Roseanne Barr shattered stereotypes of femininity and motherhood with her raunchy, iconoclastic comedy. Barr left home for Colorado in 1970, married Bill Pentland in 1974, and had three children while working as a waitress to earn money. She began performing standup in Denver in 1980, soon graduating to the Los Angeles Comedy Store and, in 1985, the Tonight show. In 1988, she debuted the hit sitcom Roseanne, at a time when sitcom families were rich or middle-class and sitcom mothers were either working professionals or domestic goddesses, not blue-collar housewives or workers. On Roseanne, Barr struggled to pay the bills, laughed at the idea of doing housework, and both loved and made fun of her children. The show’s earthy humor won Barr Emmy and Golden Globe awards in 1993. After Roseanne ended in 1997, Barr created a talk show called The Roseanne Show in 1998 and a short-lived reality series, The Real Roseanne Show, in 2003. She returned to stand-up comedy in 2005 while continuing to act and do voice work for movies and television. In 2012 she ran for president as the Peace and Freedom Party’s nominee. As of 2015, she has written three books and a blog.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Roseanne." (Viewed on January 22, 2020) <https://jwa.org/people/barr-roseanne>.
Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.