Tom Arnold

Active - 1989 - 2015  |   Born - Mar 6, 1959 in Ottumwa, Iowa, United States  |   Died - Feb 2, 1969 in London, England  |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography

Brash, bullyish American comic actor Tom Arnold held down a number of "Joe" jobs after college--meat packer, box stacker, bartender, bouncer--before giving stand-up comedy at try. He was very funny in a blunt sort of way, but did not really make it big until his notorious union with comedienne Roseanne Barr in 1990. At the behest of his powerful spouse, who featured him as a semi-regular on her smash hit ABC sitcom Roseanne and made him a producer, Tom starred in two expensive network sitcoms, playing an obnoxious TV comedy star in one (The Jackie Thomas Show) and a standard-issue "lovable dad" in the other (Tom). Despite the strenuous efforts of Roseanne's production staff, neither program clicked with the public, though Arnold proved in both instances that he had the talent to stand on his own without the input of his wife.

The Roseanne/Tom marriage went down in flames in 1993, with scorching and libelous incriminations from both parties. Industry pundits predicted that Tom Arnold was washed up, but he confounded his enemies with a well-received performance as a gregarious secret agent in the blockbuster Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle True Lies (1994). He then did a memorable turn in the Hugh Grant vehicle Nine Months (1995). Subsequently, Arnold has steadily worked in a number of decidedly mediocre films including the roundly panned McHales Navy (1997) in which he played the role created by Ernest Borgnine for his mid-1960s television series of the same name.

Over the next several years, Arnold's film roles primarily consisted of straight-to-video comedies like National Lampoon's Golf Punks and Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th, but in 2001 he became one of the hosts of Fox Sports' The Best Damn Sports Show Period. The talk-show became one of the network's most popular series with Arnold remaining on full-time for four years and continuing to make guest appearances thereafter.

After leaving The Best Damn Sports Show, Arnold tried his hand at screenwriting with the 2005 comedy The Kid & I, which he also produced and starred in. The film failed to excite critics or audiences, but that same year, Arnold turned in an impressive and rare dramatic performance in the indie dramedy Happy Endings.

In 2007, Arnold could be seen in supporting roles in two sports dramas, Pride and The Final Season. He continued to work steadily in projects such as The Great Buck Howard, National Lampoon's Stoned Age, Restitution, and the romantic drama One Day. In 2012 he appeared in Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection, and the Dax Shepard directed action comedy Hit and Run. He had a regular role on the Yahoo series Sin City Saints in 2015.

Movie Highlights

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Factsheet

  • Once pulled fat from the innards of pigs while working at an Iowa meatpacking plant.
  • Was a producer on Roseanne when it won the 1993 Golden Globe for Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy.
  • Invested $16 million with then-wife Roseanne in upscale housing and a restaurant (Tom's Big Food Diner) in Eldon, IA. After their divorce, the restaurant closed and the property was given to a foundation started by Arnold's college.
  • Won the Worst Actor prize at the 1996 Razzies for the big-screen dud Big Bully; had to share the award with PaulyShore for the latter's performance in Bio-Dome.
  • Launched www.marrytom.com to invite applicants for his next marriage shortly after his divorce from Roseanne.
  • Actor Dax Shepard was the best man for his wedding to Ashley Groussman in 2009.