Thomas Duane Arnold
March 6, 1959
Ottumwa, Iowa, U.S.
(m. 1990; div. 1994)
Julie Lynn Champnella
(m. 1995; div. 1999)
(m. 2002; div. 2008)
(m. 2009; div. 2020)
He has appeared in several films, including True Lies (1994), Nine Months (1995), Big Bully (1996), McHale's Navy (1997), Animal Factory (2000), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004), Happy Endings (2005), Pride (2007), The Great Buck Howard (2008), and Madea's Witness Protection (2011). He was also the host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period for four years, and appeared on Sons of Anarchy.
Arnold was born Thomas Duane Arnold in Ottumwa, Iowa, the son of Linda Kay (née Graham) and Jack Arnold. His mother was Jewish. He had 2 siblings: a sister Lori and a brother Scott. As a child, Arnold was diagnosed with autism. His mother abandoned the family when he was a child, and he and his siblings were raised by their father:
The three were still very young when their mother, who Tom Arnold said was an alcoholic, moved out. That left them in the care of a father in his early 20s whose role as breadwinner left him little time for parenting, Arnold said.
In their teens, Arnold and his sister moved back in with their mother. With her mother's consent, Lori was married at age 14 to a man who was 23 years old. Soon Lori was a heavy drug user and dealer running one of the largest meth operations in the Midwest until her arrest in 1989.
Arnold escaped his sister's fate, and worked at a meatpacking plant. He attended Ottumwa High School, Indian Hills Community College, and from 1981 to 1983, the University of Iowa, where he studied business administration and writing.
In the early 1980s, Arnold had a prop-based comedy routine called "Tom Arnold and the Goldfish Review." Roseanne Barr brought him in as a writer for her television sitcom, Roseanne. He married her in 1990, after she divorced her first husband. Arnold wrote himself into the show as the character "Arnie Thomas" (a play on his name). The couple's marriage attracted media and especially tabloid attention due to their sometimes outrageous behavior. In 1992, Arnold starred in his own sitcom, The Jackie Thomas Show. Airing after Roseanne on ABC, the show lasted 18 episodes.
In 1993, Arnold and Barr bought a house together in Arnold's hometown of Eldon, Iowa and opened a restaurant, 'Roseanne and Tom's Big Food Diner' nearby. The diner served loosemeat sandwiches similar to the specialty of the fictional Lanford Lunch Box on Roseanne, which in turn was based on the real-life Canteen Lunch in the Alley in Ottumwa. Both appeared in the 1993 movie The Woman Who Loved Elvis, filmed in Ottumwa. Arnold and Barr divorced in 1994 due to irreconcilable differences. Their restaurant closed in 1995.
After Arnold's divorce from Barr, he narrated and starred in several Craftmatic Adjustable Bed commercials that aired throughout 1995. The last commercial that he filmed culminated in Arnold lying in a bed that caught on fire and melted a strand of his underarm hair during the taping; the footage was never released. Arnold commented on Twitter in 2014: "Me and Mike (Michael Jackson) (he was one of my best friends) used to laugh about how [I] had a Pepsi commercial of my own".
In November 2000, Arnold played the role of Al Raymond in the second-season Baywatch Hawaii episode, "The Cage".
In a late 1990s interview on radio's The Howard Stern Show, Arnold admitted that his share of his and Barr's estate amounted to "over $20,000,000", including a percentage of the Roseanne ABC-TV series, but would not elaborate, citing a confidentiality clause. In 1994, Arnold appeared as the sidekick to Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in James Cameron's action blockbuster film True Lies. From 2001 through 2005, he was one of the hosts of The Best Damn Sports Show Period. From 2003 to 2005, Arnold was the voice of Arby's "Oven Mitt" commercials.
Arnold had his first romantic leading man part in the 2005 movie Happy Endings. That same year, Arnold starred in The Kid & I. From 2008 to 2011, he hosted the CMT show My Big Redneck Wedding. He hosted CMT's The Biggest Redneck Wedding Ever in 2008, in which he served as the wedding planner, created a wedding that exceeded the dreams of a couple who wanted to be married in a mud bog, and performed the actual ceremony. CMT also made three series of "My Big Redneck Vacation" presented by Arnold and featuring the Clampet Family from Shreveport, Louisiana.
