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R.I.P. Doris Roberts, Emmy-winning TV mom

(Photo: Getty Images)

As confirmed by TMZ, Doris Roberts—best known as the lovably intrusive mother on Everybody Loves Raymond—has died. She was 90.

Roberts was born in St. Louis in 1925 but moved to New York when her father left the family, and she had a connection to the world of acting at a young age due to her mother and stepfather running a stenographic service for writers and actors. Appropriately, then, her first acting roles were in the theater, with Roberts appearing in some Broadway shows in the ‘50s. She also dipped her toe in the world of TV at that time, popping up in Starlight Theatre (her first TV gig), The Defenders, and Suspense, as well as the 1961 film Something Wild.


By the ‘70s, Roberts had begun working regularly in TV, appearing in over 20 shows and TV movies in that decade alone. Her credits include Mary Tyler Moore, Fay, All In The Family, The Streets Of San Francisco, and Soap. In 1980 she landed a recurring gig on Garry Marshall’s Angie, playing the mother of Donna Pescow’s title character, and in 1983 she won her first Emmy for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere. In that same year, she joined the cast of Remington Steele, playing the receptionist at Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist’s detective agency until 1987.

After that, Roberts showed up on Full House, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, and six episodes of The Boys, but she didn’t have another major TV role until 1996 when she was cast as Marie Barone, the overbearing mother of Ray Romano’s character in Everybody Loves Raymond. Roberts, along with her TV spouse Peter Boyle, played the part with such glee and perfection that it was sometimes hard not to root for her—or at least hard not to be afraid of her motherly wrath—when she was going up against Patricia Heaton’s character in one of their many battles for Raymond’s soul. Roberts stayed on Everybody Loves Raymond for all nine of the show’s seasons, winning Emmys for her role in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005.

Heaton—who reunited with Roberts on a few episodes of her show The Middle—and Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal memorialized Roberts on Twitter:


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