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John Stephen Goodman was born June 20, 1952 and is an American actor. He is best known for his role on the television series Roseanne, as well as his film work with the Coen brothers.
Goodman was born in Affton, Missouri, the son of Virginia, a store clerk and waiter who worked at Jack and Phil's Bar-B-Que, and Leslie Goodman, a postal worker who died from a heart attack in 1954. He has a sister, Elisabeth, and two brothers, Jon and Rick, with his extended family living in both St. Louis, MO as well as Miami, FL.
Goodman went to Affton High School where he played football and dabbled in theater. He then won a football scholarship to Southwest Missouri State University, now called Missouri State University. He pledged the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, but was not formally initiated until several decades later. He admittedly "wasted a year in the keg," before discovering Southwest Missouri's unusually well regarded drama program. He studied there with notable actors Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper. During his college stint he got injured, ending his football career. He then decided to become a professional actor, leaving Missouri for New York in 1975.
With a small bankroll from his brother, he found an apartment on ninth avenue and 51st street near the Theater District (Manhattan), and attempted (unsuccessfully) to earn money as a bartender and waiter. But, he was soon to find modest success on stage, in commercials and in voice over performance. He was the guy who slapped himself in the commercial for Skin Bracer by Mennen, saying the famous line "Thanks...I needed that!". He performed off Broadway and in dinner theatres, before getting character roles in movies during the early 1980s. One of his earliest roles was Pap Finn in the Broadway musical Big River, and he can be heard on the original cast album.
In 1978 he joined fellow young and struggling actors Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis and Kevin Kline in the Broadway production of "Loose Ends".
Goodman is most famous for his role as Dan Conner on the American sitcom, Roseanne, which aired on ABC from 1988 to 1997. He had a long history of appearances on late night comedy shows, and was the first guest on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, which won him the show's "First Guest Medal" (Goodman joked that he would pawn the medal for a bottle of cheap scotch). He was a popular guest host on NBC's Saturday Night Live, hosting the show thirteen times, while also making seven cameo appearances as Linda Trip during the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Goodman once auditioned to be a castmember for Jean Doumanian's tumultuous 1980-1981 SNL season, but was rejected.
In 1982 Goodman started landing movie roles, beginning with a small role in Eddie Macon's Run. Then a 1983 made for television movie (ABC) "Face of Rage." During this period he continued to work on the stage, starring in the Tony-winning Broadway Musical "Big River" from 1985 to 1987. His big break into movies came in 1986, when he had a significant comedic role in the David Byrne mockumentary set in Texas True Stories. In that film, his character Louis Fyne memorably utters the line "I'm 6' 3" and maintain a consistent panda bear shape," establishing his trade mark size as an important part of many characters he would later play on film and stage.
Goodman is noted for his work in numerous films by Joel and Ethan Coen, including Raising Arizona, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother, Where Art Thou?. In the film King Ralph, he played a good-timer who unexpectedly becomes the official British head of state after the royal family dies in a freak electrical accident. In television, Goodman had a recurring role on The West Wing as fictional House Speaker Glen Allen Walken. In the show, his character briefly served as Acting President when President of the United States Josiah Bartlet yielded power temporarily under the terms of the 25th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Goodman had a guest role on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, as Pahrump, Nevada Judge Robert Bebe, earning a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor - Drama Series for his performance.
He voiced Robot Santa in the character's first appearance on Futurama. Beginning in 2007, Goodman has been the voiceover in Dunkin' Donuts commercials.
Goodman replaced John Belushi as Dan Aykroyd's partner in the popular Blues Brothers Band, in which he first appeared as "Mighty" Mack McTeer on Saturday Night Live on March 25, 1995 and co-starred in the film Blues Brothers 2000. He continued to perform with Aykroyd (Elwood Blues) and James Belushi (Zee Blues) through 2001. Health problems eventually forced Goodman to retire the character.
Also in 2001, Goodman provided the voice of "Sully" in Disney/Pixar's film Monsters, Inc.
In 2007, Goodman starred as the antagonist in the movie Evan Almighty (directed by Tom Shadyac), opposite Evan Baxter, played by Steve Carell and God, played by Morgan Freeman.
A recent project was the film version of the Sophie Kinsella novel, Confessions of a Shopaholic, where he played Becky's father, Graham Bloomwood. The movie was released February 13, 2009.
Goodman played the Ghost of Christmas Present in the 2008 Kodak Theatre production of A Christmas Carol, starring Christopher Lloyd as Scrooge. He is set to play the role of Pozzo in a Studio 54 revival of the play Waiting for Godot, opposite Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane. Goodman's voice can also be heard on an automated message system at Lambert St. Louis International airport.
Goodman has long resided in New Orleans, Louisiana and is now being thought of as a "Fellow Louisianian" by the people in Louisiana. Since Hurricane Katrina, Goodman has appeared on several recovery commercials aired in Louisiana.
Goodman was cast in In the Electric Mist (2009) as Julie 'Baby Feet' Balboni, which is set in Louisiana post-Katrina. Goodman was at one time slated to play the role of Ignatius Reilly, the main character of a A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. The story takes place almost entirely in New Orleans. However, the movie was never put into production.
Goodman met his wife, Annabeth Hartzog, in New Orleans while he was filming 1988's Everybody's All-American. They married in October 1989 and have a daughter named Molly Evangeline (born August 31, 1990). Goodman has done television advertisements in order to raise awareness for pediatric cancer and the Be The Match marrow registry.
In an April 16, 2009 interview with New York Times theater writer Charles McGrath, Goodman is open about his alcoholism. He says, "I don't know how much the old Jackie Daniels franchise ruined my memory, which is going anyway, because of my advancing decrepitude. I had a 30-year run, and at the end I didn't care about anything. I was just fed up with myself. I didn't even want to be an actor anymore." He claims to have stopped drinking in 2007. "I could never please myself. That's part of what fuels the alcoholic, I guess. You set yourself impossible goals, and then you kick yourself because you're not good enough. But I can't do that every night. I don't have the energy anymore," he added. Goodman was in New York preparing for the role of Pozzo in Samuel Beckett's play, "Waiting for Godot," which ran through July 2009.