List of Roseanne characters
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The following is a list of major characters in the television series Roseanne.
- 1 Main character appearance summary
- 2 Main characters
- 3 Other major characters
- 4 Minor/recurring characters
- 5 References
Main character appearance summary
|Roseanne Conner||Roseanne Barr||Main|
|Dan Conner||John Goodman||Main|
|Jackie Harris||Laurie Metcalf||Main|
|D. J. Conner||Michael Fishman||Main|
|Darlene Conner-Healy||Sara Gilbert||Main|
|Becky Conner-Healy||Lecy Goranson||Main||Main|
|Crystal Anderson-Conner||Natalie West||Recurring||Main||Recurring||Guest||Guest|
|Mark Healy||Glenn Quinn||Recurring|
|Leon Carp||Martin Mull||Recurring||Guest||Recurring|
|Nancy Bartlett||Sandra Bernhard||Recurring|
|David Healy||Johnny Galecki||Recurring|
Roseanne Harris Conner
|Roseanne Harris Conner|
|First appearance||"Life and Stuff"|
|Last appearance||"Into That Good Night (Part 2)"|
|Portrayed by||Roseanne Barr|
|Family||Al Harris (father)
Beverly Harris (mother)
Jackie Harris (sister)
Becky Conner-HealyDarlene Conner-Healy
David Jacob Alexander "DJ" Conner
Jerry Garcia Conner
Played by Roseanne Barr. Roseanne, in a takeoff of her stand-up comedic and presumed real-life persona, is a bossy, loud, caustic, overweight, and dominant woman. She constantly tries to control the lives of her sister, husband, children, co-workers, and friends. Despite her dominating nature, Roseanne is a loving mother who works hard and makes as much time for her kids as possible. She and her younger sister Jackie are the daughters of Beverly and Al Harris. Roseanne is married to Dan Conner and, when the series begins, they have three children: Becky, Darlene and David Jacob ("D.J."); a fourth child, Jerry Garcia, is born late in the series. She and her family deal with the many hardships of poverty, obesity, and domestic troubles with humor. She has always had troubles with weight, inspiring an episode in which she and Dan try to lose weight. She works at the Wellman Plastics factory at the beginning of the show's run and quits that job after a conflict with the new egotistical domineering boss, Mr. Faber; she leads a walkout that includes most of her friends. She has several periods of unemployment and holds jobs as a fast-food employee, a telemarketer, a bartender, and a shampoo woman/hair sweeper at a beauty salon. Subsequently, she works for several years as a waitress in the luncheonette at Rodbell's department store located in the Lanford Mall (much to the chagrin of daughters Becky and Darlene, who regularly hang out there). She eventually co-owns a successful restaurant called the Lanford Lunch Box with Jackie, her mother Bev, Nancy, and her former boss from the luncheonette, Leon, after Bev sells her share in the restaurant to him. Roseanne and Jackie, in the last years of the show, win a lottery in excess of $108,000,000. At the end of the series, it is revealed that she didn't win the lottery at all and that most of what had happened on the show was actually from a book of her own writing. She also reveals that Dan died from a heart attack at the end of the previous season.
In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named Roseanne one of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years. In 2009, she was listed in the Top 5 Classic TV Moms by Film.com. In May 2012, she was one of the 12 moms chosen by users of iVillage on their list of "Mommy Dearest: The TV Moms You Love". AOL named her the 11th Most Memorable Female TV Character.
Daniel "Dan" Conner
During the final episode, Roseanne reveals that the entire series was written as a book based on her life and family, and she changed certain elements of what she hadn't liked; most notably, during the final season, Dan and Roseanne are shown living apart after Dan cheats on Roseanne, but he had actually died from his heart attack at Darlene and David's wedding near the end of Season 8. Writing that he cheated was her way of explaining her feelings of loss and abandonment from his death. The potential absence of Dan from all or most of the next season prompted Phil Rosenthal of the Los Angeles Daily News to describe it as a rare occasion where ending the show would be preferred to doing without. Robinson described Goodman's potential absence as leaving a tremendous void, owing to his ability to make those acting with him better. The revelation that Dan actually died and the series' being a work of fiction within the show was not well received.
