Roseanne famously recast the role of older daughter Becky Conner after season 5, then brought the original actress back. Here’s why the studio did so.
roseanne famously recast the role of older daughter Becky Conner after season 5, then brought the original actress back, and here’s why. Even by the 1990s when Becky’s roseanne recast happened, TV recastings, even on major shows, weren’t a rare or new occurrence. One of the most famous examples is the recasting of husband Darrin on the 1960s sitcom Bewitched, with actor Dick Sargent replacing original cast member Dick York. It would seem Hollywood was overflowing with actors named Dick at the time.
The phenomenon makes sense, as TV shows – hopefully – run for a number of years, in some cases even decades. Networks are rarely keen to give up on a show bringing in viewers and profits, but at the same time, actors can get sick of playing the same character, and decide that they want out. When the powers that be want more of a show, but an actor no longer wants to participate, a recasting is a natural solution. Either that or create a new similar character to fill the void.
With that in mind, roseanne‘s Becky actress leaving and being replaced might not have been too big a deal in the grand scheme, had things played out normally. Instead, Roseanne ended up playing a game of musical Beckys, with fans never knowing for sure who they would see on a particular episode.
Roseanne’s Becky Actress Switch Explained
Actress Lecy Goranson originated the role of Becky Conner and played her for the entirety of roseanne seasons 1-4, and part of season 5. In 1992, at age 18, Goranson decided she wanted to attend Vassar College. To accommodate her request, roseanne‘s producers eventually opted to write Becky out of the show via a storyline in which she ran off and eloped with boyfriend Mark Healy, played by the late Glenn Quinn. During season 6, though, the roseanne brain trust wanted to bring back Becky and Mark as full-time characters, and Goranson’s school commitments wouldn’t allow that. The result was a recasting of Becky’s role de ella with future scrubs star Sarah Chalke.
Chalke played Becky for most of roseanne season 6 and all of season 7, and while the change was jarring at first, most fans ended up accepting Chalke into the roseanne Familia. That’s why it was all the stranger when Goranson returned as Becky in season 8, but not in a full-time capacity. When Goranson’s college schedule permitted, she would appear on roseanne, and when it didn’t Chalke would play Becky instead. To the show’s credit, it urned this musical chairs-esque casting situation into an opportunity for laughs about roseanne‘s two Beckys, cracking jokes alluding to Becky’s changing appearance, and having Roseanne ask Chalke’s Becky if she was glad she was there “this week” during an episode where the Conners went to Walt Disney World.
roseanne also did a credits gag in which a grown-up DJ (played by John Goodman), has had a mental breakdown due to no one else realizing that there are two Beckys. Goranson decided not to return for roseanne‘s ninth – and originally final – season, allowing Chalke to play Becky full-time again. Goranson did come back decades later, however, when it was time for the roseanne revival. In the reboot, Chalke was cast in a different role, with jokes again made about their resemblance.
What The Original Becky Is Up To Now
Goranson continues to play Becky on the roseanne spinoffseries, The Conners, which is her most notable recent project. Closer to the time of the original roseanne‘s final season, Goranson had significant film roles as Candace in Boys Don’t Cry (1995) and Myra in Love, Ludlow (2005). More recently, Goranson has also appeared in the films Hurricane Bianca: From Russia With Hate in 2018 and buck run in 2019, occupying more minor roles in both. Given that she’s been reprising her most recognizable part of her as Becky Conner-Healy on The Conners since 2018, it makes sense that Goranson’s other projects have been smaller and more spread apart. With The Conners season 4 still going strong and Chalke now better known for scrubs and Rick & Morty than for roseanneit seems that Goranson has cemented her claim to the title of Becky Conner for good.
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