Arnold at the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival
|Born||Thomas Duane Arnold
March 6, 1959
Ottumwa, Iowa, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, television host|
Arnold was born in Ottumwa, Iowa, the son of Linda Kay Graham (née Collier) and Jack Arnold. He has six siblings, Lori, Johnny, Scott, Chris, Marla and Mark. Arnold attended Ottumwa High School and the University of Iowa and began doing stand-up comedy when he was 23. He met comedian Roseanne Barr when she saw his act in 1983. Their relationship was complicated by his drug and alcohol addiction, but eventually he became sober, and the two married. Arnold, who had Jewish ancestors named Cohen on his maternal grandfather’s side, converted to Judaism upon marrying Barr in 1990. In a April 2009 interview on Anytime with Bob Kushell Arnold discussed how when he divorced Barr, he did not take any alimony.
On March 6, 2009, he became engaged to Ashley Groussman. They married over Thanksgiving weekend in 2009 at an intimate ceremony in Maui before 75 family and friends. Dax Shepard served as Arnold's best man, while jewelry designer Andrea Groussman was the maid of honor. She also designed the newlyweds' rings. During their honeymoon Arnold and Ashley stopped in Shanghai, China, where Arnold appeared December 10th on the late night talk show Asia Uncut. 
Arnold has been very outspoken about having been molested as a young child. His perpetrator was a 19 year old man that his mother hired to babysit while she would leave the house to engage in extramarital affairs. In a December 5, 2008 interview with Adam Carolla, Arnold revealed that the sexual abuse ended when he, at the age of seven, took his father's rifle and tried to confront the man, who lived down the street from him. The man's father intervened and the confrontation never took place. On an episode of Loveline, Arnold revealed that at the age of 30, Arnold tracked the man down and confronted him at his workplace. The man denied the molestation and told Arnold that his memories were wrong. Arnold discovered that the man had adopted three boys and was attempting to adopt a fourth. He tried to enlist the help of then-Iowa governor Terry E. Branstad to intervene with the pending adoption. After being told by the governor that the statute of limitations had expired for the crime against Arnold, he received word two days later that the adoption fell through and believes the governor had a hand in it. Arnold says he also had his employees print up and post flyers around the man's town. The flyers had the man's picture and name along with a description of the alleged crimes—an early vigilante version of Megan's Law notification.
In the early 80s, Tom Arnold had a comedy routine called "Tom Arnold and the Goldfish Review". Starting with a bowl full of goldfish, he used various props such as a toy motorcycle, condoms and such. At the end of the routine, Tom would swallow all the goldfish for the final laugh. Arnold as a stand-up comic became a writer for the television sitcom Roseanne (which debuted in 1988). He married the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, in 1990, after she divorced her first husband. He appeared occasionally on the show as the character “Arnie Thomas” (a spoof of 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 18 episodes.
In 1993, Arnold and Barr bought a house together in Arnold’s hometown of Ottumwa and opened a restaurant, Roseanne and Tom's Big Food Diner, in nearby Eldon, Iowa. Both appeared in the 1993 movie The Woman Who Loved Elvis, which was filmed in Ottumwa. 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 further, 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 later supported Schwarzenegger’s bid for the California governorship. His role in True Lies was parodied in an episode of The Simpsons, where washed-up actor "Troy McClure" makes a comeback in a McBain movie. The Simpsons has also shown Tom Arnold (along with Rosie O'Donnel and Spike Lee) among the "not-so-great" people sent to the sun in a rocket, in their 10th Halloween episode.
Since 2008, Tom hosts the CMT show, "My Big Redneck Wedding." Arnold also hosted a special episode of CMT's "The Biggest Redneck Wedding Ever." In this episode, he served as the wedding planner, and created a wedding that exceeded the dreams of a couple who wanted to be married in a mud bog, including performing the actual ceremony.
Arnold's role as a child molester in Gardens of the Night had special significance as he was the victim of sexual abuse in his childhood. Arnold decided to take on the role to shed more light on the issue.