In an article about television dads, The Post and Courier editor Mindy Spar began discussing how '90s TV dads became goofier than dads from earlier decades, calling Dan more like one of the children than the father. IGN editor Edgar Arce called Dan Conner a prototypical everyman.
An article in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune praised Dan and Roseanne's relationship, calling it realistic and commenting that while they mock each other, viewers can feel their love while they deal with the kinds of problems real families face. Daily News editor David Bianculli stated that while they were the most entertaining and realistic couples on television, they were one of the least during their separation. Their relationship was included in TV Guide's list of the best TV couples of all time.
Played by Sara Gilbert. Dan and Roseanne's second child. She is normally artistic, sarcastic, tomboyish, intelligent and slightly rough. Born in 1977, Darlene in the early seasons is a tomboy who loves sports and has trouble in school, but during high school she becomes moody, artistic, an animal rights activist, and a vegetarian to more closely match the real-life views and personality of Gilbert. During her freshman year of high school, she begins dating David, coincidentally the younger brother of Becky's husband, Mark. Darlene possesses the same sarcasm and domineering attitude as her mother, often causing the two to clash. Her bossy nature is best seen with David, who usually gives in to her will. Darlene is a very talented writer. Along with David's artistic talents, they begin working seriously on a graphic novel, and Darlene eventually applies for and is awarded early admission and a scholarship to an exclusive art school in Chicago before she finishes high school, which Roseanne allows her to attend after realizing it is her only chance to get out of Lanford and make a better life for herself as the writer Roseanne never was able to be. While in college, she meets a boy named Jimmy, whom she dates while still with David. David is aware she was dating Jimmy, and eventually tells her she has to choose between them. She chooses Jimmy. Later he dumps her because he couldn't get close to her. Darlene realizes she still loves David after going to a movie together and Roseanne talks the two of them into reconciling. Darlene later becomes pregnant by David at Disney World and the two marry soon after. She eventually finishes art school and later gives birth to her daughter, Harris Conner Healy. Harris is born about three months prematurely and almost doesn't survive; David and Darlene must decide whether to keep her on the breathing machine or take her off and let nature take its course; the two decide she should get a chance to "experience life without being hooked up to all those machines," and surprisingly Harris pulls through. In the series finale, it is revealed that Darlene had actually been dating Mark all along in reality, but was written in Roseanne's book as having been with David instead, as Roseanne felt it made more sense.
David Jacob "D. J." Conner
Played by Michael Fishman. Born in 1981, DJ is the youngest Conner child for the majority of the series, until Roseanne gives birth to Jerry in season 7. He is more simple-minded, naive, and boisterous than his older sisters who frequently taunt him. He is portrayed as being something of a simpleton in school and abnormal; for instance peeking at both Darlene and Becky naked at different times. In the first episode of season three, it is stated that while Becky and Darlene were planned pregnancies for the Conners, DJ was a "surprise". As he grows up, DJ's storylines deal with more mature topics such as masturbation and human sexuality. Later episodes depict DJ as having a close, brother-like friendship with Becky's husband, Mark. He is also shown to develop an interest in filmmaking; so much so that he repeatedly asks Darlene if he can videotape her giving birth. He was one of the only characters that wasn't changed in the final episode.
Rebecca "Becky" Conner Healy
Played alternately by Lecy Goranson (Seasons 1–5 and 8), and Sarah Chalke (Seasons 6–7 and 9, Guest Starring in Season 8). Born March 15, 1975, Becky, the oldest Conner, has a pretty complex personality; she is quite bright and an overachiever, but is also somewhat quick-tempered and sometimes angry with her parents and younger sister Darlene. She dates her rebellious biker boyfriend Mark Healy against her parents' wishes and then, at age 17, leaves home to marry him and move to Minneapolis. Later, Becky and Mark return home to live with Roseanne and then move out again into a trailer. In the final episode, it is revealed that she is pregnant with the couple's first child.
