'Roseanne' season finale confirms death of beloved character

Junie Sihlangu
May 23, 2018
04:13 A.M.
Share this pen

The reboot of Roseanne ended its season with a tribute to one of its supporting characters. Nana Mary was played by Shelly Winters.


Winters passed away some years ago due to heart failure. ABC posted a short clip of the scene on Twitter.

Shelly Winters had portrayed Nana Mary on Roseanne during its original run. There she acted as the free-spirited, caring, outspoken, and lovable mother of Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons).

Winters passed away in 2006 from heart failure in Beverly Hills at the age of 85. On the season finale of Roseanne on Tuesday night, the actress was remembered in the simplest of ways.


During the episode, Roseanne (Roseanne Barr) and Dan Conner (John Goodman) had to deal with the stress of figuring out how to pay for the surgery that Roseanne needed for her bad knee. Dan wanted to compete in the construction business to get the funds.

He decided to go non-union for his next job and considered hiring undocumented immigrants for cheaper labor. Roseanne warned her husband that if the union found out what he was doing, they would kick him out.

‘This little nightmare might pay for #Roseanne's knee surgery!’

Roseanne on ABC, Twitter, May 22, 2018


Dan responded by telling her that it was a risk he would be willing to take. He told her that he wouldn’t stand by and watch her suffer.

Dan was also adamant that he wasn’t going to risk her going back to taking too many pain tablets too. Roseanne then decided to enlist her sister’s, Jackie's (Laurie Metcalf) help.


The two decided to go to the basement to find something of value that they could sell to come up with the money for the surgery. In the basement, they found old boxes with old memories.

The tribute to Winters came when they found a funny hat that was previously owned by the late Nana Mary. "I found Nana Mary's favorite hat," Roseanne said as she put it on.


The hat read ‘Heavily Medicated for Your Protection.’ Roseanne joked that the hat was something that was passed down that everybody could use.

Nana's death didn't come as much of a surprise on the show but the confirmation served as a tribute to the iconic character. The outspoken character was famous for not knowing who her child’s, Beverly Harris’ (Estelle Parsons), father was.


She was also known for pretending to be senile as an excuse to throw inappropriate insults at whomever she pleased. Her last appearance on the series came after Harris came out as a lesbian (in the timeline of the series that was debunked as fiction for the revival).

The pair had a heart-to-heart and made amends after years of being at odds with each other. It’s believed that DJ (Michael Fishman) had named his child Mary after Nana.

Roseanne will return for its eleventh overall season in the fall of 2018.