In terms of family sitcoms, Roseanne sets the bar pretty high. The show premiered on ABC in 1988, and audiences across the US quickly became obsessed with Roseanne Barr's honest and charming portrayal of the American working class family. While Roseanne may be Barr's largest claim to fame, there are things you didn't know about Roseanne Barr that make her anything but your typical sitcom actress.
Roseanne Barr stories are anything but ordinary. The comedian, activist, and nut farmer (yes, you read that correctly) has never played by the rules and has ruffled some feathers since her network debut. She has no qualms sharing her opinions, whether they be on the legalization of cannabis or her feelings on mental health issues. She is unfiltered, unapologetic, and unabashedly herself.
Barr has both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work on Roseanne. The eagerly anticipated revival of Roseanne in 2018 meant fans around the world were looking forward to spending more time with the Conner family before everything went off the rails. ABC ended up suspending the show because of an overtly racist Tweet she sent out in 2018.
Her Life Was Nearly Destroyed Due To Her National Anthem Performance
Many Americans saw Barr's horrific National Anthem performance as a mockery to the country. Her crotch grab and spit at the end of the song, which was supposed to be a comedic moment, only made matters much worse. The fallout for Barr was nothing short of devastating. When asked by The Washington Post if she regretted singing that day, she responded with all negative ways her performance had affected her life:
“Do I regret that the next day all of my projects were canceled and I had to have LAPD stand on my roof and protect my life and my kids for two years? Do I regret not being able to go out in public for about one full year without being spit on-in restaurants, [in a] 7-Eleven? Do I regret Rolling Stone selling t-shirts with my picture in the middle of a gun target during Desert Storm? Do I regret that every ‘feminist’ in Hollywood ran the other way when they saw me at Hollywood functions, to avoid taking a picture with me?"
She Suffered A Traumatic Brain Injury When She Was 16 Years Old
Barr suffered a traumatic brain injury after being hit by a car as a teenager. According to Barr, the hood ornament went "right through [her] skull," and she fell to the cement; the car then proceeded to drag her. Barr was immediately taken to the Utah State Hospital, and she fell into a coma. She spent eight months at the hospital, slowly recovering from auditory hallucinations and other mental health issues inflicted on her by the accident.
She Gave Up Her Daughter For Adoption But The Pair Reunited For An Emotional Reunion
Once Roseanne shot Barr into the zeitgeist in 1988, tabloids began digging into her past. Barr told People a tabloid had found her daughter whom she had given up for adoption when she was a teenager. Barr was livid with the invasion of privacy, as she explained in People:
"They had gotten hold of the birth certificate of the baby girl I bore out of wedlock and gave up for adoption after nine days in Denver when I was 18. I was so pissed off. I had left information allowing her to find me when she turned 21. I had even told my own kids about the adoption a year earlier because I knew she was 17 and might try to find me."
Barr said she did not want to give up her daughter for adoption, but she was only a teenager at the time with no money or support from her parents. However, she claims she always knew she would reunite with her daughter, Brandi.
She Lives On A 50-Acre Macadamia Nut Farm In HawaiiPhoto: Roseanne's Nuts/Lifetime
Barr owns a 50-acre macadamia nut farm just outside of Hilo, HI. She purchased the property in 2007 and lives there with her boyfriend, writer/musician Johnny Argent, and her son, Jake. When she isn't working, she spends her time harvesting macadamia nuts from one of the 2,000 trees on her property and harvesting honey from beehives.
The funny lady has been quoted as saying she "always knew she would wind up living on a nut farm." In 2011, Barr had a reality show centering around her family life on the farm called Roseanne's Nuts. The Lifetime show only lasted one season spanning 16 episodes.