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“Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning I was a Jew; Sunday afternoon, Tuesday afternoon, and Wednesday afternoon we were Mormons,” says Roseanne Barr, who brought a working-class sensibility to television with her comedy series, Roseanne, between 1988 and 1997. Barr was born in Salt Lake City on this date in 1952, and her childhood was filled with both Jewish and Mormon connections (although both her parents were Jews). She was a popular stand-up comic before her show was launched, and its very funny honesty about the trials of motherhood, marriage, making a living, being a strong woman, and keeping sane in the face of sexism and working-class wages made her a huge star (and earned her both an Emmy and a Golden Globe Award as Best Actress). Barr has written three autobiographical books, run for president with the Peace and Freedom Party, produced and/or acted in several films and television shows, studied at the Kabbalah Centre, aroused controversy with various public statements, and hosted her own TV talk show. The arc of her career, however, has been similar to Jerry Seinfeld’s: Nothing has yet come close to the public impact of their breakout sitcoms.
“I’m tired of watching as men destroy all the world. Everything used to be beautiful when women were in charge, and now I, working as the physical manifestation of the goddess Isis and the reincarnation of Cleopatra, have decided to save the world.” —Roseanne Barr