Cherrie Barr (born November 3, 1952) is an Emmy Award-winning American
comedian, actress and writer. At times in her career she has also been
known as "Roseanne Arnold" and "Roseanne Thomas". On the opening
credits of one final-season episode of her TV show, she was credited
as "Roseanne Barr Pentland Arnold Thomas". For several years in the
late 1990s and early 2000s, she was known simply as Roseanne, but by
2005 had resumed referring to herself by her maiden name, Roseanne
She is currently a headliner at the Sahara Hotel and Casino on the Las
Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The eldest of four children, she was born in Salt Lake City, Utah to a
working-class Jewish family. Her mother, Helen (née Davis), was a
bookkeeper and cashier, and her father, Jerome Hershel “Jerry” Barr,
worked in sales as a door-to-door salesman of household goods.
Barr's grandparents and great-grandparents were immigrants from
Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania and Austria-Hungary, and her paternal
grandfather changed his surname from "Borisofsky" to "Barr" upon
entering the United States. Barr's parents kept their Jewish
heritage secret from their neighbors, and thus were partially involved
in The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints, and Barr has
stated that "Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning I was a Jew; Sunday
afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon we were
Mormons"; her Jewish upbringing was influenced by her devoutly
Orthodox Jewish maternal grandmother.
Barr married Bill Pentland on February 4, 1974, and they had three
children, Jennifer, Jessica, and Jacob. In 1971, prior to marriage and
while residing in Denver, Roseanne had a daughter named Brandi Brown
for whom she arranged an adoption. In 1989 Roseanne located and met
Brandi. Eventually, Brandi moved to L.A. and began working for
Roseanne. Brandi and Roseanne remain very close.
Roseanne became famous in the early 1980s with her stand-up comedy
routine, receiving critical acclaim for her unglamorized portrayal of
the typical American working-class housewife. In her routine she
coined the now well-known phrase, "domestic goddess," to refer to a
homemaker or housewife. The success of her act led to her own series
on ABC, called Roseanne. The show ran from 1988 to 1997, and
co-starred Emmy winners Laurie Metcalf and John Goodman. Roseanne
herself also won an Emmy for her part in the show. For the final
season Roseanne earned $650,000 an episode. In 1997, after the end
of her sitcom's run, she portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West in a
production of The Wizard of Oz at Madison Square Garden.
She went on to host her own talk show, The Roseanne Show which ran for
two years before it was canceled in 2000. In the summer of 2003, she
took on the dual role of hosting a cooking show (called Domestic
Goddess) and starring in a reality show (called The Real Roseanne
Show) about hosting a cooking show, although food poisoning and an
emergency appendectomy brought a premature end to both projects. In
2005, she returned to stand-up comedy, touring the world. In February
2006, Roseanne performed her first-ever live dates in Europe as part
of the Leicester Comedy Festival in Leicester, England. The shows took
place at De Montfort Hall. She also released her first kids' DVD,
Rockin' with Roseanne: Calling All Kids, that same month.
Roseanne's return to the stage culminated in an HBO Comedy Special
Roseanne Barr: Blonde N Bitchin', which aired November 4, 2006, on
HBO. Two nights earlier, Roseanne returned to prime-time network TV
with a guest spot on NBC's My Name Is Earl, playing a crazy trailer
Roseanne has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6767 Hollywood
On January 11, 2007, TV Land announced that Roseanne would be the host
of season three of The Search for the Funniest Mom in America on Nick
@ Nite. The show aired in spring 2007. She has also signed on to
host a daily radio talk show on KCAA in the Los Angeles area.
It has been rumored that Roseanne will return to television and ABC
with a recurring role on season 5 of Desperate Housewives.
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for: "Roseanne" (1993)
Golden Globe Awards:
Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series - Comedy/Musical for:
While taping her show she separated from Bill Pentland and later fell
in love with fellow comedian Tom Arnold. In January 1990 she divorce
Pentland and married Arnold. Four years later she and Arnold divorced.
She later married her security guard, Ben Thomas, on Valentine's Day
in 1995. They had one son, Buck Thomas. She and Thomas divorced in
In a 1991 interview with People, Roseanne revealed herself to be an
incest survivor, accusing both of her parents of physical and sexual
abuse, charges which they and her sister Geraldine publicly denied.
Geraldine later sold stories to the tabloids calling Roseanne a liar
and accusing her of making up the story to boost her show's ratings.
Geraldine also accused Roseanne of "unfairly" firing her from the cast
of the show and claiming that Roseanne "owed" her half of the show's
Barr has written that she considers herself a kabbalist and a follower
of Jesus Christ.
Star Spangled Banner controversy
On July 25, 1990, Barr performed a controversial rendition of the
"Star Spangled Banner" before a Cincinnati Reds-San Diego Padres
baseball game in San Diego, California. As she later reported, she was
initially having trouble hearing herself over the public-address
system, so she was singing as loudly as possible, and her rendition of
the song sounded "screechy". Following her rendition, she mimicked the
often-seen actions of players by spitting and grabbing her crotch as
if adjusting a protective cup. Barr claimed she had been encouraged by
baseball officials to "bring humor to the song". The song and the
closing routine offended many in the audience, and it was replayed
frequently on television, drawing further attention to it.
