The part of Darlene Conner on the television comedy Roseanne brought Sara Gilbert the majority of her fame. After that, she became a celebrity on the spin-off show “The Conners.” The audience will also remember Gilbert from her role as Leslie Winkle on “The Big Bang Theory,” where she has appeared before.
The actress and her frequent on-screen co-star, Johnny Galecki, have been romantically involved off-screen for a number of years. Both “Roseanne” and “The Big Bang Theory” were products of their collaboration between the two. After seeing their characters go out on dates while the cameras were rolling, viewers were excited to see how their real-life romance developed after the cameras stopped rolling. Due to the fact that she came to terms with the fact that she was bisexual throughout the course of their relationship, Gilbert and Galecki were eventually destined to remain simply friends.
Gilbert and her sister, Melissa Gilbert, have both discussed the instances in which Gilbert has confided in them about her emotional state. When Melissa was asked about that time, she responded as follows: “I took her to dinner when she was in her teens, and I sat her down and I gave her this lengthy spiel about how much I love you and it doesn’t matter and you’re my darling and blah, blah, blah, and you can tell me anything. And when she stared at me, she said, “I’m not homosexual.” And at that point I was like, ‘Oh well, whatever,’”
She proceeded by saying, “Many years later she phoned me, and we were having a talk about something, and she said, ‘You know, what if I simply announced that I’m gay?’ and I responded, ‘And?’” I mean, I suppose that all along I had some idea.”
Gilbert also had heartfelt chats with her ex-boyfriend, Galecki, who offered her the same kind of kind words of support.
Gilbert was born in 1975 into a family that had previous experience working in the entertainment industry. Her grandpa, the comic writer Harry Crane, was the brains behind the program “The Honeymooners,” and her siblings Melissa Gilbert and Jonathan Gilbert appeared in the hit series “Little House on the Prairie,” which began airing in 1974 and continued for a total of nine years. Gilbert quickly acquired an interest in acting as well, and after starring in a few television movies and commercials, she was cast in the role of Darlene Connor on the show “Roseanne.” In the successful comedy that Roseanne Barr created and starred in from 1988 through 1997, she portrayed the role of the sarcastic middle kid in the fictitious family. One of the earliest portrayals on television of an ordinary, blue-collar family, as well as the usual hijinks that occur in slice-of-life shows, helped the series win accolades and admirers. The program was also praised for having rather ordinary and unglamorous performers in leading parts who seemed to be ordinary people. For example, John Goodman, who portrayed Barr and Gilbert’s father on the show, was praised for his unglamorous and unremarkable appearance. The program is regarded as one of the best to ever air on American television; the episode “A Stash from the Past,” which aired in 1993, was ranked number 21 on TV Guide’s list of the 100 greatest episodes of all time and number 35 on the list of the 50 greatest TV shows of all time.
Gilbert had started her studies at Yale University while the program was still airing, but the producers were able to accommodate her busy schedule so that she could remain a regular cast member. Gilbert received high honors and a degree in art from the elite university where he studied photography as his area of concentration. When the show came to an end in 1997, many people believed that it was the end of the road for the show. However, the entertainment industry was about to enter an era of sequels, revivals, and reboots in the 2000s, and “Roseanne” was one of the popular shows that was considering a possible resurrection.
Gilbert did not only rest on her previous accomplishments prior to 2017, when it was announced that a revival series of “Roseanne” will be developed over the course of eight episodes. Following the conclusion of the run of the show, the actress went on to appear in a number of other successful television shows, such as “24,” “Will & Grace,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” and “ER.” In 2007, Gilbert made an appearance with her old co-star Johnny Galecki in an episode of Galecki’s hit comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” Gilbert played the role of Leslie Winkle, a friend of Leonard Hofstadter, Galecki’s character on the show. Gilbert was demoted from a regular cast member to a recurring cast member in 2009 when it was discovered that the show’s creators were at a loss as to how to develop her character. This occurred despite the fact that Gilbert was promoted to a major cast member before the end of the second season.
In 2010, Gilbert created “The Talk,” a talk show in which numerous presenters, including herself, would debate a wide variety of topics including current events, tales of human interest, and in particular, parenthood in its early stages. Gilbert was one of the hosts of “The Talk.” The program features a format very similar to that of “The View,” and it has had a number of well-known presenters throughout its history, such as Sharon Osbourne, Leah Remini, Aisha Tyler, and Julie Chen, among others. In 2016, Gilbert, the show’s producer, was awarded the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show for his work on the program.
