Memories of Everybody Loves Raymond are sporadic for me, as I was a preteen during its prime. I remember my grandmother roaring with laughter at the show, mostly because I think she really identified with the character of Marie, the over-bearing, critical mother of the title character.
Memories of that character have come to an end now as the actress who portrayed her, Doris Roberts, is dead at age 90 according to TMZ. The cause of death is, happily, natural causes.
Fellow Raymond stars and creator had this to say:
Ray Romano: “Doris Roberts had an energy and a spirit that amazed me. She never stopped. Whether working professionally or with her many charities, or just nurturing and mentoring a young, green comic trying to make it as an actor, she did it all with such a grand love for life and people and I will miss her dearly.”
Patricia Heaton: “”Truly the end of an era. My wonderful TV mother-in-law and ELR nemesis Doris Roberts was a consummate professional from whom I learned so much,” she said in a statement along with a photo of herself with Roberts. “She was funny and tough and loved life, living it to the fullest. Nothing gave her greater joy that her three wonderful grandchildren, of whom she was so proud. It truly was a privilege Doris. I love you and miss you.”
Phil Rosenthal: “We loved our mom, the great #DorisRoberts. A wonderful, funny, indelible actress and friend.”
Miss Roberts’ death is the death of a national treasure. As a young boy, I started collecting idols in the former of tough, talented character actresses, like Carrie Fisher, Kathleen Freeman, Vivian Vance and more. I loved these women and charted their various career ups and downs and devoured books by them and about them with voracity and hunger. I loved the fact that they were chameleons, who could inhabit any character they played with personality and joie de vivre.
The breed of the character actress is fading, sadly. There are a few notable younger character actress taking the reins, including Melissa McCarthy and Ana Gasteyer, but that essence seems to has disappeared. The glamour of the movie and television star has lured talented actresses away from the acting and towards the stardom aspect of the business. No more do we have actresses with faces that ooze character and the ability to turn what could be throwaway roles into shining examples of pure comedy.
Doris Roberts is one of the few, and one of the best, and she always will be. To celebrate her life is to celebrate the glory of the character actress, to a breed who were driven by the craft they so excelled at.
I don’t want to pontificate or sermonize.
I simply want honour this woman, who made us all laugh for so many years.
I hope you’re giving Peter Boyle hell in heaven.