'Roseanne's' Becky and DJ mark show's 25th anniversary

By KAREN BUTLER, United Press International  |  Oct. 17, 2013 at 8:58 PM
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NEW YORK, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Lecy Goranson and Michael Fishman, who starred in "Roseanne," say they still frequently run into people from all walks of life eager to tell them how much they love the classic Illinois-set sitcom.

The pair played siblings Becky and DJ Conner on the program about a close-knit, working-class family.

Starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman as parents Roseanne and Dan Conner, and Sara Gilbert as their middle child Darlene, the show premiered on ABC Oct. 18, 1988 and ran for nine seasons until May 20, 1997.

The series has gained more popularity through the syndication of reruns and sales of DVD collections.

"I was doing a play near Times Square and there was this really big, tall, African-American guy who met me in the island right between the streets and he was like: 'Hey, you... Of all the characters [on 'Roseanne,'] I identified with your character the most," Goranson, now 39 and a popular off-Broadway actress, told United Press International in a recent joint phone interview with Fishman. "I thought that was so interesting. It just says it all. Whatever role in your family that you have. It's not about race or gender."

Asked if it feels strange to be talking about the show so many years after they stopped making fresh episodes of it, Fishman said, "We all have other projects and things that we work on, so we don't talk about it as much [as one might think,] but it's always been so successful.

"I think fans really love the show," added the 31-year-old actor and screenwriter. "I find there are a lot of people who grew up with the show who now are having their kids watch the show, so it has this whole new life with younger people. ... A lot of questions I get via Twitter come from them. It's interesting to see a lot of people still have a passion for it."

Both Goranson and Fishman admitted watching episodes of "Roseanne" is a bit of a bizarre experience, given how they basically grew up before the cameras during the show's run.

Goranson emphasized she didn't binge-watch DVDs to prepare for the interviews she has been doing to mark the 25th anniversary of "Roseanne," but added: "When I just happen upon it on TV, it seems really surreal. It's like a different world.

"For me, I have been watching. I tried to go back and re-watch and kind of see where my memories were different [from what appears on the screen,]" Fishman said. "Looking back now, I find myself stopping when it's on because it's kind of like home videos in a way and now watching all the shows as an adult with kids I kind of re-connect with it in a new way. So, that part's exciting and then I remember a lot of the stuff that was going on behind the scenes at the time, so it's definitely an interesting experience."

So, who from the cast have Goranson and Fishman stayed in touch with over the years?

"For me, it's Estelle Parsons," Goranson said, referring to the actress who played her maternal grandmother in the show. "She lives in New York and we're pretty tight. And Laurie Metcalf [who played Becky's Aunt Jackie] I see because she has been doing a lot of theater here in New York and we have mutual friends.

"I see Roseanne quite a bit. I talk to her pretty frequently and then John and I have been talking -- mostly via online -- he's reached out to me in the last couple of years and he's been really, really kind. I've been lucky because I've been able to keep in contact. I drop by 'The Talk' from time to time to say, 'Hi,' to Sara Gilbert. So, I try to keep in touch."

In honor of the show's 25th anniversary, WE tv said it will air a marathon of fan-favorite episodes from all nine seasons of the show Friday from 10 a.m. ET until 5 p.m. ET.

The cable network will continue to air "Roseanne" weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

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