12 Future Stars Who Appeared on Roseanne

ROBIN UTRECHT, AFP/Getty Images
ROBIN UTRECHT, AFP/Getty Images

Roseanne, a sitcom about a working-class family living in Lanford, Illinois, aired on ABC from October 18, 1988 until May 20, 1997. Following the trend of classic TV shows being rebooted, Roseanne Barr and company will return to ABC on March 27, for a 10th season of the show. The revival will ignore the fact that Dan Conner (John Goodman) died, and it’ll also resurrect the original Becky, played by Lecy Goranson. (The second Becky, Sarah Chalke, will also have a role.)

Throughout the series's original 222 episodes, scores of actors guest starred before they were famous (and/or Oscar winners), including regular cast member Johnny Galecki, who became even a bigger name while starring on The Big Bang Theory. Galecki will make an appearance on the new Roseanne. Here are 12 Roseanne actors who eventually found stardom. 

1. GEORGE CLOONEY

George Clooney had been in and out of sitcom purgatory by the time he spent 11 episodes on Roseanne, as Booker Brooks, Roseanne and Jackie’s (Laurie Metcalf) supervisor (and Jackie’s love interest) at Wellman Plastics. He made those appearances from 1988 to 1989, soon after he had done shows like Baby Talk, The Facts of Life, and the B-movie Return of the Killer Tomatoes!

While at the Telluride Film Festival, Clooney shared a story about a time Barr hit on him. “The first season of Roseanne was pretty fun,” he said. “The first time I met her she’s like, ‘You’re really good looking. Why don’t you take me behind the stage and make me stink?’” Insane fame wasn’t far off for the former lothario; in 1994 he became of star of ER, which made him a household name.

2. LEONARDO DICAPRIO

On the February 5, 1991 episode entitled “Home-Ec,” Leonardo DiCaprio played a classmate of Darlene’s. Much to her daughter’s chagrin, Roseanne visits the class and explains to them what a housewife does. DiCaprio doesn’t have any lines, but he can be clearly seen in the classroom, sitting near Darlene. He also had a recurring role on Growing Pains, and in 1993 he landed a star-turning role in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?, which garnered him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod. Of course the rest is history: In 1997 he hit Titanic-sized success. Besides Clooney, DiCaprio is the only before-they-were-famous Roseanne guest star to win an Oscar.

3. TOBEY MAGUIRE

One week after DiCaprio's episode aired, his longtime friend Tobey Maguire made a quick guest appearance on the show—albeit with a couple of lines.

4. JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT

Multi-hyphenate Joseph Gordon-Levitt was just a pre-teen when he appeared as George, D.J.’s (Michael Fishman) weird and intolerable friend, for four episodes between 1993 and 1995. Before Roseanne he had small roles on Family Ties and in the movie A River Runs Through It. A year after his last appearance on Roseanne, Gordon-Levitt got cast as one of the leads on the NBC show 3rd Rock from the Sun. He eventually transitioned to film, making a name for himself in the 2009 rom-com 500 Days of Summer, and starring alongside fellow Roseanne guest star DiCaprio in 2010’s Inception.

5. ELLEN DEGENERES

Though Ellen DeGeneres already had her namesake sitcom in 1994, she wasn’t quite on a first-name basis with the world. On a May 1995 Roseanne episode called “The Blaming of the Shrew,” Ellen played a therapist named Dr. Whitman, who comically counsels Jackie and her husband Fred (Michael O’Keefe). Dr. Whitman’s advice didn’t work, as the couple divorced.

6. BOB ODENKIRK

Since beginning his career in the 1980s, Bob Odenkirk has racked up more than 100 acting credits. In a 1993 season five episode called “Tooth or Consequences,” he played Jim, a friend of Dan’s who pretends to be a health inspector. At this point in his career, Odenkirk had already written for SNL and starred on the short-lived The Ben Stiller Show. Although in 1995 he and David Cross became well known for their HBO sketch show Mr. Show, it wasn’t until 2009 that Odenkirk became a household name by playing Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. This led to him headlining the Emmy-nominated spinoff Better Call Saul.