Arnold's role as a child molester in Gardens of the Night sparked revelations that he had been a victim of sexual abuse in his childhood. He decided to take on the role to shed more light on the issue.
In January 2017, Tom Arnold was revealed as a celebrity contestant on the Australian edition of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. He was the first evictee from the jungle, after 17 days, and stated he was paid between $US600,000 and $US700,000 for his participation in the program. In June 2017, Arnold filed a lawsuit against companies Network Ten and 'A List Entertainment' for defrauding him for being on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!. Arnold claims that he was promised a payment of $425,000 and a comedy tour in Australia. However, he was missing $140,000 in payment and Network Ten backed out of the comedy tour.
Arnold met comedian Roseanne Barr when she saw his act in 1983. Their relationship was complicated by his alcoholism and drug addiction, but eventually he became sober. The two married in 1990 and divorced in 1994. In an April 2009 interview on Anytime with Bob Kushell, Arnold discussed why when he divorced Barr, he did not take any alimony. During the next ten years, Arnold married two subsequent times. Both marriages ended in divorce. In August 2008, Arnold broke his scapula in a motorcycle accident on the Pacific Coast Highway.
Over Thanksgiving weekend 2009, Arnold married his fourth wife, Ashley Groussman, in Maui before 75 guests. Dax Shepard served as Arnold's best man. He appeared December 10, 2009 on the late night talk show Asia Uncut. The couple have two children and four dogs. In January 2019, the couple announced their intention to divorce. The divorce was finalized in July 2020.
Arnold was raised a Methodist. Some sources say he converted to Judaism upon marrying Roseanne Barr in 1990, but in a podcast interview with Andrew Santino he speaks of growing up Jewish in Iowa. Arnold has denied converting to Judaism, which he still practices.
Arnold has given much of his time to charities including giving out toys during the holidays to those in need through the Miracle on 1st Street Toy Giveaway, an annual tradition of his.
Involvement in Falwell scandal
On October 8, 2020, Tom Arnold, his brother Scott, and sister Lori reunited for the first time in 28 years, back together again in their hometown of Ottumwa, Iowa. During this time, Lori was filming a 3-part docu-series called Queen of Meth, which her brother Tom helped to produce. It recounts her time as the “queen-pin” of a huge drug business that she ran from Iowa to California. Queen of Meth was originally released on Discovery+ in May 2021.
|1991||Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare||Childless Man|
|1991||Backfield in Motion||Howard Peterman|
|1993||The Woman Who Loved Elvis||Jack Jackson||Television film|
|1993||Body Bags||Morgue Worker No. 1||Television film|
|1993||Undercover Blues||Vern Newman|
|1994||True Lies||Albert "Gib" Gibson|
|1995||Nine Months||Marty Dwyer|
|1996||Big Bully||Roscoe "Fang" Bigger|
|1996||The Stupids||Stanley Stupid|
|1997||McHale's Navy||Lt. Commander Quinton McHale, Jr.|
|1997||Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery||Texan||Uncredited|
|1998||National Lampoon's Golf Punks||Al Oliver|
|1998||Buster & Chauncey's Silent Night||Fritz (voice)||Direct-to-video|
|1999||Jackie's Back||Martin Pritz||Television film|
|1999||Dancing Outlaw II: Jesco Goes to Hollywood||Himself||Documentary|
|2000||Animal Factory||Buck Rowan|
|2000||We Married Margo||Himself||Cameo|
|2000||Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth||Doughy Primesuspect / Hardy (The Killer)||Direct-to-video|
|2000||Just Sue Me||Barbuto|
|2000||Welcome to Hollywood||Himself||Cameo|
|2001||Exit Wounds||Henry Wayne|
|2002||Hansel & Gretel||Boogeyman|
|2002||Romantic Comedy 101||James Ford||Television film|
