ROSEANNE/ABC/1988-1997 (Mental Illness)
Mrs. Audrey Conner (mentioned not seen) , the mother of Dan Conner, a construction worker living in Lanford, Illinois.
For years, Dan (John Goodman) believed that his mother was abused and neglected by his salesman father, Ed Conner (Ned Beatty). Dan recalled “My mother was in a bad marriage, in and out of hospitals” because of Ed’s neglect. Dan remembered how his Dad once left for over two weeks with no word where he was.
This behavior gave Dan the ammunition to believe his dad was a bad husband. Always protective his mother, Dan fumed when his father fell behind in his financial obligations to Dan’s mom.
When Ed re-married a friend of the family named Crystal Anderson (Natalie West), Dan felt it important to let her know what a rotten father Ed had been. Drunk, he entered her house and began to break things. However, the new wife revealed to Dan the truth about his mother – that she was mentally ill, and that time to time had to spend time in the hospital (her trips were often disguised as “visits to relatives”).
As Dan struggled with this revelation, Dan’s wife Roseanne tried to convince him “a person doesn’t become mentally ill when her spouse goes away on business trips.”
In reality, Ed Conner let Dan believe that he was to blame for her condition. He figured it was easier to have a bastard for a father that a crazy person for a mother.
Apologizing for the way he handled everything Ed Conner confessed to his son Dan, “I didn’t want you to go around thinking bad things about your mother.”
In the end, it was nobody’s fault. Ed loved his wife for 33 years and handled the situation the best he could at the time.
Realizing the truth of the matter, Dan tells his wife, “I can’t take this.”
A short time later Dan and Ed reconciled. However, Ed insisted that Dan not talk about the past anymore.
The storyline of Dan coming to terms with his mother’s mental condition appeared on episodes No.142 “Past Imperfect” and “Lies My Father Told Me” that aired March 22 & 29, 1994.