During the show's fifth season Goranson left to attend Vassar College. At first, her character Becky is merely absent from the show, explained in the story when she marries and moves away to live with her husband Mark. During the sixth season, however, the show's producers recast Becky with actress Sarah Chalke.
Because cast and crew believed that the eighth season of Roseanne would be its last, Goranson had signed back on only for that season. These changes are addressed within the show and become a running gag throughout season 8 as both Goranson and Chalke continue to alternate in the role of Becky, depending on Goranson's availability. During season eight, Goranson is credited in the opening sequence as a full-time cast member, and appears in 11 out of 25 episodes. Sarah Chalke makes five appearances and is credited as a guest star. In the show's ninth season, Chalke replaces Goranson full-time, and no further "in-jokes" about Becky's casting are made.
At the end of the Season 9 finale, it is hinted that Becky is pregnant. She did not want to mention it to the family. In the same episode, it is also revealed that Becky had actually been dating David all along in reality, but was written in Roseanne's book as having been with Mark instead, as Roseanne felt it made more sense.
Marjorie/Jacqueline "Jackie" Harris
Played by Laurie Metcalf. Jackie is the neurotic younger sister of Roseanne by three years, but a loving and devoted aunt to her nieces and nephews. In the episode "Labor Day," it is revealed that Jackie's real name may have originally been Marjorie, as her mother reveals that Roseanne couldn't pronounce it, and wound up calling her "My Jackie", thus leading to Jackie's name. Jackie is an intelligent, warm, highly sensitive underachiever with chronic low self-esteem. Roseanne seems to be in charge of Jackie's life, which is a frequent cause of conflict between the two; however, Jackie sometimes enjoys having Roseanne mother her, especially when Jackie feels vulnerable. Jackie's character seems to become more animated and colorful as the series progresses. Jackie holds numerous jobs: working in the Wellman Plastics factory for several years until the walkout, then becoming a police officer until she is injured on the job, and later a truck driver, then opening the Lanford Lunch Box with Roseanne and Nancy (her mother is a silent partner). Jackie often comes up with seemingly off-the-wall "crazy" ideas, but it turns out that many of her unconventional ideas actually work. Her romantic relationships are frequently unstable, including one where she dates a man named Fisher and becomes the victim of domestic violence. However, she eventually marries Dan's co-worker Fred, who impregnated her during a one-night stand. Jackie gives birth to their son, Andy, two months before she marries Fred. At one point Jackie, unhappy with the self-absorbed couch potato Fred, starts going out with another couple, which then becomes one man. Dan sees her, warns her about Fred's possible reaction, but later accidentally blurts it out to Fred. Fred returns home upset, accuses Jackie of "adultery" and refuses to speak to her. Roseanne, with Bev's help, has Fred realize that his accusations against Jackie are unjustified, and he goes back. However, at this point Jackie is realizing that she's happier being single. The marriage proves to be short-lived because Jackie finds Fred boring, petty, and self-centered and they fall out of love. Jackie is crushed by the divorce at first, but moves on to become a successful single mom to Andy. Despite Jackie's apparent flightiness in the early episodes, Jackie is actually the backbone of the Conner/Harris family in many ways, as Roseanne admits in the last episode. In the final episode, it is also revealed that the character of Jackie had came out as a lesbian during the final season, and that Roseanne knew but had simply always pictured Jackie with a man.