|2002||Children on Their Birthdays||Lionel Quince|
|2003||Cradle 2 the Grave||Archie|
|2003||National Lampoon's Barely Legal||Mr. Lewis|
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Himself||Cameo|
|2003||Just for Kicks||Coach Martin||Direct-to-video|
|2004||Soul Plane||Elvis Hunkee|
|2005||Happy Endings||Frank McKee|
|2005||Kicking & Screaming||Himself||Cameo|
|2005||The Kid & I||Bill Williams||Also producer and writer|
|2005||Chasing Christmas||Jack Cameron||Television film|
|2005||Three Wise Guys||Murray Crown||Television film|
|2007||Homo Erectus||Gay Caveman|
|2007||Game of Life||Richard||Originally known as Oranges|
|2007||The Final Season||Burt Akers|
|2008||Gardens of the Night||Alex|
|2008||This Is Not a Test||Himself|
|2008||Remarkable Power||Van Hagen|
|2008||Moonlight and Mistletoe||Nick Crosby||Television film|
|2008||Unstable Fables: The Goldilocks and 3 Bears Show||Mac Bear (voice)||Direct-to-DVD film|
|2009||April Showers||Martin Blackwell|
|2009||The 1 Second Film||Producer|
|2011||Walk a Mile in My Pradas||Joe|
|2011||The Jerk Theory||Father Bailey|
|2012||Fred 3: Camp Fred||Floyd Spunkmeyer||Television film|
|2012||Madea's Witness Protection||Walter|
|2012||Hit and Run||U.S. Marshal Randy Anderson|
|2014||Shelby||Doug - the dog catcher|
|2015||Jungle Shuffle||Coati King (voice)|
|2015||Underdog Kids||Gene "Geno" Burman|
|2015||Sex School||Principal Hyman|
|2015||A Mouse Tale||Dalliwog the Wizard (voice)|
|2015||I Am Chris Farley||Himself|
|2015||The Curse of Downers Grove||Chuck's father|
|2019||Christmas Scavenger Hunt||Carl||Hallmark Movie|
|2021||Queen of Meth||Himself|
|2021||High Holiday||Greg Corske|
|2022||Good Mourning||Famous Director|
|2023||Alien Storm||Mayor Harrison|
|2023||Ape vs. Mecha Ape||Hamilton|
|1989–1993||Roseanne||Arnold Shep "Arnie" Thomas||20 episodes|
|1993||The Larry Sanders Show||Himself||1 episodes|
|1992–1993||The Jackie Thomas Show||Jackie Thomas||18 episodes|
|1994||Tom||Tom Graham||12 episodes|
|1994||General Hospital||Billy Boggs||9 episodes|
|1996||Brotherly Love||Jack||1 episode|
|1997–1998||The Tom Show||Tom Amross||19 episodes|
|1998||Space Ghost Coast to Coast||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Joshua"|
|1999||The Simpsons||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Treehouse of Horror X"|
|1999||The Norm Show||Andrew||Episode: "Gambling Man"|
|2000||Baywatch: Hawaii||Al Raymond||Episode: "The Cage"|
|2001||The Fairly OddParents||Corporate Santa (voice)||Episode: "Christmas Every Day"|
|2001||The Outer Limits||Jerry Miller||Episode: “Family Values”|
|2004||Hope & Faith||Bob Thompson||Episode: "Faith's Husband"|
|2004||According to Jim||Max||Episode: "Poking the Bear"|
|2007||The Celebrity Apprentice||Himself|
|2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Rev. Calvin Riggins||Episode: "Brother's Keeper"|
|2008–2009||My Big Redneck Wedding||Himself as host and narrator||16 episodes|
|2009–2011||Sons of Anarchy||Georgie Caruso||4 episodes|
|2011||Franklin & Bash||Ronny Streppi||Episode: "You Can't Take It With You"|
|2012||Hawaii Five-0||Ron Alberts||Episode: "Huakaʻi Kula"|
|2013||The First Family||Vice President Arthur Crandall||3 episodes|
|2014||Psych||Garth Mathers||Episode: "A Touch of Sweevil"|
|2016||Trailer Park Boys||Himself||3 episodes|
|2016–2019||NCIS: New Orleans||Elvis Bertrand||4 episodes|
|2017||I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!||Himself|
|2017–2019||Funny You Should Ask||Himself||41 episodes|
|2018||The Hunt for the Trump Tapes with Tom Arnold||Himself||8 episodes|
|2020||World's Funniest Animals||Guest||1 episode|
|2022||The Rookie: Feds||Miles Butkus||Episode: "The Reaper"|
|2023||True Lies||Arnie Orwig||Episode: "Bitter Sweethearts"|
|2023||FUBAR||Norm Carlson||Episode: "Here Today, Gone To-Marrow"|
- "Comedian Tom Arnold is in his happy place". August 8, 2014.
