Roseanne Barr life and biography

Roseanne Barr picture, image, poster

Roseanne Barr biography

Date of birth : 1952-11-03
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2010-08-31
Credited as : Actress comedienne, writer and television producer, hosted the talk show "The Roseanne Show"

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Roseanne Cherie Barr, also known as Roseanne Arnold, born November 3, 1952 in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S. is an American actress, comedienne, writer, television producer and director.

A self-described "domestic goddess," Roseanne Barr is best known for her nasal, laconic delivery of stinging barbs aimed at helpless husbands and demanding children. Her comedy has been called New Wave, feminist, and revolutionary; yet her subject matter---marriage, kids, housework---is conventional. Critics have found her both "dangerous" and irresistable. "Barr is a bear, a beast, a national treasure," wrote Michael McWilliams of the Detroit News. She is also the star of the comedy series "Roseanne," the most eagerly awaited new show of the 1988--89 television season.

Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, Barr, who is Jewish, was one of the few non-Mormons at her school. At Christmas, her teachers would ask "our little Jewish girl" to sing about the dreidel (a toy brought out at Hanukkah). "So I would sing the dreidel song, and then explain why I didn't believe in Jesus," she told Gioia Diliberto of People. The rest of the time, she recalled to Stu Schreiberg in USA Weekend, "I'd sit in the back of classrooms and had very few friends." At the age of 16, Barr was hit by a car and knocked unconscious. She came out of a coma several days later and experienced "a grotesque personality change," quoted the New York Times' Joy Horowitz. Barr was hospitalized for nearly a year. Upon recovering, she left high school and moved to Colorado. There she met and married a local postal clerk, had three children, and worked at a variety of low-paying jobs. For entertainment, she frequently went to comedy clubs, most of which were dominated by male comics doing what Barr considered sexist material. She decided it was time to even the score.

In 1981 she delivered a five-minute monologue at a Denver club. Soon after, she was playing clubs throughout the West and Midwest. Her career took off after performing at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. From there she appeared on network and cable television specials and was a frequent guest on "The Tonight Show." Her routines include jabs at men---married and single---motherhood, and housekeeping. "Listen to her bag the bachelor ethos," wrote Vogue's Tracy Young. "'Get a relationship and face the real danger. Look at a mortgage for thirty years, you skydiving wimps.'" About her husband, who asks if there are any Cheetos left in the house, Barr comments, "Like he couldn't go over and lift up the sofa cushions himself." Young continued: "If husbands take a beating from Barr, kids don't fare much better....[She] reads the instructions on a bottle of aspirin as, 'Take two and keep away from children.'"

In 1988, amid much publicity and fanfare, ABC-TV introduced "Roseanne," a half-hour situation comedy starring Barr as a married mother of three who works in a plastics factory. With few exceptions, "Roseanne" (which is produced by the creators of "The Cosby Show") was proclaimed a hit. McWilliams called it a "grungy-funny sitcom" and a "standup tour-de-force with plot and dialogue." Some critics have compared it to "The Honeymooners," with Barr playing Ralph Kramden to her television-husband's composite portrayal of Alice and Norton. Unlike other television wives and mothers, as Horowitz noted, "Roseanne is flawed." Though she loves "her romantic sop of a husband," she never hesitates to point out his faults. In one episode, according to the critic, Barr tells him: "I put in eight hours a day at the factory, and then I come home and put in another eight hours....And you don't do NOTHIN'!" Schreiberg called "Roseanne" the "flip side of The Cosby Show." Horowitz agreed: "A beatific Clair Huxtable comes home from the law firm with briefcase in hand to a picture-perfect house. Roseanne, looking haggard in her sweatshirt and blue jeans, returns home...lugging an armload of groceries to a pigsty of a kitchen."

Barr, who serves as a creative consultant on the show, believes that family sitcoms virtually ignore the real world. "Nothing in reality is ever addressed on sitcoms," she explained to Schreiberg. "'Will Junior go out with the smart girl or the good-looking girl?' I want to deal with being broke, with the implied violence of American family life." Moreover, Barr is critical of television executives who perceive audiences outside of New York or Los Angeles to be narrow minded and socially isolated. "I grew up with people in the Midwest and, in fact, they're as hip as anyone else," she told Horowitz. "I want to do real revolutionary TV....I want to do a show that reflects how people really live. Telling the truth at any point in time is really revolutionary. I want this show to tell the horrible truth rather than parody the truth. When you tell the truth you don't insult the audience's intelligence."


Born 03 November 1952, in Salt Lake City, Utah; daughter of Jerry (a salesman) and Helen Barr; married Bill Pentland, 1973; children: Jessica, Jennifer, Jake.

Recipient of cable-television's ACE awards for best female in a comedy and for best HBO special.

Held a variety of jobs, including window dresser and waitress; began performing in comedy clubs in 1981; has appeared on "The Tonight Show" and on several television specials; star of comedy series "Roseanne," ABC-TV, 1988---.


1989: She-Devil
1990: Look Who's Talking Too
1991: Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
1993: Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
1995: Blue in the Face
2004: Home on the Range
2004: A Dairy Tale


1988–97: Roseanne
1991: Backfield in Motion
1991–94: Saturday Night Live
1992: The Rosey & Buddy Show
1992: A Different World
1992: The Jackie Thomas Show
1993: The Woman Who Loved Elvis
1994: General Hospital
1997: 3rd Rock from the Sun
1997: The Nanny
1998–2000: The Roseanne Show
2006: My Name Is Earl

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