7. BRAD GARRETT

Actor Brad Garrett of FX's 'Fargo' attends the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at 2015 Summer TCA's at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 7, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California
Tommaso Boddi, Getty Images for Samsung

Actor and stand-up comedian Brad Garrett played a guy named Doug on a May 1991 episode entitled “The Pied Piper of Lanford.” Garrett had mainly worked behind the scenes, providing silly voices for animated movies and shows. But in 1996 he was cast as Robert Barone on the blockbuster show Everybody Loves Raymond; he won three Emmys for the role.

8. ALYSON HANNIGAN

Actress Alyson Hannigan attends the Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation's 19th Annual 'Taste for a Cure' at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel on April 25, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California
Frederick M. Brown, Getty Images

On the season three episode “Like, A New Job” in 1990, Alyson Hannigan portrayed Becky’s friend, Jan. Becky, Jan, and their other friend (who didn’t become famous) visit Roseanne at her new waitressing job, and Roseanne makes a point to embarrass them. The future How I Met Your Mother celebrity wasn’t new to acting—she had a role in 1988’s My Stepmother is an Alien, and had started acting in commercials at the age of four. Seven years after the Roseanne cameo, Hannigan landed the role of Willow on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Two years later she became infamous for her quotable “this one time at band camp” American Pie performance.

9. STEPHEN ROOT

Actor Stephen Root attends the 'Selma' New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on December 14, 2014 in New York City
Ben Gabbe, Getty Images

Character actor Stephen Root played Roseanne’s lawyer, Peter, in a March 1990 episode. (The episode also featured Melora Walters, who would go on to star in Boogie Nights and Magnolia.) According to IMDb.com, this was Root’s seventh TV/film role. He became a ubiquitous TV actor, popping up in everything from Night Court to Seinfeld. In 1995, he finally became a series regular, on NewsRadio. In 1999 he reached cult status when he played the stapler-loving Milton in Office Space.

10. JENNA ELFMAN

Actor Jenna Elfman attends Larry King's 60th Broadcasting Anniversary Event at HYDE Sunset: Kitchen + Cocktails on May 1, 2017 in West Hollywood, California
Rich Fury, Getty Images

The effusive actress played a hitchhiker named Garland in the November 14, 1995 episode “The Getaway, Almost.” The description of the episode reads: “Roseanne and Jackie’s shopping trip turns into a road trip when they pick up a hitchhiking teenage girl.” At that time Elfman was just two years away from starring on another ABC show, Dharma & Greg, which put her on the map.

11. JAMES PICKENS JR.

Actor James Pickens Jr attends the People's Choice Awards 2017 at Microsoft Theater on January 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Christopher Polk, Getty Images for People's Choice Awards

Between 1990 and 1996, James Pickens Jr. appeared on 19 episodes of Roseanne, playing Dan’s pal Chuck Mitchell (and one of the show’s only minority characters). It was Pickens’s first major part, but throughout those six years he also starred on Beverly Hills, 90210 and L.A. Law, and in 1998 he began a stint on the X-Files. He didn’t become famous until 2005, though, when Shonda Rhimes cast him as Dr. Webber on the long-running (300 episodes and counting!) Grey’s Anatomy. Pickens supposedly will reprise Chuck on the reboot.

12. ERIC DANE

Speaking of Grey’s Anatomy: When Eric Dane played a bellhop on a season eight episode in 1996—in which the Disney-owned ABC mandated that the Connor family visit Disney World—he was a decade away from playing Dr. Mark “McSteamy” Sloan on Grey’s. Previously, he had guest starred on The Wonder Years and Saved by the Bell.

Netflix Promises That The Office Isn't Going Anywhere, Despite Reports to the Contrary

NBCUniversal, Inc.
NBCUniversal, Inc.

With all of the streaming sites available, deciding which one to choose can sometimes be just as difficult as figuring out what to watch once you get there. But one thing is certain: For Netflix users, The Office never fails. Which explains why Dunder Mifflin devotees panicked when they heard that the NBC series would be leaving the streaming giant's library. Fortunately, Netflix quickly took to Twitter to reassure fans that the Steve Carell-starring comedy isn’t going anywhere ... until at least 2021.

Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that NBCUniversal might want to take back its rights to The Office in order to put the series on their own streaming site, which is not yet live. This, of course, sent fans into a frenzy. Many took to social media to share how upset they were that their favorite workplace comedy might be disappearing. (A similar situation happened with Friends, another one of Netflix's most popular shows, back in December.)

Although The Office aficionados can breathe a sigh of relief—at least for now—Marvel fans haven't been so lucky. Disney has started to remove its movies along with Netflix’s Marvel shows like The Punisher and Daredevil. The new streaming service Disney+ will drop in November and will feature Marvel films, as well as original series—plus the entire Star Wars franchise.

With all the changes, it’s not difficult to become paranoid that your favorite show might be taken off your preferred streaming service. Better to binge what you can now while it’s still available.

16 Jaw-Dropping Facts About Cirque du Soleil

Hannah Peters, Getty Images
Hannah Peters, Getty Images

Since its founding in 1984, the contemporary circus Cirque du Soleil has performed for more than 180 million people in 450 cities on every continent but Antarctica. In other words: There’s probably a Cirque show near you right now … or there will be soon.

For the uninitiated, Cirque du Soleil—which celebrates its 35th anniversary in July 2019—features a mix of circus acts, street performance, unparalleled acrobatic feats and the avant-garde. And no matter the show’s theme, technology always plays a role—the Montreal-based company, now one of the largest live theatrical companies in business, consistently ups its game with state-of-the-art stages, special effects and world-class stunts. Read on to learn even more jaw-dropping facts about Cirque du Soleil.

  1. Cirque du Soleil began as a troupe of 20 street performers.

Cirque du Soleil has its roots in Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (the Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers), a group that performed acts like fire-breathing and juggling on the streets of Baie-Saint-Paul in Quebec, Canada, in the early 1980s. One of the troupe's members was Guy Laliberté, who eschewed a college education to join the group; in 1984, he presented a proposal to the Canadian government for a company of performers that would tour across the country to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada. Laliberté landed a $1 million contract to make the proposal a reality, which led to the incorporation of the group as a non-profit under the name Cirque du Soleil.

  1. The name Cirque du Soleil means "Circus of the Sun."

"When I need to take time to reenergize, I go somewhere by the ocean to sit back and watch the sunsets. That is where the idea of 'Soleil' came from, on a beach in Hawaii, and because the Sun is the symbol of youth and energy," Laliberté explained to Fortune in 2011.

  1. Las Vegas has six permanent Cirque du Soleil shows.

Cirque du Soleil's first show had 10 acts and hit 15 cities in Quebec. Now, there are 23 Cirque du Soleil shows worldwide, including six permanent shows in Las Vegas and 12 that are on tour. Though it's hard to determine the most popular show, Cirque du Soleil calls Alegría—which ran from 1994 to 2013 before being "reinterpreted in a renewed version" in 2019—one of its “most beloved shows,” with 6600 performances for more than 14 million audience members around the world. That’s a lot of tickets.

  1. Mystère is the longest-running Cirque du Soleil show.

Cirque’s first permanent show in Las Vegas, Mystère has also been on stage the longest of all Cirque productions. This lighthearted, family-friendly show opened in 1993 at Treasure Island and features a classic Cirque du Soleil mix of gymnastics and trapeze.

  1. Cirque du Soleil shows are incredibly expensive to produce.

For example, —which premiered in 2005—cost at least $165 million to create, making it one of the most expensive theatrical productions in history (to compare, the Spider-Man musical, Broadway’s most expensive show, had cost estimates about half that). Much of the budget was for technical feats, including a battle scene featuring acrobats on wires fighting vertically. Sadly, it was during the battle sequence that aerialist Sarah Guillot-Guyard died in 2013. It was Cirque du Soleil’s first onstage fatality.

  1. There’s even a Cirque du Soleil show on ice.

Crystal, Cirque’s “first experience on ice,” premiered in December 2017 in Quebec City and Montreal. It’s basically the choreographed stunts you’d expect from Cirque du Soleil but everybody’s on skates.

