Best known for his roles in the long-running show Rosseane and the film The Big Lebowski, John Goodman is a fan-favorite.
During the ’80s, he appeared in a number of movies, including Big River (1985), Raising Arizona (1987), and Antony and Cleopatra (1987), but it was his role of Dan Conner in Roseanne that turned him into a star practically overnight.
Back in the day, Goodman told People how he loved the role. “He’s like a lot of guys I know. In the wintertime they don’t work because construction is sporadic. I don’t want to have to stand for the American workingman, but if this guy’s gonna be one, I’d rather have him be semi-intelligent, not a dumb beast who sucks down beer all day.”
In addition to his TV and movie roles, Goodman has lent his voice to a number of characters, including shows like American Dad!, The Simpsons, Cars, The Princess and the Frog, and The Emperor’s New Groove.
Speaking of the fame he experienced, the actor said that he never really dreamed of being famous, all he ever wanted was to act. “I’m apprehensive about fame,” he told People. “I’ve known people whom it bothers a great deal, and I’m kind of a shy person. Lately people are starting to put my face with my name, instead of thinking I’m either somebody they went to high school with or did time with.”
However, there were times throughout the years when he struggled to find job, which led to severe drinking problems. Sadly, the heavy drinking resulted in depression and other mental health struggles for the actor.
When he recalls the filming of Rosseane, Goodman says he remembers drinking on set.
“At first it was exciting,” he told Today. “Then it got frightening when I lost my anonymity. I got complacent and ungrateful. And after nine years—eight years, I wanted to leave the show,” he continued. “I handled it like I did everything else, by sittin’ on a bar stool. And that made it worse.”
He was first diagnosed with depression in 2007, the same year when he first entered rehab. Luckily, he managed to stay sober ever since.
Speaking of his depression, The Big Lebowski star described it as a “chemical issue, a brain thing,” which manifests as “wide unhappiness with everything.”
As part of his journey of staying sober and leading a more healthy life, Goodman also lost a significant amount of weight.
There were rumors that he had undergone a bariatric surgery, but the actor denied those rumors and said he managed to change his physical appearance with the help of fitness guru and personal trainer Mackie Shilstone.
Goodman lost over 100 lbs, but says the process was a long one. “This didn’t happen overnight — it’s been an ongoing process,” Shilstone told New York Post. There needs to be strategic planning. This time, he really wanted to do it.”
Shilstone spoke of Goodman and said that he actor turned to the Mediterranean diet, which is “primarily plant-based, with a decreased intake of red meat, lots of fruits and vegetables, and strongly driven by olive oil.”
In addition to a more healthier diet, Goodman started exercising six days a week.
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