AKA Will Merrel (born June 20, 1952) is an American film, television, and stage actor. He is best known for his role on the television series Roseanne, as well as his work with the Coen brothers, and as the voice of Sully in the film Monsters, Inc. John Goodman was born in Affton, Missouri, the son of Virginia, a store clerk and waitress who worked at Jack and Phil's Bar-B-Que, and Leslie Goodman, a postal worker who died of a heart attack in 1954. He has a sister, Elisabeth, and a brother, Leslie, with his extended family living in St. Louis, Missouri.
Goodman went to Affton High School, where he played football and dabbled in theater. He then won a football scholarship to Southwest Missouri State University, now called Missouri State University. He pledged the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, but was not formally initiated until several decades later. He admittedly "wasted a year in the keg," before discovering Southwest Missouri's drama program. He studied there with actors Kathleen Turner and Tess Harper. After a college injury ended his football career, he decided to become a professional actor, leaving Missouri for New York in 1975.
With a small bankroll from his brother, he found an apartment on Ninth Avenue and 51st street near the Theatre District, Manhattan, and attempted (unsuccessfully) to earn money as a bartender and waiter. But, he was soon to find modest success on stage, in commercials and in voice over performance. He was the person who slapped himself in the commercial for Skin Bracer by Mennen, saying the famous line "Thanks...I needed that!". He performed off Broadway and in dinner theatres, before getting character roles in movies during the early 1980s.
In 1978 he joined fellow actors Dennis Quaid, Bruce Willis and Kevin Kline in the Broadway production of Loose Ends.
He plays the role of Mr. Fletcher, a con artist, in Drunkboat (2010).