Roseanne Barr Had 'Few Nervous Breakdowns' During Show's First Run

Roseanne was one of the most-watched shows in America during its original run, but the pressure took a toll on its star.

During an interview for Thursday's 20/20 special Roseanne: The Return, series star Roseanne Barr admitted fame took a toll on comedian's mental health.

"I fought too much... and too hard, and some of them I shouldn't even have been involved in having those fights," Barr said. "But, you know it was all just one big fight, and that's how it felt."

"I had several nervous breakdown but, unfortunately no one noticed," she continued.

The actress admitted that she had a few nervous breakdowns and that she was hospitalized several times earlier in her career, also saying that she found fame to be difficult at times.

"This time around I am 65... thank God I have social security now so I don't have to worry.

For the reboot, however, she's letting others fight the battles.

During the special, Barr revealed that when she was approached by Sara Gilbert — who played Darlene Conner-Healy in the series — about the revival, she passed the fighting baton on to her.

"I came with a list of things that I would have to have in order to do it," Barr said. "I have a lot anxiety, I don't bear stress well at 65. I can't be at odds with anybody anymore, too old. And she [Gilbert] said 'I can do it' so I said, O.K., do it!"

"Three weeks later we had a deal at ABC," she added.

During the special, cast and producers of the beloved ABC sitcom revealed that a feud between Barr and series creator Matt Williams put the show in jeopardy way back in season one.

"I remember he threw over a table and chairs and said, 'I am not a scribe,'" Barr said.

Tensions grew higher after the pilot premiered and Barr noticed Williams was credited as the sole creator of the show, and at a time where women did not have much power in Hollywood there was not much she could do about it.

"People told me that he was keeping a list of all the offensive things I did so that he could replace me, and it included belching and things like that," Barr said laughing.

In the end, Williams left the series over creative differences, moving on to create the hit show Home Improvement with Tim Allen.


"I knew I would have the last word and I always did," Barr said.

Roseanne will be back with all new episodes Tuesday, March 27, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.