David Healy is the boyfriend, and then later, the husband of Darlene Conner-Healy. He appears in 93 episodes of Roseanne from Seasons 4–10. The part of David is played by Johnny Galecki, who currently co-stars in the CBS-TV sitcom series The Big Bang Theory. Twenty-One years later, He reprised his role for one episode of Season 10 and again in the spin-off series entitled The Conners.
David is the husband of Darlene, as well as the father of Harris Conner Healy. He is the younger brother of Mark Healy and the brother-in-law to Becky Healy, D.J. and Jerry Conner. He is the son-in-law to Roseanne and Dan Conner. David's first appearance was in "The Bowling Show", when he is asked to babysit D.J., who David sent to bed because he was being annoying; initially, his rather ragged outfit and surly attitude make him seem similar to Mark, though his tone changes entirely when he meets Darlene. His first name is believed to be Kevin, that Darlene made up the name "David".
He is shown as a main character in the seasons to come. David's character is gradually shown to be shy, sweet, very polite and witty, although at times quite passive and can be completely dominated like with Darlene and his brother Mark. He has had trouble with women in the past, because he is a milquetoast, which usually ends up with Mark getting the girl instead of David. In contrast to Mark's tough-guy image and dim-wittedness, David is sensitive and quite intelligent; he is a talented graphic artist, although he ultimately never made it to college and barely graduated from high school. David found it odd when he found out that Darlene's sister was married to his brother, meaning he was dating his brother's sister-in-law. A running gag was that the other characters would tease David for his sensitivity and interests outside the traditional masculine sphere, especially his brother Mark and the more masculine women.
He is also regularly teased for the fact that Darlene easily dominates him in their relationship. However, David has shown great strength of character in the few occasions where he shows Darlene righteous anger; she and Roseanne are also protective of him because they know that before he came to live in the Conner house, his mother would hit and verbally abuse him. After three unpleasant splits spanning seasons 6-7, Darlene and David finally reconcile for good, realizing they are right for one another but must deal with some occasional separation due to Darlene's college. During Season 8, David got Darlene pregnant while they were vacationing at Disney World with the Conners; since David had recently gotten an artistic job in Chicago, Darlene decided to keep the baby and they got married. His efforts to protect and console Darlene after she gave birth to their premature daughter deeply impressed Dan. Of Darlene's family, David was definitely closest to Roseanne.
Although both her parents reacted apprehensively the first time they met him (knowing he was Mark's brother) Roseanne was impressed by his respectful conduct on later occasions. When she realized the extent of the verbal and physical abuse David was suffering from his mother on a daily basis, she allowed him to move in with them without consulting Dan. David was mindful of both the Conners and accepted his workload within the house without complaint, in contrast to Becky and Darlene; in return, Roseanne often covered for him when he got into trouble or gave him advice. Dan, D.J. and Mark often teased David for his less masculine personality and interests, but Dan recognized that David's good character and gave him advice when he needed it- except when it involved Darlene. As Darlene was Dan's favorite, Dan was more protective of her and he was enraged when he learned David had been secretly living in her apartment for three months; however, he eventually forgave him, although he cold-shouldered David for a while when he learned of their engagement (even angrily remarking Fred should sue Jackie for custody of their child).
When David was emotionally overwhelmed by their decision to remove his daughter Harris from the incubator, Dan consoled him. Becky seldom interacted with David, except on a few occasions after his third split with Darlene; she was very sympathetic and their suspiciously close friendship angered both Mark and Darlene. D.J. was usually verbally dismissive of David and actually beat him up on one occasion; they were never truly hostile but D.J. tended to look at Mark as a role model, but not David. As for David's own family, he is clearly closest to Mark, despite his elder brother often arguing with and insulting him. Despite having dealt with years of abuse from his mother and probably his father (who apparently helped calm down Mrs. Healy when she was in her rages), David was closer to his parents than Mark was and expressed some regret at not being able to have them at his wedding to Darlene. Mark told him that he was too good for them and that if they did not have the decency to respond to the invitation, David was better off without them. He and Darlene went on to have a son Mark Conner Healy, named in his brother's memory and later separated from Darlene.
Twenty-One years later, he has separated from Darlene and left his family behind in order to help the poor. After being involved intimately with a woman called Blue, he becomes to realize his importance to Harris and Mark and decides to move back to Lanford within two weeks. Although Darlene refuses to give him a divorce and attempts to win him back, she gives up for the children. David comes back to be a full-time dad, but his romance with Darlene is over and he returns to Blue as a lover. But later on Blue insists on having children with her. David refuses and runs back to Darlene just as she is about to leave Lanford with her children and start a new life in Chicago.
- When he first appeared, David was called "Kevin" but it was later changed to David.
- In the Season 9 final episode—the original series finale—Roseanne reveals that real-life inspiration for "David" is actually married to the real-life inspiration for "Becky", rather than the real-life inspiration for "Darlene". The David and Becky characters hanging out together, may thus have been a reference to their real-life inspirations.
- Of all the recurring characters, David appears in the most episodes.
- Due to his involvement in The Big Bang Theory, Johnny Galecki only made one appearance in the Season 10 revival.
- Galecki and Gilbert both appeared on The Big Bang Theory playing different characters. While David and Darlene are such opposites, the characters they play on Big Bang are much alike.
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