  1. Many Cirque du Soleil casts include former Olympians.

Cirque du Soleil employs 1300 performers from 50 different countries, and Cirque says about 40 percent of its artists come from disciplines like rhythmic gymnastics and diving. To that end, in 2016, Cirque had 22 Olympians (including two medalists) on stage in a variety of roles, from high-flying trampoline acts to synchronized swimmers. That’s not to mention the many performers who are recruited from national gymnastics teams.

  1. Cirque du Soleil cast members train extensively.

Before being cast in a specific show, prospective performers attend artistic and acrobatic training at Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters in Montreal. Depending on the show and the role, cast members then do daily training and warm-ups, sometimes lasting more than 90 minutes, along with regular rehearsals. The daily work-outs can include weight lifting, stretching, handstands, pull-ups, sit-ups, and rope work.

  1. The kitchens on Cirque du Soleil tours use up to 3000 pounds of food a week.

Traveling Cirque shows have a team of around five chefs who pump out meals for cast and crew each day. Menus change daily and incorporate local specialties in whatever city the show lands (think: bison in Denver; étouffée in Louisiana). In a 2017 interview, Cirque kitchen manager Paola Muller said that the kitchen can run through 2000 to 3000 pounds of food a week. A 2016 Thrillist article notes that 90 to 100 pounds of protein are served at each meal, and there’s a salad bar with 22 ingredients.

  1. Cirque du Soleil takes safety seriously—but the stunts are still dangerous.

Cirque du Soleil cast members pull off dangerous stunts on the regular. But even with stringent safety systems in place (some performers have called them “annoying”), injuries and accidents happen. According to Vanity Fair there were 53 injuries at the permanent Las Vegas shows in 2012, and in 2018, an aerialist was killed in Florida during a performance of Volta.

  1. Princess Diana was an early fan of Cirque du Soleil.

She took Princes Harry and William to an early performance by the group in 1990. In early 2019, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, attended a Cirque du Soleil charity performance; the duchess wore one of Diana's bracelets and a dress inspired by one of her late mother-in-law's looks.

  1. Cirque du Soleil has an outreach program based on the “social circus.”

Established in 1995, Cirque du Monde supports the philosophy that circus arts can be used as interventions for at-risk youth, creating confidence and community for kids who need it. This idea is referred to as “the social circus”; this and other global citizen campaigns have reached 100,000 kids in 50 countries.

  1. Some costume pieces in Cirque du Soleil's O are made out of shower curtains.

The costumes for all Cirque shows are unique in that they have to be not only stunning but also athletically practical and safe. Cirque’s Montreal Costume Workshop employs 300 full-time artisans, including shoemakers, milliners, and textile designers.

Each costume’s evolution requires a lot of ingenuity—and trial and error. Take, for instance, Cirque’s water show, O, in Las Vegas. Some costume pieces are made out of shower curtains, pipe cleaners, or bits of foam to make them float in the water. The wardrobe staff here does 60 loads of laundry a night to keep the 4800 costumes and accessories clean, and there’s a totally separate room dedicated to drying, complete with specialized heaters.

  1. Luzia is the first Cirque show in Spanish.

Although Cirque du Soleil shows don’t regularly rely on speaking parts (that’s what the mimes are for!), Luzia is the first show to be entirely en Español. Luzia’s title combines two Spanish words—luz for “light” and lluvia for “rain”—and features a state-of-the-art rain curtain and revolving stage.

  1. You can experience Cirque du Soleil in VR.

A natural extension of the Cirque experience? Virtual reality. In 2018, MK2, a Paris-based company specializing in VR cinemas, acquired distribution rights to four Cirque shows, co-produced by Canada’s Felix & Paul. Now, you can experience moments from , Kurios, Luzia, and O on Google Daydream, Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR, and more.

  1. Cirque du Soleil's The Beatles LOVE has been onstage longer than the Beatles.

Cirque’s Beatles show, LOVE, has been on stage since 2006. The Beatles were together for around a decade, from 1960 (or '62, if you're going by when Ringo Starr joined, and when they released their first single) to 1970. LOVE remains a stalwart of the Cirque canon, regularly selling about 75 to 90 percent theater capacity, and is at the top of many Vegas “must dos.”

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