Many of us know John Goodman as the actor who played Dan Conner on the classic ABC sitcom Roseanne. But ever since the show was rebooted and reinvented as The Conners, Goodman has become more than the lovable patriarch—he’s the star of the series.
And have you noticed just how different he looks? The actor has seriously slimmed down since Roseanne’s original run ended in 1997—and it took more than a quick fix or crash diet to get there. Get the details on John Goodman’s weight loss journey. It’s a story that will inspire and motivate those who are in a similar situation.
John Goodman Once Tipped The Scales At Nearly 400 Lbs
Whether you’ve watched him on Roseanne or in any of his countless film roles (The Big Lebowski, The Flintstones, 10 Cloverfield Lane), John Goodman has always been known for his husky physique. But at some point in the 2000s, he decided that his size was a health hazard. In a 2010 interview with David Letterman, he confessed that he was “pushing 400 pounds… somewhere up around there.”
Goodman said his weight had yo-yoed in the past, and that he had no problem losing (and re-gaining) 60 pounds at a time. But it wasn’t exactly the healthiest cycle. He also joked that friends and family implored that he “lighten up” because his large frame was causing furniture to break.
“I just got sick and tired of looking at myself,” he told Peter Travers in 2016. When it was time to make lasting changes, Goodman had to confront a lifetime of bad habits—some of which were not related to food.
John Goodman Gave Up Alcohol In 2007
As Dan Conner, John Goodman convinced the world that he was a lovable teddy bear of a dad. But in reality, he struggled with alcoholism and drank on the job.
“My speech would be slurred; I thought I was fooling people,” Goodman said in a 2018 Sunday TODAY interview. “My cheeks would turn bright red when I was liquored up. I just looked like a stop sign.”
He hit bottom in 2007, just after winning an Emmy for his guest appearance on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
“I had to go accept an Emmy award,” he said. “So I missed the rehearsal because I was drunk. And then by the time Sunday morning rolled around I was shaking; I was still drinking, but I was still shaking. I had the clarity of thought that I needed to be hospitalized. I called my wife, which was like turning myself into the Gestapo. And she made some phone calls; we got me into a treatment center, and I detoxed there and decided I liked the feeling. And it’s been 10 years.”
His on-screen wife also knew about his struggles. In a 2018 interview with Howard Stern, Roseanne Barr described Goodman being “pretty bad on set.”
“It’s hard to watch,” Barr told Stern. “Me and John, we have a friendship off the show too. John has held my head when I was barfing in a bar. I drank too much too. I still do. I didn’t give up like John.”
“I was drinking at work and [Barr] was scared for me,” Goodman added. “I was ashamed of myself, but I couldn’t stop.”
Goodman attributes his weight to his drinking. “I was not only drinking alcoholically, I was eating alcoholically,” he told Hota Kotb in 2018. “Anytime I didn’t have something in my mouth, something was wrong.”
Once he got sober, the work of losing weight became a little bit easier. However, he still had to make other drastic changes to see results.
Did John Goodman Have Weight Loss Surgery?
Given his drastic weight loss, Goodman looks like someone who may have benefitted from gastric bypass or lap band surgery. However, he never relied on modern medicine for his new look.
His former costar is another story. In 1998, after tipping the scales at 350 pounds, Roseanne successfully underwent gastric bypass surgery. “I had my entire digestive system removed, so I should look thinner!” she said after the procedure.
The Mediterranean Diet And Exercise Has Been The Primary Reason For The Weight Loss
So how did John Goodman lose all that weight? Through good old-fashioned diet and exercise. He has stressed portion control in multiple interviews; the less he drank, the less he ate to the point of discomfort.
“I was just shoving everything into my mouth,” Goodman told AARP in January 2018. “But I don’t want to be an example to anybody when the weight comes thundering back on — when I start eating Crisco out of the can with a spoon and a side of confectioner’s sugar.”
However, it took the help of his personal trainer Mackie Shilstone to learn which kinds of foods would benefit him. Goodman relies on a Mediterranean diet, which Shilstone defines as “mostly plant-based, a lower intake of red meat, lots of fruits and vegetables, and highly driven by olive oil.”
He also works out six days a week. “Move, exercise,” Goodman told Peter Travers. “I’m getting to the age where I can’t afford to sit still anymore. It gives me the energy to work, because work is very draining.”
At the end of the day, Goodman has lost 100 pounds. And ever since he reprised his role as Dan Conner in 2018, he’s shown no signs of putting the weight back on. He seems to credit a 12-step philosophy for keeping him on the right path.
“I think you’re trying to fill a hole that can’t be filled unless it’s filled with goodness or some kind of spirituality—not to say religion,” he explained to Travers. “But instead of filling it with booze or cocaine or food, you just acknowledge that it’s there. You can’t fill it, and you go on.”