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. Most recently, the actress came under fire for portraying her title character as a Donald Trump supporter in the 2018 reboot of Roseanne.
The Emmy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress was a tabloid staple during the original run of her sitcom, which aired from 1988 to 1997. 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 like there's one big supporter of her character's pro-Trump views.
The actress received a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump himself when Roseanne earned record ratings on its return. But does she get hurt when critics push back? "I need to have really thick skin," she responds. "I have thin skin, but a lot of it, so it works out."
In the reboot, we're reunited with couple Roseanne and Dan Conner (John Goodman). They're now living with their adult children: daughters Becky (Lecy Goranson) and Darlene (Sara Gilbert), and son DJ (Michael Fishman), who's moved in with his daughter, Mary (Jayden Rey). The return of the series was first suggested by Barr's co-star, Sara Gilbert, when John Goodman appeared on her TV talk show, The Talk, last year.
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"As soon as Sara told me John was in, I was in," Barr recalls. "And a week later, we had a deal." It seems to have been relatively smooth sailing for the show's stars ever since. "We have 30 years of history with the characters," she says. "It was like coming home." Not surprisingly, the reboot will continue to push boundaries, with storylines about healthcare, aging, discrimination, and racism.
In the show, Roseanne has an African-American granddaughter, Mary, while grandson Mark (Ames McNamara) identifies as gender-fluid and wears a dress to school. "I think people will see it as groundbreaking and as brave as the original," the star says. Meanwhile, Barr'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, now 48, when she was just 17. She gave her up for adoption, but the two reunited years later. The actress went on to marry hotel clerk Bill Pentland and had daughters Jessica, now 43, Jennifer, 42, and son Jake, 40. Following their divorce, she married actor Tom Arnold. After their brief and tumultuous relationship ended, Barr then wed her bodyguard, Ben Thomas. She and Ben, who were married for seven years, share 23-year-old son Buck.
"I became enraged with my daughters when they were teens," Barr says. She explains she'd taught her girls to be too aggressive, and that it had caused problems.
"I put them in adolescent treatment centers," she says. "They tried to teach them that it's all about being part of a team, and it's not just about you." But it appears to be a case of "like mother, like daughter" when the star is asked why she never backs down. "Gee, I wonder where my daughters get it?" she replies.
Barr goes on to admit that her political views have often caused conflict at home, too. "My daughters are fighting me over it," she admits. "But you have to have compassion for people, not just anger, or life sucks."
This post was written by Jenny Cooney Carrillo. For more, check out our sister site, Now to Love.