John Stephen Goodman (born June 20, 1952) is an American actor who is known for his comedic and dramatic roles. Early in his career, he was best known for playing Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne (1988â"1997), for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1993. He is also a regular collaborator with the Coen brothers on such films as Raising Arizona (1987), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), and Inside Llewyn Davis (2013).
Goodman's voice roles include Pacha in The Emperor's New Groove (2000), and Sulley in Monsters, Inc. (2001) and Monsters University (2013).
His other film performances include lead roles in The Babe (1992) and The Flintstones (1994) and supporting roles in The Artist (2011), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), Argo (2012), Flight (2012), and The Hangover Part III (2013). On television, he has had regular roles on Amazon Studios' Alpha House and on the first season of HBO's Treme, and has been one of the most frequent hosts of Saturday Night Live. John Heilpern of Vanity Fair has called him "among our very finest actors."
Early life and education
Goodman was born in St. Louis, Missouri on June 20, 1952. His father, Leslie Francis Goodman, was a postal worker who died of a heart attack when Goodman was two years old; his mother, Virginia Roos (nÃ©e Loosmore), was a retail store associate and waitress at Jack and Phil's Bar-B-Que, and took in laundry to support the family. He has a sister, Elisabeth Horvath, and a brother, Leslie. He is of Irish, English, Welsh, and German ancestry.
Goodman went to Affton High School, where he played football and dabbled in theater. He earned a football scholarship to Missouri State University (then-called Southwest Missouri State University, or, "SMS") in Springfield, Missouri. He pledged to Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity but did not join until several years later. He discovered the drama program, and studied there with future Hollywood stars Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper. He remains close to his school friends.
After an injury ended his college football career, Goodman decided to become a professional actor and left Missouri for New York City in 1975. With a small bankroll from his brother, Goodman found an apartment on Ninth Avenue and 51st Street near Manhattan's Theater District and unsuccessfully tried to make money as a bartender and waiter. However, he eventually found modest success in voice-overs, commercials, and plays. He was the person who slapped himself (uttering the famous tagline, "Thanks... I needed that!") in an iconic TV ad for Skin Bracer by Mennen. Goodman also performed off-Broadway and in dinner theatres, before landing character roles in films during the early 1980s.
In 1985, Goodman originated the role of Pap Finn in Big River. For his role, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Best Featured Actor in a Musical; he is also featured on the Original Broadway Cast Recording. 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 series' "First Guest Medal" (Goodman joked he would pawn the medal for a bottle of cheap Scotch). Goodman has hosted NBC's Saturday Night Live 13 times, while also making seven cameo appearances as Linda Tripp during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and cameoing on the season 28 finale hosted by former SNL cast member Dan Aykroyd. With little to no prior experience in TV comedy, Goodman auditioned to be a cast member for Jean Doumanian's tumultuous 1980â"1981 SNL season, and was rejected, along with up-and-coming comedians Jim Carrey, Paul Reubens, and Robert Townsend.
In 1982, Goodman started landing movie roles, beginning with a small role in Eddie Macon's Run. During this period he continued to work on the stage, starring in Big River from 1985 to 1987. Before landing his big break into movies in 1986, with a significant comedic role in True Stories, he had a brief cameo as Otis in Sweet Dreams. In the former film, his character Louis Fyne memorably utters the line: "I'm 6' 3" and maintain a consistent panda bear shape", establishing his trademark size as an important part of many characters he would later play on film and stage - and in the latter film, he plays the `guy who sold Patsy's husband the car' he would destroy in the Demolition Derby.
He is also known for his role as the head football coach for Adams College in the movie Revenge of the Nerds. In 1997, John Goodman was added to the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
Goodman first worked with the Coen Brothers on Raising Arizona (1987). He would go on to appear in their films Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). In 2011, it was announced he would return to working with them on Inside Llewyn Davisâ"his fifth film with them and his first for a decade. Only Steve Buscemi has appeared in more Coen works (six films), though Frances McDormand and Jon Polito have also appeared in five of their films.
Goodman is most famous for his role as Dan Conner on Roseanne.