Played by Glenn Quinn. Mark dates and later elopes with Becky, much to the Conners' consternation. Despite Mark's tough-guy image and rebel persona, he is rarely seen to engage in criminal activity, except for the episode where he is intoxicated at the Lobo Lounge and punches through the glass of the bar's jukebox, and another time when he punches out Becky's verbally abusive boss at the Buy & Bag market, and when he moons photographers swarming the house after the Conners win the lottery. Roseanne initially had a strong dislike for Mark because of his condescending attitude toward her. Dan initially dislikes Mark also, his riding a British Triumph motorcycle rather than an American Harley-Davidson causing particular tension. However he soon respects Mark's work ethic and hires him as a mechanic both at his bike shop and his truck-inspection office. Mark's personality changes drastically over the course of his duration on the series—starting off as a rebellious delinquent, and ultimately proves himself to be a caring, responsible, though dull-witted, husband and brother. Roseanne and the rest of the family eventually grows fond of Mark, though they still get amusement out of insulting him. He has a younger brother, David, who dates (and later marries) Darlene and also two little sisters, Lisa and Nikki, who are much younger and appear briefly in the episode "No Place Like Home for The Holidays" from the 5th Season and are mentioned later to have moved with their dad when their parents divorced. In the series finale, Roseanne reveals that Mark had actually been dating Darlene in "real life", and that Roseanne simply wrote his relationship as being with Becky because she felt it made more sense.
David Maurice Healy
Played by Johnny Galecki. David is Mark's younger brother, having first appeared in "The Bowling Show" (Episode 4.14), when his first name was indicated to be Kevin. In a season 6 episode Roseanne comments that David isn't his real name, it's just something that Darlene made up. So it's possible that Kevin really is his name although everyone including his own family call him David and Roseanne might not have been serious. Whereas Mark was a rebellious delinquent at first, David is friendlier to the Conners. He's shy, polite, thoughtful, sensitive, soft-spoken, artistic, and intelligent. He later enters a relationship with Darlene and collaborates with her by illustrating graphic novels that she writes, though he tends to be the more submissive one in the relationship. His well-behaved manner is endearing to the Conner family, who think of him as part of the family and jokingly refer to him as being more welcome in the family than Darlene. He moves in with the Conners after Roseanne, herself a victim of child abuse, sees how abusive David's mother is to him. David and Darlene break up three times throughout the course of the show, each for a longer period of time than the last; they always end up back together. Eventually, David impregnates Darlene; causing them to decide to get married. In the series finale, Roseanne reveals that David had actually been dating Becky in "real life," and that Roseanne simply wrote his relationship as being with Darlene because she felt it made more sense.
Other major characters
Nancy Bartlett Thomas
Played by Sandra Bernhard. Nancy is the part owner of the Lanford Lunch Box. She is married to Arnie but later comes out as a lesbian after he leaves her, then admits to being bisexual. She frequently is seen dating women; her first girlfriend Marla is played by Morgan Fairchild. Nancy is never ashamed of her promiscuity, nor does she ever show any self-consciousness of her unusual behavior. In fact, she is one of the most self-confident of all the characters in the series, often even more than Roseanne. Her tendency toward self-absorption seems to only be quelled while dating a woman or being around Jackie. Nancy turns out to be a loyal and good friend to both Roseanne and Jackie throughout the series, although she doesn't hesitate to reprimand them for their selfishness and cruelty when they treat their mother, Bev, so harshly that Bev ends up crying about it for days afterward, while Nancy supports her.
Played by Martin Mull. Leon, originally as Roseanne's boss at Rodbell's Luncheonette and later as her business partner in The Lanford Lunchbox, is portrayed as a foil to Roseanne; although they have a contentious relationship at times, it is apparent that Leon is still a good friend of Roseanne's, eventually becoming an extended family member of sorts. As a gay man, he is occasionally seen dating many men and having romantic troubles; however, he later marries his life partner Scott (Fred Willard) in a very public ceremony. In the series finale, they visit the Conner residence bearing gifts for Darlene and David's new baby, Harris, proclaiming themselves as the infant's Aunt Scott and Aunt Leon. Near the end of the episode, they announce their plans to adopt a little girl. Leon's role in the series expands significantly in the eighth and ninth seasons, as he is featured in more episodes. He is especially upset when Roseanne wins the lottery, but Roseanne and Jackie end up relinquishing control of the restaurant to Leon and Nancy. Leon is a Republican, and holds George Bush in high regard. He also is shown throughout the series' run to be a fan of Liza Minnelli, as well as Broadway musicals.
