With major league teams about ready to break camp in spring training and head north to start the season, we’ve got baseball on the brain. Who better to usher in the season than that 20th century marvel, Babe Ruth, who was the subject of what turned out to be a forgettable feature film starring John Goodman back in 1992. But that’s okay, baseball movies are generally awful anyway (unless you’re talking about The Bad News Bears, Long Gone, or Eight Men Out).
However, this was an interesting time in Goodman’s career, as he’d moved beyond the character roles of his early movies (True Stories, Sea of Love), into TV stardom with Roseanne, and briefly, into leading-man territory with King Ralph and The Babe. That’s when Peter Richmond profiled him for GQ magazine as Goodman survived the hot glare of Hollywood stardom. Of course, he continued to be one of our finest, most durable actors, and Richmond’s revealing portrait give us an understanding of the man behind one the most recognizable and comforting faces in show business.
The story was originally published as “John Goodman is Some Babe” in the April 1993 issue of GQ and reprinted here with the author’s permission, please enjoy.