eventually was reunited with Brandi.
Was born at 1:21 p.m. MST.
Had tubal ligation reversed in order to get pregnant with her son Buck.
States she suffered from multiple personality disorder.
Attended Salt Lake High School East, but dropped out before graduating.
On 9/17/1968 she was severely injured in a car crash, resulting in memory loss and nightmares. She was admitted to a state mental hospital at age 17, but left after less than a year.
At age 17 she left Utah and moved to Denver, CO, where she gave birth to daughter Brandi and then gave her up for adoption.
Worked as a dishwasher, cook, and waitress for Bennigan's Restaurant.
On 23 August 1985 she made her national TV debut on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962). This marked the turning point in her career, and she was deluged with job offers thereafter.
In a 1991 People magazine interview, she claimed to have been an incest survivor, accusing both parents of physical and sexual abuse, charges which they have publicly denied.
Worked as a guest editor for the New Yorker magazine.
Renewed wedding vows with ex-husband and ex-bodyguard Ben Thomas on the 1999 Valentine's Day edition of her TV talk show. She first filed for divorce in January of 1998, claiming he was an abusive binge drinker who threatened to kidnap their son. They finally divorced in October 2002.
Is a spokeswoman for various pro-choice groups, has asserted pro-choice views in publications such as "The Advocate," and has appeared at benefits sponsored by pro-choice organizations such as the Fund for a Feminist Majority. In several episodes of "Roseanne" (1988) Roseanne Conner defends a woman's right to choose.
Biography in: "Who's Who in Comedy" by Ronald L. Smith. pg. 26-28. New York: Facts on File, 1992. ISBN 0816023387
Chosen as #9 in Comedy Central's 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of All Time, the highest-ranking woman.
First female to host the annual MTV music awards (1994).
Owns and operates a 50-acre macadamia nut farm in Hawaii where she and her partner keep beehives, goats and a lone black sheep named "Roseanne".
Everything that's written about me has such a negative taint. It just has a life of its own, like an avalanche, and I don't think there's anything I can do to stop it.
[from an ad she took out in "The Hollywood Reporter"] This town is a back-stabbing, scum-sucking, small-minded town, but thanks for the money.
Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself.
TV family sitcoms have always been about fathers who know best and mothers who are so enchanted with everything they do. I wanted to be the first mom to be a mom on TV. I wanted to sent out a message about how us women really feel.
I have a huge crush on [President George W. Bush]. I saw him at a recent fundraiser, and he's a babe. He's got that Ronald Reagan charm. I think he's hot. I respect his wife, but if he wasn't married I'd be putting on my cowboy boots and coming around.
I used to want to be a movie star so I wouldn't have to live in trailers anymore. And now that I make movies, I spend a lot of my life living in trailers.
[interview with Edgar Arce, 2004] Well it's been a few years now and I've done some crazy stuff, you know . . . but I reconnected with what made me famous, with that show and that family, and I went back to my stand-up where I can be myself completely.
Since I had my gastric bypass surgery in 1998, I eat like a bird. Unfortunately, that bird is a California condor.
We found a form of birth control that really works. Every night before we go to bed, we spend an hour with our kids.
[from an ad she placed in the Hollywood Reporter] This town is a back-stabbing, scum-sucking, small-minded town, but thanks for the money.
|"Roseanne" (1988)||$600,000/episode + large back end deal|
(August 2003) Getting ready to come out with her first reality-TV show called "The Real Roseanne Show" (2003), which premieres August 6, 2003 on ABC.
(December 2003) Currently resides in El Segundo, California.
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