“I still look back and think what kind of an education that I got as an actor to be around these people at that age. I mean, it was a gift!” Alicia Goranson (on playing Becky in “Roseanne”)
Actress Alicia Goranson rose to prominence portraying Becky Conner on the popular long running sitcom “Roseanne” during the show's first to fifth season (1988-1992) and the eight season (1995). The role, which she alternately played with Sarah Chalke, brought Goranson two Young Artist nominations and a TV Land Award. After leaving “Roseanne,” she guest starred in “Sex and the City,” “Law & Order: SVU” (both 2004) and “Fringe” (2009). On the movie front, Goranson is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Candace in Kimberly Peirce's hit independent film “Boys Don't Cry” (1999). She will next costar in the comedy “The Extra Man” (2010).
Goranson's theater credits include “King Lear,” “The Fourth Sister” and “Good Thing.”
Childhood and Family:
Alicia Lynelle Goranson was born on June 22, 1974, in Evanston, Illinois. Her father is an employee of the Environmental Protection Agency and her mother is a high school English teacher. Alicia began acting on TV at age 14 and quit in 1992 to attend Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she majored in English with a concentration in poetry. She joined the rugby team while in college.
Currently living in the Carroll Gardens section of Brooklyn, New York, Alicia, known by family and friends as Lecy, relocated to Brooklyn right after college. She can play the mandolin and guitar.
The Extra Man
14 year old Alicia Goranson experienced a big break when she landed the role of Becky Conner, the oldest of Roseanne and Dan's children, on the sitcom “Roseanne,” which ran on ABC from 1988 to 1997. A member of the cast since its debut on October 18, 1988, she portrayed the daughter throughout the first four seasons and left the show in 1992 when she pursued her education at Vassar College. While on the sitcom, Goranson was handed two Young Artist nominations for Best Young Actress Featured, Co-starring, Supporting, Recurring Role in a Comedy or Drama Series or Special (1989) and Best Young Actress Supporting Role in a Television Series (1990). Meanwhile, Goranson continued to hone in on her craft by starring in a number of stage productions and student films at Vassar. She also directed “Tableau Vivant,” an original performance piece for the Women's Ensemble Theater at Vassar College.
In 1995, Goranson made her feature film acting debut in “How to Make an American Quilt,” a dramatic comedy directed by Jocelyn Moorhouse and adapted into screenplay by Jane Anderson based on Whitney Otto's novel of the same name. In the movie, she was cast as a young version of Ellen Burstyn's character. The film also starred Winona Ryder as Finn Dodd, Anne Bancroft as Glady Joe Cleary, Kate Nelligan as Constance Saunders and Alfre Woodard as Marianna.
Goranson returned to “Roseanne” for season 8. She appeared continuously in the series at the beginning, but by mid season had left the show. In 1999, Goranson resumed her film career by receiving the supporting role of Candace in the critically acclaimed independent drama “Boys Don't Cry,” which was based on the true story of transgender teenager Brandon Teena, who was raped and murdered. Directed by Kimberly Peirce and starring Hilary Swank as Brandon Teena, the film was a hit at the box office and grossed over $11 million with an original budget of approximately $2 million. Apart from acting, Goranson also performed the song “Bluest Eyes in Texas” for the film's soundtrack.
Goranson next found herself performing on stage when she played Liz in “Good Thing” at the Theatre St. Clements in New York from December 2001 to January 2002. In August 2002, she portrayed the role of Cordelia/Fool in William Shakespeare's “King Lear” at the Pettoranello Gardens Amphitheater in Princeton, New Jersey. Later that same year, in November, she was cast as Tania in “The Fourth Sister,” a play by Janusz Glowacki, at New York City’s Vineyard Theater.
Back to screen in 2004, Goranson made a guest appearance in the HBO popular series “Sex and the City.” She then appeared as Rosalin Silvo in the episode “Poison” of NBC's legal drama “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.” She also played Joyce in the “Death 4 Told” segment of “The Psychic.” The next year, Goranson starred as Myra in the comedy film “Love, Ludlow,” opposite David Eigenberg. The film premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. Two years later, she played Candace Monroe in the short film “The Perfect Dress.”
In 2008, Goranson won an Innovator Award from the TV Land Awards for her work in “Roseanne.” She shared the honor with costars such as Roseanne, Sarah Chalke, Michael Fishman, Johnny Galecki, Sara Gilbert, John Goodman and Martin Mull.
Recently, Goranson was featured in the 2009 episode “Inner Child” of the J.J. Abrams created science fiction series “Fringe,” which debuted on Fox in September 2008. She will also portray Sandra in the upcoming film “The Extra Man,” which is based on the novel of the same name by Jonathan Ames. The comedy, directed by Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, is set to be released in 2010. Paul Dano, John C. Reilly, Kevin Kline and Katie Holmes are also scheduled to act in the film.
TV Land: Innovator Award, “Roseanne,” 2008