1. Early in his career, he was best known for playing Dan Conner on the ABC TV series Roseanne , for which he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in 1993.
2. John Heilpern of Vanity Fair has called him “among our very finest actors”.
3. Goodman went to Affton High School, where he played football and dabbled in theater.
4. He earned a football scholarship to Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. He pledged to Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity but did not join until several years later.
5. He discovered the drama program and studied there with future Hollywood stars Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper.
6. 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 near the Theater District and unsuccessfully tried to make money as a bartender and waiter.
7. However, he eventually found modest success in voice-overs, commercials, and plays.
8. He was the person who slapped himself (uttering the famous tagline, “Thanks…
9. I needed that!”) in an iconic television ad for Skin Bracer by Mennen.
10. In 1985, Goodman originated the role of Pap Finn in Big River.
11. 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.
12. During this period he continued to work on the stage, starring in Big River from 1985 to 1987.
13. 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.
14. He is also known for his role as the head football coach for Adams College in the movie Revenge of the Nerds.
15. In 1997, Goodman was added to the St. Louis Walk of Fame.
16. He would go on to appear in their films Barton Fink , though Frances McDormand and Jon Polito have also appeared in five of their films.
17. Goodman had guest roles on the Aaron Sorkin television dramas The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
18. In the former he appeared in four episodes, playing Speaker of the House and eventual acting president Glen Allen Walken.