Crystal Anderson Conner
Played by Natalie West. Crystal is the neurotic but kind and good-hearted friend of Roseanne and Jackie from childhood who later became Dan's stepmother, despite being roughly the same age and half Ed's age. A self-described "doormat" when it comes to men, she speaks with a Southern accent despite having grown up in Lanford because her father was from Arkansas. Crystal refers to most of her young life as a great tragedy, having been kicked out by her mother at age sixteen and being forced to live with an aunt. She had previously married in May of the year she graduated high school (age eighteen) but her first husband, Sonny, died just a year later as a result of falling into the pillar of a new bridge as the cement was being poured (and was still part of the bridge). She soon found herself[clarification needed] married to another man, whom she later divorced. Crystal grieved the death of Sonny through several years and couldn't look past it. Crystal also bore a son, through her marriage to Sonny, named Lonnie. Crystal worked at the Wellman Plastics factory with Roseanne and Jackie and quit in order to start a successful cosmetics sales career. Crystal married two times before marrying Dan's father, Ed (against Dan's strong disapproval), and bore two children, Little Ed and Angela with him. Their marriage is perceived to be happy, with Ed's absences creating most of the conflict. A regular cast-member for the first four seasons, Crystal appears as an occasional recurring character afterward.
Played by Ned Beatty. Ed is Dan's father, a charming, traveling salesman who always brings presents for the grandchildren. Dan has a troubled past with his father, but he is well liked by everyone else. Despite a struggling relationship with his son, Ed is well-meaning and likable. Ed never makes any blatant attempt on the show to anger Dan on purpose, but he often baits his son covertly (e.g., when Ed begins to date Crystal and when Dan questions him on it, Ed makes a rude crack about Dan being "interested" in Crystal). It usually doesn't take long for Dan to become annoyed at his father's presence. He is portrayed as irresponsible and neglectful of his first family, though it is later revealed he justified his actions in reference to raising Dan by reconciling his frequent commitment of Dan's mother to a mental institution with his desire to provide Dan with at least one stable parent as he would often be gone on sales trips during Dan's adolescence. He wants to learn from his actions and be better. He does love his son despite their troubled relationship, and also loves the rest of his family. He marries and has two children with Crystal, even though she is considerably younger than he is.
Jerry Garcia Conner
Played by Cole and Morgan Roberts. Born in 1995, Jerry is the family's baby, born to Roseanne and Dan when they are in their forties. His name is a homage to Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. Roseanne's pregnancy in the seventh season was to coincide with her real-life pregnancy, made possible via fertility drugs (which Roseanne explains at the end of an episode in which she does not appear due to her pregnancy). Also, Roseanne explains at the end of the season 8 Halloween episode, her character became pregnant three months before the actress. Roseanne's labor was to occur during a Grateful Dead concert; however, because of Jerry Garcia's death in 1995, that was changed. Before Jerry's birth, it is understood that Roseanne's baby will be a girl. During the end credits following the birth episode, Roseanne explains to the audience that she wanted the baby's gender to be the same as her real-life child's.
Played by Michael O'Keefe. Fred is a mechanic who works at the garage with Dan and is introduced to Jackie, leading to a one-night stand, accidental impregnation, and subsequent marriage. It takes a lot of encouragement for Jackie to eventually warm up and face the fact that Fred is the father of her child and therefore a part of their life. Fred at first assumes that Jackie's just putting him off lightly and initially doesn't understand that Jackie has been through a very traumatic experience, in addition to her dysfunctional childhood. Fred, being very conventional, is shocked by the Conners and Harris' unconventional ways and cannot understand the inner workings of Jackie's family. This led to the dissolution of his marriage to Jackie. Despite their attempts to make their marriage work, Jackie and Fred break up when they discover how incompatible they are.
Jackie and Fred's son, born in 1994 on the episode "Labor Day". Jackie breastfeeds Andy at the altar while marrying Fred ("Altar Egos"). Andy was the ring bearer in Darlene and David's wedding ("The Wedding"). Jackie likes to dress him up in outfits Fred deems to be feminine. DJ makes it a point to spend time with Andy because he doesn't have any siblings. Andy and Jerry are like brothers and take naps together in the same crib, like their mothers, Jackie and Roseanne did.
