John Goodman is one of those actors that is up for just about any task you put in front of him. He's played characters as diverse as they can come. His larger than life presence is perfectly suited to larger-than-life characters. He became a household name in the late 1980s as the co-star of the long-running and beloved sitcom "Roseanne," which also starred comedienne Roseanne Barr. He's had memorable roles in many films, and is a favorite of the brilliant directing team of Joel and Ethan Coen, appearing in many of their best and most critically acclaimed films.
Today John is turning 60 years old, and we thought we could take a look back at his most memorable roles from his very noteworthy career.
Walter Sobchak in "The Big Lebowski" - If there is a role that is most closely identified with Goodman, it's that of the unhinged Vietnam War veteran Walter in the Coen's cult hit about mistaken identity, embezzlement and bowling, "The Big Lebowski." Easily one of his most quotable performances, John has the uncanny ability to make you laugh hysterically while Walter is completely melting down or exploding in a violent rage. There is no one else in the history of cinema who could have played this character even one-tenth as well as Goodman did.
Sulley in "Monsters, Inc." - Sure, it's an animated film, but that doesn't mean Goodman wasn't his typically talented self. He shares many scenes with funny man Billy Crystal, and the two have great chemistry throughout the whole film, which is Pixar's tale of a society of monsters coping with an emerging energy crisis, Goodman plays the main character Sulley. He's a big, furry, loyal, loving and open-minded monster who befriends a small girl, and Goodman's signature gruff voice suited the character perfectly. Pixar plans to release a prequel next year called "Monsters University."
Big Dan Teague in "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" The Coens and Goodman go together like peanut butter and jelly. This film is a retelling of the famous poem "The Odyssey" by Homer, but set in the 1930s in the deep south. Goodman plays the part of the cyclops, but in this version, he's simply got an eye patch. What makes him so talented as an actor is that he can play both good and bad characters, and you love him just the same. In "O Brother" he's as dastardly and despicable as they come, but you still can't help but love watching him terrorize George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson.
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