Gilbert’s former co-star Goodman made an appearance for a sketch as their “Roseanne” character on “The Talk.” Gilbert later stated that the appearance prompted her to approach the show’s original cast members to see if they were interested in doing a reboot of the show. Goodman appeared on “The Talk” as their “Roseanne” character. When it became clear that things were going to turn out well, it was revealed that a new version of the program would be produced, and it debuted in 2018. Because of how well it performed, a second season of 13 episodes has been approved for production. However, a controversy involving Barr brought an end to the whole endeavor before it could be completed.
After making an inflammatory tweet against Valerie Jarrett, who was a top aide to former President Barack Obama, Barr was sacked from the revived series in May of 2018. Barr had referred to her in the tweet as “if muslim brotherhood and world of the apes had a baby=vj.” The resurrection of “Roseanne” was scrapped due to the racially insensitive undertones of the tweet, which sparked an outrage and received so much negative attention in the news. However, there was still hope in the shape of a spin-off that may be developed into its own separate series.
In the middle of 2018, rumors about a spin-off centered on Gilbert’s character began to circulate. After Barr handed up the rights to the program, it was decided that “The Connors” would focus on Darlene and her family instead of Gilbert’s character and his family. It debuted in October of that year and included the original ensemble, excluding Barr, as well as Galecki’s return to the role. “The Connors” had already reached the mark for its fifth season by the year 2022, making it a successful performer for ABC as well as enjoyable family television that was well received by viewers.
Gilbert said that the success of the program was due to “the public wanting to witness tales that haven’t been told before,” but he didn’t want to take all the credit for it, so he added that “so frequently there are things beyond of your control.” You put in your best effort, and then either the planets fall into place or they don’t. She also acknowledged how important it was not only for those working on the show, but also for the fans to continue watching, telling Variety, “I’m so grateful to the fans and the writers and the cast and producers and everybody for hanging in there, and like I said, the fans for continuing to watch because it was a big change.” She was aware of how important it was not only for those working on the show, but also for the fans to continue watching.
Sara Gilbert, Levi Hank Gilbert-Adler (2008), (Michael Buckner/Getty Images )
Gilbert has maintained a level of privacy about her personal life; but, during an appearance on “The Drew Barrymore Show,” she divulged some information about a sweet moment in her past that she had with Barrymore, with whom she co-starred in the film “Poison Ivy” in 1992. During a portion of the show in which Gilbert is asked to choose which of three “facts” about herself are accurate, she responded as follows:
“The correct answer is C; Drew was the first female I ever kissed,” he said. And although I’m not the kind to “kiss and tell,” I have to admit… look at me now, I’m about to turn a shade of pink! Because Drew was the most amazing guy I’ve ever come across, that’s exactly what took place.
After that, Barrymore remembered that the two of them were intended to have a kiss in the movie, and that she had done the requisite “research.” “We were meant to kiss in the movie and then we began rehearsing in the trailer, which was kind of fun,” Barrymore added. “We were supposed to kiss in the movie and then we started practicing in the trailer.”
The host of the talk program proceeded, saying that they thought, “Oh, I think we should rehearse since we wanted it to appear nice on TV.” We had a wonderful time together. I do recall it, and the location comes to mind as a parking lot in Los Feliz; is that correct? I had the impression that we had that little basecamp. I was the one who drove the Jeep, and during my lunch breaks I would often get into accidents because I would stop for things like ice cream. I believe that movie resulted in the suspension of my driver’s license.” Gilbert immediately answered by recalling one of Barrymore’s more lighthearted moments, saying, “I remember you dancing on the bonnet of the Jeep.”
Gilbert did have her fair share of success and failure in love, despite the fact that she was never intimately engaged with the duo.
Gilbert had been in a relationship with television producer and writer Ali Adler since 2001, but she had managed to keep their relationship a secret until much later in her life, when she finally came out publicly about being gay. They became parents for the first time in October 2004, when Adler gave birth to a boy whom they named Levi Hank. Two years later, in August 2007, Gilbert gave birth to a girl whom they named Sawyer Jane. Because Gilbert kept silent in public about her personal life throughout this whole period, many people were unaware that she was in a relationship with a female at this time. But in 2011, the pair decided to end their relationship.
