Everybody Loves Raymond is perhaps one of the most beloved American TV sitcoms of all time. From its debut in 1996, the series gave audience members an inside look into the life of sports writer Ray Barone (Ray Romano) and his very close-knit family. This Italian family from Long Island was very close indeed with Ray’s parents Marie (Doris Roberts) and Frank (Peter Boyle) along with his brother Robert (Brad Gerrett) right across the street. Ray struggles to devote his time to his overbearing parents as well as his wife Debra (Patricia Heaton) and three children (Sawyer, Sullivan and Madylin Sweeten).
The series ran for nine seasons with over 200 episodes and received 15 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Comedy Series. Showrunner Phil Rosenthal established a realistic look into the modern suburban family. A series as popular as Everybody Loves Raymond would not be as successful without the chemistry of its characters and the various dynamics they bring to the story. Each is unique and has various opportunities to shine through the series nine year run. The cast brought a relatability to the show that audiences have yet to see matched since. But where are they now?
Ray Romano – Ray Barone
Ray Romano received three Emmys for his performance as Ray Barone, the sports writer just trying to make a living and support his family whilst under the thumb of his parents. Romano was a writer on the series showed most of the character of Ray Barone and his life through flashbacks of adolescence and adulthood. He delivered a wide comedic range of emotions from bombastically explosive to subdued but still hilarious. All of this stemmed from his background as a stand-up comedian.
Since the series finale, Romano has continued to reprise his role as Manny in the hit animated films Ice Age and released a comedy special entitled Ray Romano: Right Here, Around the Corner which premiered on Netflix in 2019. He is appearing in more dramatic films such as The Big Sick in 2017, his amazing and heartrending performance in the hilarious Made For Love, and most notably, alongside Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in Martin Scorsese’s hit mob epic The Irishman. Romano has also completed his directorial debut for Somewhere in Queens which has been picked up by Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions after its Tribeca Film Festival Debut in 2022.
Patricia Heaton – Debra Barone
Patricia Heaton received two Emmys for her performance as Debra Barone. Her character came from a wealthy and sophisticated Connecticut family. Debra continued to clash with the Barones overbearing lifestyle, and more specifically Ray’s parents’ constant intrusions. Her character brought an outside perspective into how much Ray was being suffocated by his family and her character was often the catalyst to his maturing moments of separation from mom and dad.
Heaton went from one mega hit sitcom to another. 2009 marked four years after her role as Debra Barone, but started another which gave her a brand-new path in modern television. She starred as Frankie Heck in the hit ABC multi-camera sitcom The Middle. This series, just like Everybody Loves Raymond, ran for nine seasons, and ended in 2018, marking a quite impressive stamp on Heaton’s career. She has also starred in roles both minor and major in films such as the original Space Jam. In 2022, she starred alongside Brian Cox in the drama Mending the Line. Heaton has two projects in development and their release dates are unknown.
Brad Garret – Robert Barone
Brad Garrett won 3 Emmys for his performance as Robert Barone, the NYPD officer inspired by Ray Romano’s real life brother Richard A. Romano, who was an NYPD sergeant and detective who later became a screenwriter and filmmaker. However, the character in which Ray included in the series offered the most explosive and hilarious moments of comedy. Being a single cop in his 40s and still living with his parents, Robert was always unhinged and on a quest to find love. He did eventually fall in love and marry Amy MacDougall, portrayed by showrunner Phil Rosenthal’s wife Monica Horan.
Garrett’s iconic deep voice opened up a long career of voice work in notable Pixar films such as A Bug’s Life, Finding Nemo, and Ratatouille. He also voiced the lovable Eeyore in the live action Winnie the Pooh film Christopher Robin, and led his own sitcom with ‘Til Death.
Doris Roberts – Marie Barone
Doris Roberts received 4 Emmys for her performance as Marie Barone. Marie brought that motherly, and sometimes overbearing, love that glued the family together. She was as devoted to others as could be. She represented that traditional Italian mom with plastic on the furniture (often joked about in the series) and always having food ready to go. Her character brought some of the funniest moments in the series run, like when she drove a car into Ray and Debra’s home and made a less than abstract looking sculpture. She was the mom we all know and love.
Doris Roberts appeared in numerous television series and films. She received an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series on St. Elsewhere. She also starred in hit films such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the cult classic Grandma’s Boy. Other roles included Aliens in the Attic and Full House. Roberts sadly passed away in 2016, but her extensive filmography will carry on her legacy.
Peter Boyle – Frank Barone
Peter Boyle sadly never received accolades for his incredible performance as Frank Barone. Frank was a conservative working class retired man with no tolerance for… anyone. He represented those old and outdated ways in American history, but audiences couldn’t get enough of him. He was loud and brazen, but a good father and grandfather to the Barone family.
Boyle had one of the most notable careers of all time. While never receiving an Emmy for Everybody Loves Raymond, he did receive an Emmy for a guest spot on one of The X-Files‘ best episodes. However, Boyle’s feature filmography is both extensive and impressive. He starred in classic motion pictures such as Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, Mel Brooks’ horror parody Young Frankenstein, and the action comedy Red Heat. He also appeared as Father Time in the classic holiday film series The Santa Clause. Sadly, the third installment to The Santa Clause franchise would be his last major role, as passed away in 2006, one year after the series finale of Everybody Loves Raymond. He was so beloved that the whole cast got together to honor Boyle in a special reunion.
Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten – Michael and Geoffrey Barone
Michael and Geoffrey Barone are twin characters audiences got to see grow up through the show’s nine-year runtime. They brought a youthful innocence to the show and as they got older, were given many opportunities to take center stage and bring many laughs to the show. Starting on the show as one-year-olds in the second episode, their characters adapted and matured throughout Everybody Loves Raymond, with Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten delivering great performances despite being so young.
Audiences saw the twins in very few minor roles in smaller projects such as the 2002 comedy Frank McKlusky, C.I. Sadly, Sawyer Sweeten (Geoffrey Barone) passed away in 2015 whilst visiting his family home just before his 20th birthday.
Madylin Sweeten – Ally Barone
Madylin Sweeten portrayed Ray and Debra’s daughter Ally Barone from the very beginning of the series at around the age of five. She showed audiences the life of a growing child in suburban Long Island, and her charm and impressive comedic timing made her one of the series most beloved characters. She is also the real life sister to twins Sawyer and Sullivan Sweeten (Michael and Geoffrey Barone); their chemistry was instantaneous and as she got older, we got to see Ally in her own storylines pertaining to school, bullying and friendship.
Throughout her young career, Sweeten provided her voice in a minor role on Toy Story 2, and appeared on episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Lucifer. Now, Sweeten is a furniture designer at The Joneses L.A.
Everybody Loves Raymond is still shown on various networks and is available on Peacock in its entirety. The series is still beloved by fans and offers a bit of nostalgia and representation for anyone who has grown up in the typical New York lifestyle.
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