The feisty comedian rose to fame more than 30 years ago as one of TV’s biggest stars, but Roseanne Barr is still making headlines today. The Roseanne actress — whose 2018 reboot of Roseanne was cancelled on May 29 after she published a racist tweet — was previously a tabloid staple during the original run of her sitcom, which aired from 1988 to 1997.
And in 2012, she even found herself in the political spotlight when she chose to run for president. Now, her political stance is again a contentious topic, but it seems there’s one big supporter of her TV character’s pro-Trump views.
The Roseanne cast.
Roseanne, 65, received a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump himself when Roseanne earned record ratings upon its return to TV. But does she get hurt when critics push back? “I need to have really thick skin,” she said in a recent interview. “I have thin skin, but a lot of it — so it works out.”
In the reboot, fans were reunited with couple Roseanne and Dan Conner (played by John Goodman) who were living with their adult children: daughters Becky Conner (Lecy Goranson), and Darlene Conner (Sara Gilbert), who returned home with her two children, Harris Conner-Healy (Emma Kenney) and Mark Conner-Healy (Ames McNamara), and son DJ (Michael Fishman), who moved in with his daughter, Mary Conner (Jayden Rey).
The return of the series was first suggested by Roseanne’s co-star Sara when John appeared on her TV talk show, The Talk, last year. “As soon as Sara told me John was in, I was in,” Roseanne recalled. “And a week later, we had a deal. We have 30 years of history with the characters… It was like coming home.”
Not surprisingly, the reboot strived to push boundaries, with storylines about healthcare, aging, discrimination, and racism. In the since-cancelled show, Roseanne has an African-American granddaughter, Mary, while grandson Mark identifies as gender-fluid and wears a dress to school. “I think people will see it as groundbreaking and as brave as the original,” Roseanne said.
Meanwhile, Roseanne’s own parenting struggles sound more like a soap opera than a comedy. Married three times, the actress has five children. She gave birth to eldest daughter Brandi Brown, now 48, when she was just 17. She gave her up for adoption, but the two reunited years later. Roseanne went on to marry hotel clerk Bill Pentland and had daughters Jessica Pentland, 43, Jennifer Pentland, 42, and son Jake Pentland, 40.
Following their divorce, Roseanne married actor Tom Arnold. After their brief and tumultuous relationship ended, Roseanne wed her bodyguard, Ben Thomas. She and Ben, who were married for seven years, share 23-year-old son Buck Thomas. “I became enraged with my daughters when they were teens,” Roseanne said. She explained that she’d taught her girls to be too aggressive and it had caused problems. “I put them in adolescent treatment centers,” she said. “They tried to teach them it’s all about being part of a team and it’s not just about you.”
Roseanne with two of her children.
But it appears to be a case of like mother, like daughter when the star was asked why she never backs down. “Gee, I wonder where my daughters get it?” she replied. Roseanne then admitted her political views have often caused conflict at home too. “My daughters are fighting me over it,” she confessed. “But you have to have compassion for people, not just anger, or life sucks.” Roseanne encourages her family to see things from the perspective of others. “It’s sad, because I say, ‘Why won’t you guys try to see why these people feel the way they do?'” she explained. “But they tell me to go f–k myself, so, whatever.”
This post was written by Jenny Cooney Carrillo. It originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.