How Roseanne Actually Pays Tribute To Glenn Quinn With Each Episode

becky and mark roseanne

Roseanne's revival season has delivered a lot of laughs, which is to be expected, but fans have also felt a lot of other emotions during the first batch of episodes. Most recently, the show directly addressed the absence of Mark Healy, as formerly portrayed by actor Glenn Quinn, who passed away in 2002. Star Michael Fishman took to social media with a lovely post that shined a light on many of the episode's elements, and he revealed how the cast actually honors Quinn's memory with each episode.

I personally do my best to honor him. His family remains in close contact. His sisters were on set several weeks this season. His niece can be see in a later episode. Glenn is missed by us daily. He remains part of the show, and close to our hearts. Before each taping we do cast introductions for the audience. We come out of Roseanne and Dan's master bedroom, through the kitchen to meet the crowd. It is an exhilarating immediate connection with fans. In that hallway, I brought in Glenn's picture, we each pass it before every episode we film. We remember Glenn every day. He will always be with us, part of us, part of the #Roseanne show and family.

That's a pretty awesome and touching way to keep Glenn Quinn in everyone's hearts and minds without getting overly maudlin and depressing about it. Keeping his picture on the Conner household walls is also a perfectly fitting way to go about it, since that set design is such an iconic and timeless element that is wholly Roseanne's. And what better way to keep Quinn (and Mark, by extension) on the brain than by hanging a picture that the entire cast will have to walk by at the outset of each episode's production start?

As Michael Fishman put it on his Facebook page, the show is honoring Glenn Quinn in ways that don't involve any visual imagery. The actor's sisters were brought to the set during filming, with his niece even making some kind of a cameo-esque appearance. It would have been crazy had there been a way to get someone from Quinn's family to play someone within the extended family, such as one of Darlene and David's kids. (Obviously some rewrites would have been needed, but still.) Maybe we'll see something else happen on that front in Season 2.

In the recent Mark-related episode, Becky's lingering issues over his death were addressed, both by her siblings and by her parents. And it was revealed that she and Mark had tried to have children together, to no avail. Which definitely added some emotional context to Becky choosing to be a surrogate mother for Sarah Chalke's Andrea.

And just in case anyone thought that Roseanne's creative team had ever considered finding another actor to step into the Mark Healy role, here's what else Michael Fishman had to say.

He lit up every room he entered and every set he walked on. As a show we never considered replacing his character. Recasting as some in the media suggested was never even an option. Glenn is irreplaceable.

As it should be. With more to come from both the happier and the sadder sides of the Conner family history, such as Johnny Galecki's long-awaited return as David, Roseanne airs Tuesday nights on ABC at 8:00 p.m. ET. Head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer premiere schedule to see all the other new and returning shows that are on the way.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.