- Arnold, Tom (November 2003). How I Lost 5 Pounds in 6 Years: An Autobiography. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 14. ISBN 0-312-32244-5.
- "Tom Arnold profile". Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- "Tom Arnold says he's on the Spectrum for the first time..." Facebook. September 17, 2018.
- Porter, Sierra A. (October 28, 2020) "After 28 years, Hollywood star and Iowan Tom Arnold reconnects with brother, sister — in Ottumwa". Des Moines Register.
- Porter, Sierra A. (May 10, 2021) "Former 'Queen of Meth' Lori Arnold, Iowa native and sister of actor Tom Arnold, tells all in documentary". Des Moines Register.
- Beg, Mirza Aaqib (May 13, 2021). "Where to Stream Queen of Meth?". thecinemaholic.com
- "Tom Arnold profile". Biography.com. Archived from the original on February 4, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- "Tom Arnold – Iowa fan Actor keeping state in front of TV, movie cameras". The Gazette. June 6, 1992. Retrieved May 27, 2014 – via Newsbank.
- "Tom Arnold: Tackling a monster". AZ Central. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
- I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics By Ritch Shydner, Mark Schiff. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
- The Woman Who Loved Elvis details, IMDb, retrieved November 27, 2015
- "Tom Arnold". Twitter. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- My Big Redneck Wedding: About the Show, Country Music Television. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- CMT's Biggest Redneck Wedding Ever: About the Special, Country Music Television. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "Tom Arnold Says He Was Sexually Abused", TV Guide. November 6, 2008. Retrieved November 7, 2008.
- Cullins, Ashley (June 15, 2017). "Tom Arnold Sues Australian Reality TV Network for Fraud". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Espinoza, Russ. "Tom Arnold To Keep Hunting As 'Trump Tapes' Ends at Viceland". Forbes. Retrieved January 23, 2019.
- "Tom Arnold profile". Biography.com. Archived from the original on October 5, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2009.
- "Anytime with Bob Kushell feat. Tom Arnold". Anytime with Bob Kushell. Season 2. Episode 7. April 28, 2009.
- Dr. Drew Live, September 4, 2008.
- Cristina Everett (November 29, 2009). "Tom Arnold and Ashley Groussman wed in intimate Hawaiian ceremony". Daily News. New York.
- Joyce Eng. "Tom Arnold Marries for Fourth Time". TV Guide.
- "Tom Arnold Welcomes Son Jax Copeland". People. April 6, 2013. Archived from the original on January 22, 2018. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- Murphy, Desiree (December 18, 2015). "Tom Arnold and Wife Welcome a Baby Girl – Find Out Her Adorable Name!". Yahoo!.
- McDermott, Maeve (January 22, 2019). "Tom Arnold confirms split from wife Ashley Groussman: 'It's a long time coming'". USA Today. Retrieved January 26, 2019.
- "Tom Arnold's Divorce from Ashley Groussman Finalized After More Than a Decade of Marriage". People. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
- Schwartz, Missy (January 23, 2002). "Trash of the Titans". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 30, 2010. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- Arnold, Tom (November 2003). How I Lost 5 Pounds in 6 Years: An Autobiography. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 145–46. ISBN 0-312-32244-5.
- "Tom Arnold - Whisky Ginger with Andrew Santino". February 15, 2019.
- Mal Vincent (August 8, 2014). "Comedian Tom Arnold is in his happy place". The Virginian-Pilot.
- Arnold, Tom [@tomarnold] (August 21, 2016). "Didn't convert. Jewish blood from mom." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- "Comedy: Back in Utah, Tom Arnold to find himself again". The Salt Lake Tribune. July 30, 2009. Archived from the original on August 4, 2009. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- "Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Arnold Host Annual 'Miracle On 1st Street' Christmas Toy Giveaway". CBS News. December 14, 2019. Retrieved January 1, 2023.
- Ryan Bort (June 20, 2019). "The Saga of Jerry Falwell Jr.'s Bizarre Relationship With a Miami Beach Pool Boy, Explained". Rolling Stone.
- Brian Hiatt (August 13, 2018). "Who's Afraid of Tom Arnold?". Rolling Stone.
- Ayoola, Simbiat (February 2, 2023). "'True Lies' Series Trailer Reveals a Familiar Face From the James Cameron Movie". Collider. Retrieved February 21, 2023.