Estelle Parsons reprises her role as Jackie's mother on the ABC sitcom's holiday-themed episode.
After last appearing in season 3, Estelle Parsons is making her long-awaited return as Beverly Harris in season 5 of The Conners. ET has an exclusive preview of the sitcom's Thanksgiving-themed episode, "Of Missing Minds and Missing Fries," which sees Jackie (Laurie Metcalf) and the rest of the family coming to terms with the fact that Beverly has become ill.
A longtime staple of The Conners franchise, Parsons first appeared as Jackie and Roseanne's (Roseanne Barr) mother in 1989, during season 1 of Barr's original Roseanne series. After the series was rebooted, she played Beverly for two episodes in 2018 before returning for the spinoff. Parsons' most recent appearance was in 2021, during the ABC sitcom's 50th episode, when Neville (Nat Faxon) helped Jackie stand up to her mother.
The 94-year-old actress' upcoming appearance also comes after ET's Matt Cohen was on set with the cast, who gushed about working with the screen legend and teased her potential return after Cohen noticed a photo of Beverly on the mantle of the Conners' household.
At the time, Sara Gilbert (who plays Darlene) teased the chances of Parsons returning were "high," while not wanting to give anything away before season 5 premiered. "That's all I'll say," she said, before adding that "the amazing thing is she's well into her 90s. And every time she is set to come back, they're like, 'OK, she can come back but she has to move her directing and producing all this theater stuff.'"
Echoing Gilbert's appreciation, Metcalf reflected on their many decades of working together on the franchise. "I have always wanted to be Estelle," Metcalf said. "I've always admired her career and all the theater that she does and her famous film work. And the fact that this woman, you know, does yoga and stands on her head still, she's a role model of mine."
Not to be left out, John Goodman (Dan) also shared that Parsons is "an idol" of his. "I just worship her," he said. "I hope she does come back and everything's great."
Parsons returns to The Conners on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.