John Goodman biography
SynopsisJohn Goodman was born June 20, 1952, in Affton, Missouri. In the 1980s he landed a string of TV and film appearances. In 1985, he starred as Pap Finn in the musical Big River, and stayed until he was cast in his first sizable film role: the David Byrne comedy True Stories. This led to a role in Raising Arizona. In 1987 he was recruited for the sitcom Roseanne. He also continued in film.
Actor. Born John Stephen Goodman on June 20, 1952, in Affton, Missouri, to postal worker Leslie Goodman and waitress Virginia Goodman. When John was only two years old, his father died of a heart attack, leaving Virginia to raise John and his siblings on her own.
Goodman went to Affton High School, where he excelled in football and dabbled in theater. Following high school graduation in 1970, he won a football scholarship to Southwest Missouri State University. During his first year at Missouri, he spent much of his time partying and playing football, but an injury squashed his dreams of a professional sports career.
After the injury, Goodman changed his major to drama and studied theater with notable actors such as Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper. In 1975, Goodman graduated with his theater degree and headed to New York to become a professional actor. With a loan from his brother, he found an apartment near the theater district in Manhattan. He worked as a bartender and waiter, while he took small jobs in commercials and voice over performance. In 1978 he joined fellow young and struggling actors Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis, and Kevin Kline in the Broadway production of Loose Ends, but the play failed to grab audiences.
Goodman's career began to build serious career momentum in the early 80s, however, when he landed a string of television and film appearances including a role on Eddie Macon's Run (1982) and Face of Rage (1983). In 1985, he starred as Pap Finn in the Tony-winning Broadway musical Big River, and stayed with the production until he was cast in his first sizable film role: the David Byrne comedy True Stories (1986). This led to a role in another quirky Southwestern feature, the Coen Brothers' cult-smash Raising Arizona (1987), in which Goodman starred with Nicolas Cage.
Goodman was acting in a 1987 stage production of Antony and Cleopatra in Los Angeles, when an ABC talent scout spotted him and recruited him for a role on a new television sitcom. The show Roseanne, starring comedian Roseanne Barr, focused on the ups-and-downs of a blue-collar, Midwestern family. Goodman was chosen to play the jovial, tough-loving father and the foil to Barr's role as the sarcastic, sharp-witted mother. The comedy was an overnight hit, and became a career-making move for Goodman. He was nominated for an Emmy seven times from 1989 to 1995, and earned a Best Actor Golden Globe Award in 1993.
Goodman also continued performing on the big screen, taking a co-starring role in the successful Steven Spielberg thriller, Arachnophobia (1990), the comedy King Ralph (1991) and Barton Fink (1991). He then received critical acclaim for his starring role in the biopic portrayal of The Babe (1992), about baseball legend Babe Ruth. In 1994, he appeared in the live-action version of The Flintstones across from comedian Rick Moranis, which became a blockbuster hit.
Goodman's star was on the rise, and he used his newfound fame to produce the made-for-TV biopic, Kingfish: A Story of Huey P. Long (1995), which earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special. His award streak continued with the TV remake of A Streetcar Named Desire, featuring co-stars Alec Baldwin and Jessica Lange, which earned his ninth Emmy nod.
During his 1995 hiatus from Roseanne, Goodman returned to the stage for a production of Shakespeare's Henry IV, followed by small roles in Pie in the Sky (1996) and Mother Night (1996). His growing film career led to his decision to leave Roseanne at the end of the eighth season.
His film career now moving in full force, Goodman appeared in The Borrowers (1997) and then appeared in another Coen Brothers film, The Big Lebowski (1997), which earned Goodman rave reviews from critics and audiences. He also appeared in the Blues Brothers remake Blues Brothers 2000 (1998), with Dan Aykroyd. He also appeared in another critically acclaimed Coen Brothers film, O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2001), a retelling of the Homer epic, Ulysses.
In addition to film and television, Goodman added voiceover work to his repertoire with 1993s We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story. The performance led to other voice roles, including the Disney films The Emperor's New Groove (2000), Monsters, Inc. (2001), The Jungle Book 2 (2003), and Cars (2006).
Goodman continued working steadily in film and television, including an appearance on the short-lived television drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006 - 2007) which earned him an Emmy nomination, and appearances in the Jerry Seinfeld animated film Bee Movie (2007), Speedracer (2008) and Confessions of a Shopaholic (2009).
Goodman met his wife, Annabeth Hartzog, in New Orleans while filming Everybody's All-American (1988). They married in October 1989, and the couple has a daughter named Molly Evangeline who was born August 31, 1990.