Brash, bullyish American comic actor Tom Arnold held down a number of "Joe" jobs after college--meat packer, box stacker, bartender, bouncer--before giving stand-up comedy at try. He was very funny in a blunt sort of way, but did not really make it big until his notorious union with comedienne Roseanne Barr in 1990. At the behest of his powerful spouse, who featured him as a semi-regular on her smash hit ABC sitcom Roseanne and made him a producer, Tom starred in two expensive network sitcoms, playing an obnoxious TV comedy star in one (The Jackie Thomas Show) and a standard-issue "lovable dad" in the other (Tom). Despite the strenuous efforts of Roseanne's production staff, neither program clicked with the public, though Arnold proved in both instances that he had the talent to stand on his own without the input of his wife.
The Roseanne/Tom marriage went down in flames in 1993, with scorching and libelous incriminations from both parties. Industry pundits predicted that Tom Arnold was washed up, but he confounded his enemies with a well-received performance as a gregarious secret agent in the blockbuster Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle True Lies (1994). He then did a memorable turn in the Hugh Grant vehicle Nine Months (1995). Subsequently, Arnold has steadily worked in a number of decidedly mediocre films including the roundly panned McHales Navy (1997) in which he played the role created by Ernest Borgnine for his mid-1960s television series of the same name.