Beverly Lorraine Harris
Played by Estelle Parsons. Beverly is the mother of Roseanne and Jackie and the wife of Al, as well as the daughter of Nana Mary. She has a half-sister named Sonya. She is overbearing, shrill and is avoided by all members of her family. She nags them with her shockingly whiny voice, often with good intentions but coming off the wrong way. The family (especially Jackie) tries to avoid spending any time with Beverly, as she is quick to inadvertently criticize how people live their lives. After going back and forth playing tricks on each other in one Halloween episode, Roseanne ultimately gets the upper hand by having a fake phone conversation with Bev in front of Dan where she agrees to let her mother stay for three weeks. She is very traditional and conservative, as opposed to her daughters' more liberal and feminist philosophies. She proves herself generous with the wealth she receives from her husband's alimony, constantly giving financial gifts to the family to bail them out. She even provides the seed money for the Lanford Lunch Box and insists on staying on as a partner, but is later forced out because Roseanne and Jackie do not want to work with her. As revenge, she sells her share of the restaurant to Roseanne's ex-boss and rival, Leon Carp, effectively making him their new partner. During the show's final season, she comes out as a lesbian (according to one of Roseanne's fictional twists on her family, along with winning the lottery), this is revealed in the finale in which Roseanne states that her mother is not a lesbian but that her sister is; she just thought it'd be interesting to put a radical twist on the character of her Mother, who lived her life according to her husband's rules, and because she wished her mother had a better sense of herself as a woman. Bev's relationship with her own mother is very similar to the one her daughters have with her.
Played by Shelley Winters. Nana Mary is Beverly's mother, and grandmother of Roseanne and Jackie who first appears in season three at a family barbecue. She has another daughter named Sonya. She makes several appearances from season three onward, mostly during family occasions. She is a brash but caring, free-spirited, outspoken, and lovable retiree who gambles with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Unlike Bev, she is popular with the family. She also disagrees with her daughter on certain situations (such as siding with Jackie when Bev tries to get her to marry Fred, and revealing that she had two abortions, upsetting Bev who is against the idea). She outsmarts and drives Bev crazy, much to the amusement of Roseanne and Jackie, who usually endure the same torment from their own mother. Her character is often a comic relief for the family, as well as offering a balance between Roseanne and Jackie's relationship with their mother, and Bev's relationship with Nana Mary. She was promiscuous in her younger days and claims to have dated Pablo Picasso and Louis Armstrong. Mary had Bev with another man before marrying her deceased husband, Marvin. She tells Bev she was very young when she was born, and doesn't know who the father is, avoiding the subject whenever Bev brings it up. She is a big fan of a local radio call-in show that revolves around sex, and states, "If I don't call, they worry." Nana Mary's last appearance is in mid season nine, in which she finally has a heart-to-heart with her daughter, thus, closing the story on their relationship. Despite her absence, Mary goes on to appear at other family occasions, including the birth of her great-great-granddaughter.
Arnold "Arnie" Shemp Thomas
Played by Tom Arnold. Arnie is the overweight, hot-tempered but jovial friend of Dan. Originally, he was written as a relative stranger to both Roseanne and Jackie, although this was later retconned, and he was subsequently written as having gone to high school with them. He frequently cheats on the women he dates and is very ill-mannered. However, Arnie always tries to be a good friend to Dan. He marries Nancy but leaves her, claiming to be abducted by aliens (later played upon in the fourth-season finale's end-credit sketch, where he is seen conversing with aliens on a spaceship). Before he and Nancy are engaged, he has a one-night stand with a drunk Jackie. Arnie is often seen wearing a yellow University of Iowa sweatshirt (Tom Arnold attended the University of Iowa in real life). He is last seen in season 5, where he unsuccessfully tries to win Nancy back, even after finding out that she is a lesbian. Tom Arnold appears in the ending credits of a later episode, but is now playing Jackie Thomas (in his role on The Jackie Thomas Show), and none of the characters seem to recognize him.
