Sandra Bernhard, Estelle Parsons Reprising Queer Roles In “Roseanne” Reboot

Welcome back, Nancy and Beverly!

Two Roseanne fan favorites have officially signed on for ABC’s revival, TVLine reports. Sandra Bernhard and Estelle Parsons will reprise their roles in the iconic sitcom’s upcoming 10th season.

It was previously confirmed that the series will reunite most of its original cast, including Roseanne Barr, John Goodman, Sara Gilbert, Laurie Metcalf, Johnny Galecki, Michael Fishman, Lecy Goranson, and Sarah Chalke.

Sources say that Parsons, 90, is set to appear in two of the revival’s nine episodes, while Bernhard, 62, will appear in one.

Parsons played Beverly Harris, mother of Roseanne (Barr) and Jackie (Metcalf). Bernhard played Nancy Bartlett, a close friend of the sisters.

One of the first lesbian recurring characters on an American sitcom, Nancy came out during the series and had girlfriends played by Morgan Fairchild and Mariel Hemingway. (Nancy later identified as bisexual.) Beverly also came out as a lesbian during the show’s final season.


The 1994 episode “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” stirred up controversy for its inclusion of a kiss between Roseanne and Hemmingway’s character, Sharon, at a lesbian bar. It was one of the first same-sex kisses in primetime television.

The groundbreaking series also featured a wedding for Roseanne’s former boss Leon (Martin Mull) and his boyfriend Scott (Fred Willard).

During her reflective narration in the show’s 1997 series finale, Roseanne revealed that it was actually Jackie, not Beverly, who was a lesbian. It’s unclear to what extent that revisionist finale will affect the revival.


Gilbert, who played Roseanne’s tomboy daughter, Darlene, came out publicly in 2010. She revealed on The Talk that she first came to terms with her sexuality while dating co-star Galecki. 

It was announced earlier this year that Darlene’s youngest child, Mark (newcomer Ames McNamara), will be “gender-creative.”

Barr is executive producer of the Roseanne revival, along with Tom Werner and Bruce Helford, who co-produced the show’s original run from 1988 to 1997.

#Roseanne is coming back to ABC in 2018! Here’s a look at the first table read!

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The new season of Roseanne is scheduled to premiere in 2018.

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