The original Roseanne might have become known for its depiction of a working family in Middle America, but it still attracted glitzy Hollywood stars during its original run. Some were just on the cusp of fame, while others were already famous when they appeared on Roseanne.
Roseanne debuted on ABC in 1988 and ended in 1997 before a two-decade hiatus that ended last month. Like any series that lasted as long as Roseanne, it features plenty of surprising appearances.
If you are interested in going back to the original Roseanne, you can stream episodes on Amazon Prime. The Paramount Network is also running a marathon, starting on Tuesday, April 18.
We all know about George Clooney, but here is a look at eight other surprising celebrity appearances on Roseanne you likely forgot about.
Photo credit: ABC
As Entertainment Weekly points out, Leonardo DiCaprio made a pre-fame appearance in season three as a student in Darlene's (Sara Gilbert) home-ec class. It was a non-speaking part, so you cannot be blamed for missing him. DiCaprio would later star on Growing Pains before landing his breakthrough film role in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). By the end of the 1990s, he was one of the biggest stars on the planet thanks to Titanic (1997).
Tobey Maguire's appearance on Roseanne came in 1991, during the same season as his friend DiCaprio's. He had a couple of lines as Barry, a boy Darlene had a crush on, in the episode "Valentine's Day." In 2002, Maguire would find international stardom as Spider-Man in Sam Raimi's trilogy.
Long before Eric Dane was McSteamy on Grey's Anatomy, he played a bellhop in the 1996 episode "Disney World War II." In the season eight episode, he helped the Conners get settled into their hotel room. Dane later starred in Charmed, X-Men: The Last Stand, Burlesque and The Last Ship.
Long before that one time at band camp, Alyson Hannigan appeared in the 1990 episode "Like, a New Job" in season three. She played one of Becky's (Lecy Goranson) friends who go to the diner where Roseanne got a job. Those who know Hannigan's work from How I Met Your Mother and American Pie (1999) might be surprised to know that she started her career in the late 1980s. She starred on a short-lived 1989-1990 sitcom called Free Spirit.
A few years before Third Rock from the Sun, Joseph Gordon-Levitt appeared in four Roseanne episodes, from 1993 to 1995. He played George, one of D.J.'s friends. After Third Rock ended, Gordon-Levitt would find roles in (500) Days of Summer (2009), Inception (2010), The Dark Knight Rises (2012) and Snowden (2016).
In season seven, Ellen DeGeneres stopped by to play Dr. Whitman, a marriage counselor Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) forced Fred (Michael O'Keefe) to see. At the time, DeGeneres was already starring in her own sitcom, Ellen. Today, DeGeneres is everyone's favorite talkshow host and a three-time Golden Globe nominee.
Neil Patrick Harris certainly was no unknown star even when he appeared on Roseanne in 1992. By that point, Doogie Howser, M.D. had already been on for a couple years. He played Dr. Doogie Howser in the episode "Less is More" in season four. Today, Harris is a four-time Golden Globe nominee and a five-time Emmy winner. He stars on Netflix's A Series of Unfortunate Events.
At the very end of season of the season one episode "Dear Mom and Dad," which aired in April 1989, Bruce Willis made an uncredited cameo, slinking into Roseanne's bed in place of John Goodman! At the time, Willis was best known on TV for Moonlighting, but he also made Die Hard the year before. Willis was most recently seen in Death Wish (2018).