Other family members
- Audrey Conner (Ann Wedgeworth and Debbie Reynolds) – She is the mother of Dan Conner, and the ex-wife of Ed Conner. In Season Two she is introduced in, "We Gather Together", as a friendly, eccentric brunette woman who loves her son and her new boyfriend, as well as her successful career owning a travel agency. It's later revealed that she has a history of mental illness which Dan's father hid from him. She returns in person in season 9, angry at her son for putting her away, seemingly trying to kill him. Her nurse at the mental institution is who Dan had a relationship with while being married to Roseanne (although this is revealed to be false and part of a story Roseanne is writing as a way to deal with Dan's actual death due to a heart attack in the previous season).
- Al Harris (John Randolph) – Al is initially portrayed as Roseanne and Jackie's henpecked yet humorous father with a knack of making many of knock knock jokes much to his wife's chagrin. Al initially has a good relationship with his daughters, especially Jackie, and despite having more in common with her mother Roseanne prefers the presence of her father, finding him more bearable. Randolph made two appearances as Al Harris during the shows first two seasons. In season four, however, the portrayal of the character changes dramatically. After not being able to secure Randolph for future shows, his character was written out of the series. It is revealed at Thanksgiving dinner in 1991 that Al has had a mistress for over twenty years which eventually leads to Bev divorcing him. Additionally around this time Roseanne was publicly in a battle with both her real life parents claiming that she was abused physically and sexually by both of them. Nevertheless, Barr insisted that the abuse be incorporated into the series storyline and thus it is revealed that her father was physically abusive to both her and Jackie who lived in fear of him for most of their childhood. Upon his death, Roseanne meets with his mistress, Joan, who doesn't know of Al's abuse of his family, as Al had led her to believe that Roseanne and Jackie were ungrateful to him despite his doing so much for them. Despite this in his passing, Roseanne thanks him for his humorous nature after reading a list of many things she hates him for doing to her and Jackie.
All characters below appear in the first season and part of the second season before being written out all together. Clooney would make one more appearance in a season four episode.
- Booker Brooks (George Clooney) – The original foreman at Wellman. Booker wasn't always taken seriously by the workers, but compared to their future boss, Roseanne and the others appreciate him more. He dated Jackie for a while, and they tried to keep it a secret. He set the quotas at Wellman at 5,500, much lower than the 8,000 their next boss made.
- Vonda Green (Charlayne Woodard, credited as Charlaine Woodard)- Spirited and perky friend of Jackie and Roseanne, also has a great singing voice.
- Sylvia Foster (Anne Faulkner)- Older Wellman employee working there since the late 1950s, she occasionally hangs out with Jackie, Roseanne, and the rest of the gang at the Lobo. Has a husband named Joe who is hard of hearing.
- Juanita Herrara (Evelina Fernandez)- Hispanic co-worker who after leaving Wellman with the rest of the gang opens a successful small business in Lanford with her husband Emilio and their teenage son.
- Meg Wellman (Debra Mooney) – Owner of the Wellman factory, who believes she and Roseanne are good friends. She comically refers to Roseanne as "Roxanne Conway" and Jackie as Janet. Accidentally hits Roseanne with her car in one episode.
Art's Beauty Shop
All characters below appear in the show's second season only, when Roseanne takes a job as a receptionist and shampoo girl at Art's Beauty Salon.
- Marsha (Elizabeth Franz) – Good friend of Crystal's who is the owner of Art's Beauty Salon named after her late husband who she was only married to for eleven months between 1959 and 1960. Marsha hysterically quotes Arthur throughout her run on the show despite the fact that he has been gone nearly thirty years leading Roseanne to quarb that maybe Marsha would not miss him so much if they had been married longer.
- Iris (Lori Tan Chinn) – Vietnamese beautician at the salon. Comically makes jokes throughout her run on the show about being a Vietnamese refugee held captive before emigrating to the United States. Often makes acerbic remarks about people being blown away by gun mortar attacks, which she reveals to Roseanne is her comic way of letting off steam. Chan and Barr had appeared together in the 1989 movie She-Devil.