She referenced the incident on the Roseanne episode The Test
(originally aired September 18, 1990) when she comments on what a nice
Saturday morning it is and how it makes her feel like she could sing
(she then pauses until the studio audience laughs, cheers, and
She also joked about the incident later in season 3 in the episode
Home-Ec in the Buy N Bag scene.
She also humorously referred to the incident a year later in her
television movie, Backfield in Motion, in which her character, Nancy
Seavers, is asked to sing the anthem. She responds incredulously, "Me?
Sing the national anthem?" The line is followed by a long, dramatic
pause, with the camera zooming in on her face. She then grins and
says, "I don't think so."
On February 16, 1991, she joked about the incident further on Saturday
Night Live in a skit called Comedy Killers, a mock game show about
gags that aren't funny.
A brief parody of the incident was included in the 1992 made-for-TV
movie Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation.
Gay rights controversy
On April 6, 2007 Barr made a controversial statement about gay
activists during her show on California's KCAA radio. Barr
commented that putting measures like gay marriage on ballots for
elections only hurts the gay rights cause and elects more conservative
politicians. Barr went on to say, "And I have never once -- and I say
I have gay and lesbian people in my family -- never once in my life
have I ever once heard a gay or lesbian person who’s politically
active say one thing about anything that was not about them. They
don’t care about minimum wage, they don’t care about any other group
other than their own self because you know, some people say being gay
and lesbian is a totally narcissistic thing and sometimes I wonder.
I’ve never heard any of them say anything except for 'accept me 'cause
I'm gay.' It's just, it’s screwed up."
Barr later apologized twice on her online blog stating, "I deeply
regret that I have offended gay people. I said things that I do not
really mean, before I had thought them through.... I was wrong and I
seriously apologize! Call me up today and let me have it! I will
apologize and try to make clear what I really meant to say... which
was that everybody needs to unite right now, and step outside of their
own neighborhoods, groups, races and classes to stop Bush's war on our
country and our people. I love gays and I hate division. I am just a
big idiot with a big mouth sometimes. I will learn to be more careful!
Please forgive me, I am so sorry!!!!" Barr continued to state
in further online posts that she believes gays need to unite against
those who try to oppress them: "Let's all leave our own bedrooms,
kitchens, neighborhoods and groups and meet each other to form a
diverse army that stands for Democracy and Economic justice!"
A 1992 Playboy magazine article quoted a letter in which Barr used
numerous homophobic slurs to try to insult then USA Today reviewer
Barr is not a lesbian herself.
Barr told James Rampton of The Independent that fame went to her head.
Barr, who had worked as a window dresser and waitress in Denver, said
she had become famous quickly and lost touch with reality. "I was in a
sound studio for almost a decade. At the end of it, like Rip van
Winkle, I came back and found that everything had changed. Suddenly
there were computers and e-mails, and it took me another 10 years to
catch up with regular people. But the TV show is over. What am I going
to do? I can't boss people around anymore - sad but true."
Barr went back to stand-up comedy but with a notably different
appearance: she has lost some weight, dyed her hair blonde, and had
plastic surgery, which she does not recommend - "Now I realize that
everyone has to get old and die, but it was still a very bad
experience.... No one looks better after plastic surgery. Just pink
and shiny. At the end of it, you look like an idiot." Barr claims that
some of her surgery was for health reasons; she had a rhinoplasty to
correct sleep apnea; while her breast reduction surgery was to reduce
back pain.
Rodney Dangerfield: It's Not Easy Bein' Me (1986)
On Location: The Roseanne Barr Show (1987)
Little Rosie (1990-1991)
Backfield in Motion (1991)
The Rosey and Buddy Show (1992) (voice) (unsold pilot)
The Woman Who Loved Elvis (1993)
General Hospital (cast member in 1994)
The Roseanne Show (1998-2000)
The Brothers Garcia (2001)
The Real Roseanne Show (2003) (cancelled after 1 episode)
Roseanne Barr: Blonde and Bitchin' (2006)
My Name Is Earl (2006)
The Search For The Funniest Mom In America 3 (2007)
Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack (2008)
Comedy Live Presents (2008)
Look Who's Talking Too (1990) (voice)
Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991)
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993)
Dancing Outlaw II: Jesco Goes to Hollywood (1994) (documentary)
Unzipped (1995) (documentary)
Blue in the Face (1995)
Meet Wally Sparks (1997)
Get Bruce (1999) (documentary)
Cecil B. Demented (2000)
15 Minutes (2001)
Home on the Range (2004) (voice)
^ Roseanne Biography (1952-)
^ a b The Family Tree of Roseanne Barr
^ a b JewishJournal.com
^ Roseanne: Jewish Latter-day Saint actress and entertainer
^ WHISTLING WHILE THEY WORK | Seinfeld | Pop Culture News | News |
^ Reality TV World. "Roseanne Barr to host Nick at Nite's 'Funniest
Mom in America'". Retrieved on January 11, 2007.
^ Barr, Roseanne (2007-05-02). "FLATTERED, BUT NOT FREE". Roseanne
World. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
^ Barr, Roseanne (2007-05-02). "FLATTERED, BUT NOT FREE". Roseanne
World. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
^ a b Wherein we channel our inner Darlene Conner: Good As You
^ If an episode of her series, this would be the sweet bedroom chat
with Becky: Good As You
^ Welcome to Roseanne World
^ Maledicta Monitor