In 2013, it was reported that Gilbert had been engaged to the musician Linda Perry, who had formerly served as the frontwoman for the rock band 4 Non Blondes. According to People, the couple tied the knot in a ceremony that took place in the following year in the scenic location of Malibu, California, and it was a musical extravaganza. Not only did Perry herself perform at the wedding, but other guests with musical backgrounds, such as Annabella Lwin from Bow Wow Wow, Martha Davis from The Motels, Dale Bozzio from Missing Persons, and Terri Nunn from Berlin were also in attendance.
Gilbert gave birth to the couple’s first child together, a boy named Rhodes Emilio, in the year 2015. In spite of this, Gilbert filed for divorce in 2019, alleging irreconcilable differences, after the couple had been married for over six years. In the same year, Gilbert made the announcement that she would be quitting “The Talk” in order to spend more time with her family. A month later, Gilbert released a cute video of her and her closest friend, Galecki, enjoying the new chapter in her life on the set of the talk show. It is presumed that they were celebrating her new job. However, for those who follow Gilbert and “The Talk,” this wasn’t at all shocking news since Gilbert has previously disclosed on the program the close and loving connection that she maintains with her former lover.
During the course of the conversation, Gilbert discussed her travels at the time in detail. She started by saying, “So, some of you may already know this, but when I was a teenager I had an on-again, off-again relationship with Johnny Galecki, who portrayed my boyfriend and husband on Roseanne.” Gilbert continued, revealing for the first time what she was thinking and feeling at the time, “I thought he was very attractive and had a complete crush on him, and we began dating, and he would come over and we would make out, and then I would start to get melancholy.”
Galecki, being the attentive companion, quickly realized that something was awry. Gilbert shared his thoughts on how he felt about her recent change in disposition, as she explained:
“I believe Johnny was upset, and he began to take it personally, although he had no idea what was going on.” After then, Gilbert divulged the information that the two of them had a very open and honest discussion. She went on to add, “Eventually, I informed him that I believed it was about my sexuality, and he took it in a very kind way.”
Galecki was more than supportive of Gilbert, and he didn’t tell anybody else about what Gilbert had confided in him. Gilbert shared how appreciative she was to him for keeping their relationship a secret, noting that at the time, she had begun a relationship with another lady, but “no one knew at the show for years.” Galecki maintained the connection on-screen and kept Gilbert’s identity a secret, despite the fact that he may have experienced his own personal tragedy in the form of the death of a lover. She offered her thoughts on this unwavering stance: “Johnny kept this information to himself the entire time, and I never stopped feeling anxious about what may occur if it were ever revealed. What if I had to give up my career?”
Gilbert continued to be concerned about the effect that her sexuality might have on her professional life. On the other hand, she finally arrived to a stage in her life when she felt it was maybe more emotionally beneficial to be open about the details of her personal life.
During the course of her appearance on “The Talk,” she discussed the factors that ultimately led her to decide to finally have this discussion. She went on to Explain:
“I want to lead a life that is authentic. In addition to that, we often use phrases such as “it gets better,” and the truth is that the situation does in fact improve with time. Even if I have an incredible life, it is OK for there to be difficulties associated with it. There is a part of you that may not want to be different or feel afraid. This might be the case. And it is more significant than everything else in the whole list.”
Gilbert said that she had a conversation with Galecki before appearing on the program, and in doing so, she was reminded of the kind and kind guy who not only supported her during their time together but also loved her while they were together. She wanted to make sure that he was OK with her divulging their secrets, particularly considering how conscientiously he had guarded them for all of those years, since she was going to be disclosing information about their previous relationship together.
Gilbert was informed the following by Galecki, who is still a co-star on the show and who is obviously still a very close friend: “”I adore you, and I believe it to be of the utmost significance. You make me really proud. If that’s what you want, I’ll be there with you and I’ll make sure to keep my hand on yours.’”
Gilbert is really fortunate to be surrounded by so much love and support in her life. Despite the fact that they are no longer romantically involved, the fact that he continues to show his support for her in all of her endeavors brings a warm glow to one’s heart.