Nancy Bartlett, later on the series known as Nancy Bartlett-Thomas is the girlfriend, then the estranged wife, of Arnie Thomas (played by comedian Tom Arnold, Roseanne Barr's husband at the time), one of Dan's poker buddies, on Roseanne. The part of Nancy is played on the series by stand-up comedienne and actress Sandra Bernhard.
Nancy is at first, introduced at the start of Season 4 as Arnie's fiancé. Nancy usually likes to talk about herself, but at the same time, is a very loyal and good friend to both Roseanne and Jackie. After a night of heavy drinking, Jackie discovers she slept with the newly engaged Arnie. In spite of this, the couple still marry, as Roseanne and Dan accompany Arnie and Nancy to their wedding in Las Vegas. At the end of the season, Lanford Custom Cycle fails, and Rodbell's Luncheonette closes. Nancy is left alone after Arnie is "abducted by aliens" at season's end. Jackie and Roseanne each get a check for $10,000 from their mother, Bev, after she and their father divorce.
Eventually, Nancy along with Roseanne and Jackie decide to open a diner, which becomes known as The Lanford Lunchbox, but they can only get the money they need after Bev agrees to become a partner as well. Nancy soon reveals herself as a lesbian in Fall 1992, and subsequently, bisexual as well. She discovers new love, twice, first with another woman in a lesbian relationship, the lovely blonde Marla (played by actress Morgan Fairchild), and some time later with the opposite gender, the refined, British Roger (played by Tim Curry).
It is revealed at one point that Roseanne's husband, Dan Conner, is not a fan of Nancy despite her friendship with Roseanne. Roseanne refutes this, but Dan soon confirms it by calling Nancy self-absorbed. To assuage Nancy's opinion, Roseanne claims a bloody nose which Nancy accidentally gives Dan is just a practical joke to "prove" he can be friends with her.
When Roseanne curiously visits a gay bar with Nancy, she receives a surprise kiss from Nancy's new girlfriend Sharon (played by Mariel Hemingway). In November 1992, Arnie returns trying to unsuccessfully reconcile with Nancy, and a year later, he tries again claiming that he has reportedly landed a good job with the state of Illinois and become the best friend of the Governor of Illinois. They are said to have reconciled together amicably, but this can't be confirmed. Although some version of these events might have happened, it is later revealed these events were actually part of a pseudo-biography Roseanne has been writing between 1995 and 1996 along with other fictional events such as winning the lottery.
Over the years, Nancy remains close friends with both Roseanne and Jackie, returning to Lanford practically perpetually single in 2018
List of Appearances
|Roseanne (TV series)|