Goodman had guest roles on the Aaron Sorkin television dramas The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In the former he appeared in four episodes, playing Speaker of the House and eventual acting president Glen Allen Walken. In the latter, he appeared as Pahrump, Nevada Judge Robert Bebe, earning a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor â" Drama Series for his performance. In addition, Goodman starred as Fred Flintstone in the film adaptation of The Flintstones.
He voiced Robot Santa in the character's first appearance on Futurama. Beginning in 2007, Goodman has been the voiceover in Dunkin' Donuts commercials. In 2000, Goodman provided the voice of Pacha in The Emperor's New Groove and, a year later, the voice of Sulley in Monsters, Inc. In 2009, Goodman voiced "Big Daddy" La Bouff The Princess and the Frog. Goodman's voice can also be heard on an automated message system at Lambert St. Louis International airport.
In theater, Goodman played the Ghost of Christmas Present in the 2008 Kodak Theatre production of A Christmas Carol, starring Christopher Lloyd as Ebenezer Scrooge. He played the role of Pozzo in a Studio 54 revival of the play Waiting for Godot, opposite Bill Irwin and Nathan Lane. John Heilpern of Vanity Fair called it "the greatest Pozzo I've ever seen."
In 2011, Goodman was a guest star on the third season of Community. He also voiced a character in RAGE voicing Dan Hagar, and played movie studio chief Al Zimmer in the Academy Awardâ"winning live action film The Artist, as well as Best Picture nominee Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close the same year. Also in 2011, Goodman starred in Kevin Smith's foray into horror in Red State playing ATF Agent Joseph Keenan. In February 2012, it was reported that Goodman would reunite with Roseanne Barr for a new NBC pilot titled Downwardly Mobile. The series would have had Goodman portray a bachelor mechanic and all-around clown as a resident in a trailer park and would have used the standard multiple-camera setup traditionally found in sitcoms; however, the series' option wasn't picked up by the network. Other prominent roles include performances in Flight (2012) and The Monuments Men (2014). With his well-received supporting roles in The Artist (2012) and Argo (2013), Goodman accomplished the rare feat of appearing in back-to-back winners of the Academy Award for Best Picture.
On August 10, 2013, Goodman was inducted as a Disney Legend.
In 2013, Goodman received rave reviews for his performance as North Carolina Senator Gil John Biggs in Amazon's Alpha House, a political comedy written by Garry Trudeau. The show centers around Goodman's character, a retired UNC basketball coach, and three other Republican senators living in a house on Capitol Hill. Goodman has spent the summer of 2014 shooting Season Two.
Goodman has long resided in New Orleans, 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. At one time, he was slated to play the role of Ignatius Reilly, the main character of 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. The Princess and the Frog where he lent his voice as Eli "Big Daddy" La Bouff also takes place in New Orleans. Goodman was featured in Treme. Treme focuses on a group of interconnected people trying to rebuild their lives in postâ"Hurricane Katrina New Orleans. Goodman played Creighton Bernette, a Tulane English professor.
In 2010, Goodman appeared in a commercial to raise awareness for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Also starring in the commercial were Sandra Bullock, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Jack Del Rio, Drew Brees, Emeril Lagasse, James Carville, and Blake Lively.
Goodman and his wife, Anna Beth, live in New Orleans. As of October 2013, their daughter, Molly Evangeline Goodman is 23 and in film school.
In a 2009 interview, Goodman was open about his alcoholism, saying, "I don't know how much the old Jackie Daniel's 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." In October 2012, he said, "If I'd picture in my mind a drinkâ"usually straight out of the bottleâ"I couldn't not do it." While acting in plays, "I'd have the shakes so bad I'd have to have a drink to get through the show. I'm lucky I never got fired." Eventually, he "bottomed out." Goodman has been sober since 2007, and tries to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting every morning. By August 2010, Goodman had lost 100 pounds. He has stated that exercising and keeping a journal of food he consumed are what helped him keep the weight off.
In 2009, Goodman retired from theatre after performing the role of Pozzo in Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot at the Roundabout Theatre Company.
Awards and nominations
- John Goodman at the Internet Movie Database
- John Goodman at the Internet Broadway Database
- St. Louis Walk of Fame
- John Goodman at Emmys.com