- Debbie (Melora Walters) – Manicurist at the salon who is a young naive newlywed.
Rodbell's Department Store
- Bonnie Watkins (Bonnie Bramlett, credited as Bonnie Sheridan) – Roseanne's coworker at Rodbell's, during season three and four. She has a daughter who lives in Oregon and enjoys traveling by motorcycle with her husband Duke (David Crosby). Suffered from a drinking problem with her husband Duke early on in her life that she has since brought under control.
- Jerry Bowman (Danton Stone) – Kathy's laid-back husband who loves the small town atmosphere of Lanford. Moved to Lanford from Chicago to take a managers job at Wellman.
- Kathy Bowman (Meagen Fay) – Roseanne's wealthy and tense neighbor who hates Lanford and its blue-collar atmosphere. Has an acrimonious relationship with Roseanne.
- Todd Bowman (Troy Davidson) – Kathy and Jerry's Son; friend of DJ.
- The Bowman's are the Conner's neighbors between season three and four who relocated from Chicago to Lanford. At the end of season four they move back to Chicago.
- Charlotte Tilden (Mara Hobel) – Ty Tilden's older daughter who acts responsibly filling in the mother role for her sister Molly. It's because of this that she finds herself to have more in common with Roseanne than with Darlene or Molly.
- Molly Tilden (Danielle Harris) – Ty Tilden's promiscuous daughter, who flirted with Darlene's boyfriend, David.
- Ty Tilden (Wings Hauser) – A neighbor of Roseanne's, who moved into Kathy's old house. He is a kind, laid-back, struggling single father of two daughters and owns a Winnebago.
- The Tilden's move into the Bowman's old house in season five.
- Lonnie Anderson (Kristopher Kent Hill) – Crystal's first son by her first husband, Sonny.
- Art (Dan Butler) – A divorced accountant whom Roseanne and Jackie sell a motorcycle to, and who provides tax services to Lanford Custom Cycle.
- Alexander (John McConnell) – A close friend of Dan's.
- Dwight (William Sadler) – A buddy of Dan's, who had a crush on Jackie.
- Fisher (Matt Roth) – Jackie's much younger and abusive boyfriend.
- Stacey Flagler (Traci Lords) – Waitress at the Lunchbox.
- George (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) – DJ's classmate.
- Gary Hall (Brian Kerwin) – Jackie's boyfriend, and later fiancé, in season's 2 and 3. They separate after Gary gives Jackie an ultimatum about leaving her job as a police officer when she's injured in the line of duty.
- Heather (Heather Matarazzo) – D.J.'s girlfriend.
- Jimmy Meltrigger (Stephen Dorff) – Becky Conner's boyfriend for two episodes.
- Chip Lang (Jared Rushton) – Becky's boyfriend in Season 1.
- Marla (Morgan Fairchild) – Nancy's first girlfriend.
- Anne-Marie Mitchell (Adilah Barnes) – Roseanne's childhood friend, whose married to one Dan's poker buddies, Chuckie. She and Chuck have son, Chuck Jr., who is the same age as Lonnie and Darlene.
- Chuckie Mitchell (James Pickens, Jr.) – Anne-Marie's husband, who occasionally worked with Dan.
- Mr. Parkin (Stan Freberg) – A highly qualified man who is frequently unemployed due to various incidents with the Conners.
- Scott (Fred Willard) – A probate attorney who marries Leon.
- Stinky (Matthew Fishman) – Roseanne's youngest child in an alternate reality, in the place of Jerry.
- Ziggy (Jay O. Sanders) – Old friend of the Connors', who helps Dan open Lanford Custom Cycle, but then disappears.
- Jimmy Phillips (Danny Masterson) – Darlene's boyfriend, whom she breaks up with David for. In episode 16 in season 7, Darlene confesses to Jackie that he broke up with her.
- Ronnie (Joan Collins) – Roseanne's rich cousin who persuades Darlene to get her GED and apply to art school.
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