Tom Arnold (actor)

For other people named Tom Arnold, see Tom Arnold (disambiguation).
Tom Arnold

Arnold at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival
Born Thomas Duane Arnold
(1959-03-06) March 6, 1959
Ottumwa, Iowa, U.S.
Occupation Actor, comedian, television host
Years active 1987–present
Spouse(s) Roseanne Barr
(1990–1994; divorced)
Julie Lynn Champnella
(1995–1999; divorced)
Shelby Roos
(2002–2008; divorced)
Ashley Groussman
Children 2

Thomas Duane "Tom" Arnold (born March 6, 1959) is an American actor and comedian. His big screen breakthrough came when starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in True Lies (1994), earning a nomination for the MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance.

Arnold has appeared in many more indie and Hollywood films, including Nine Months (1995), The Stupids (1996), McHale's Navy (1997), Animal Factory (2000), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), Mr. 3000 (2004), Happy Endings (2005), The Great Buck Howard (2008) and Madea's Witness Protection (2012). He was also the host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period for four years.

Early life

Arnold was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, the son of Linda Kay (née Graham) and Jack Arnold.[1][2] He has six siblings. His mother abandoned the family when he was a child, and he and his siblings were raised by their father.

During his youth, he worked at a meatpacking plant.[3] Arnold attended Ottumwa High School, Indian Hills Community College, and the University of Iowa (from 1981–83), where he studied business administration and writing.[4][5] He began doing stand-up comedy when he was 23.


In the early 1980s, Arnold had a prop-based comedy routine called "Tom Arnold and the Goldfish Review."[6] Roseanne Barr brought him in as a writer for her television sitcom, Roseanne. He married her in 1990, after she divorced her first husband. Arnold wrote himself into the show as the character "Arnie Thomas" (a play on his name). The couple's marriage attracted media and especially tabloid attention due to their sometimes outrageous behavior. In 1992, Arnold starred in his own sitcom, The Jackie Thomas Show. Airing after Roseanne on ABC, the show lasted only 18 episodes.

In 1993, Arnold and Barr bought a house together in Arnold's hometown of Eldon and opened a restaurant, Roseanne and Tom's Big Food Diner, in nearby Eldon, Iowa. (The diner served loosemeat sandwiches similar to the specialty of the fictional Lanford Lunch Box on Roseanne, which in turn was based on the real-life Canteen Lunch in the Alley in Ottumwa.) Both appeared in the 1993 movie The Woman Who Loved Elvis, filmed in Ottumwa.[7] Arnold and Barr divorced in 1994, and their restaurant closed in 1995.

In a late-1990s interview on radio's Howard Stern Show, Arnold admitted that his share of his and Barr's estate amounted to "over $20,000,000", including a percentage of the Roseanne ABC-TV series, but would not elaborate, citing a confidentiality clause. In 1994, Arnold appeared as the sidekick to Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the James Cameron feature film True Lies. He was a host of The Best Damn Sports Show Period. He provided the voice for the Arby's "Oven Mitt" character in television commercials for the fast-food chain.

Arnold had his first romantic leading man part in the 2005 movie Happy Endings. That same year, Arnold starred in The Kid & I. From 2008-11, he hosted the CMT show My Big Redneck Wedding.[8] He hosted CMT's The Biggest Redneck Wedding Ever in 2008, in which he served as the wedding planner, created a wedding that exceeded the dreams of a couple who wanted to be married in a mud bog, and performed the actual ceremony.[9]

Arnold's role as a child molester in Gardens of the Night sparked revelations that he had been a victim of sexual abuse in his childhood. He decided to take on the role to shed more light on the issue.[10]

Personal life

Arnold in 2004 producing The 1 Second Film

Arnold met comedian Roseanne Barr when she saw his act in 1983. Their relationship was complicated by his drug and alcohol addiction,[11] but eventually he became sober. The two married in 1990 and divorced in 1994. In an April 2009 interview on Anytime with Bob Kushell, Arnold discussed why when he divorced Barr, he did not take any alimony.[12] During the next ten years, Arnold married two subsequent times. Both marriages ended in divorce. In August 2008, Arnold broke his scapula in a motorcycle accident on the Pacific Coast Highway.[13]

Over Thanksgiving weekend 2009, Arnold married his fourth wife, Ashley Groussman, in an intimate ceremony in Maui before 75 guests. Dax Shepard served as Arnold's best man.[14] During their honeymoon, Arnold and Ashley stopped in Shanghai, China. He appeared December 10, 2009 on the late night talk show Asia Uncut.[15] The couple has two children.[16][17]

Arnold was raised a Methodist.[18] He converted to Judaism upon marrying Roseanne Barr in 1990[19] and claims to still practice Judaism.[20]




  1. Arnold, Tom (November 2003). How I Lost 5 Pounds in 6 Years: An Autobiography. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 14. ISBN 0-312-32244-5.
  2. "Tom Arnold profile". Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  3. "Tom Arnold profile". Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  4. "Tom Arnold - Iowa fan Actor keeping state in front of TV, movie cameras". The Gazette. June 6, 1992. Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  5. "Tom Arnold: Tackling a monster". Retrieved May 27, 2014.
  6. I Killed: True Stories of the Road from America's Top Comics By Ritch Shydner, Mark Schiff; accessed March 5, 2016.
  7. The Woman Who Loved Elvis details,, retrieved November 27, 2015
  8. My Big Redneck Wedding: About the Show,; retrieved August 31, 2014.
  9. CMT's Biggest Redneck Wedding Ever: About the Special,; retrieved August 31, 2014.
  10. "Tom Arnold Says He Was Sexually Abused", TV Guide. November 6, 2008; retrieved November 7, 2008.
  11. "Tom Arnold profile". Retrieved September 21, 2009.
  12. "Anytime with Bob Kushell feat. Tom Arnold". Anytime with Bob Kushell. Season 2. Episode 7. April 28, 2009.
  13. Dr. Drew Live, September 4, 2008.
  14. Cristina Everett (November 29, 2009). "Tom Arnold and Ashley Groussman wed in intimate Hawaiian ceremony". New York Daily News.
  15. Joyce Eng. "Tom Arnold Marries for Fourth Time".
  16. "Tom Arnold Welcomes Son Jax Copeland". People. April 6, 2013. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
  17. "Tom Arnold and Wife Welcome a Baby Girl!".
  18. Schwartz, Missy (January 23, 2002). "Trash of the Titans". Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  19. Arnold, Tom (November 2003). How I Lost 5 Pounds in 6 Years: An Autobiography. St. Martin's Griffin. pp. 145–46. ISBN 0-312-32244-5.
  20. (July 30, 2009). "Salt Lake City News, Sports, Archive". Retrieved April 11, 2013.

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