‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Brad Garrett Called This Co-Star the ‘Anchor to the Show’
Though the CBS hit comedy Everybody Loves Raymond aired its final episode in 2005, the sitcom remains a fan favorite on syndication and streaming services. Starring Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, and Peter Boyle, the show had a strong presence in the cast that kept storylines grounded.
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ cast spotlighted a strong female
In his 2015 book, When the Balls Drop: How I Learned to Get Real and Embrace Life’s Second Half, Garrett described his co-stars on the series and lauded a cast member’s portrayal of her character.
“I felt Patty Heaton was the anchor to the show as far as being able to play Ray’s wife Debra, with strength and fortitude as opposed to the stereotypical sitcom wife who plays the powerless victim,” Garrett wrote. “On the show, she was surrounded by this band of crazies and she would fight against the powers of evil hilariously.”
The Emmy Award-winning actor noted Heaton’s ability to bring a host of qualities in playing Debra Barone, making him a bit nostalgic for his high school days.
“She had a sorority swagger about her that few midwestern women possess,” Garrett remarked. “I always found that very sexy. She reminded me of this chick in high school who turned me down for a date.”
Patricia Heaton loved Robert on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Apparently, the adoration was mutual. During the sitcom’s nine-season run, Heaton developed a soft spot for her onscreen brother-in-law. She commended Garrett for his portrayal of the slighted older sibling.
“I’ve always felt that Robert was my favorite character,” she told the Television Academy Foundation in 2006. “He was such a sad sack and I felt so sorry for him. He was so big and so sweet. It was such a funny combination.”
Heaton revealed that show producers had a completely different picture in mind for the character of Robert before Garrett tried out for the part.
“When they were originally casting this, they thought of a very tiny, wiry, angry guy,” Heaton recalled. “And they end up with a very tall, big, soft, sweet guy. Now you can’t picture it any other way.”
Brad Garrett gave props to this ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ co-star for a different achievement
While Garrett praised Heaton for nailing the role of Debra, he also gave Roberts a shout out for an unlikely talent.
“Doris Roberts, who played Marie, was the only cast member who could outdrink me,” he wrote. “The broad could party and loved to play cards. It was like we were separated at birth, right down the the 42-inch waist.”
The Everybody Loves Raymond alum continued to show off his comedic skills with some affectionate jabs at his TV mom.
“The woman is a tenacious self-promoter and will go to a ribbon cutting at the Potter Barn if there’s free champagne,” Garrett continued. “We were never sure how old she was, but when we were all traveling to film an episode in Italy, I noticed she had a luggage tag with a picture of the Titanic.”
Jokes aside, Garrett gave Roberts high praise on her legendary performance as an overbearing mom.
“She’s an extremely gifted actor,” he wrote of Roberts. “You can’t imagine anyone else playing the role of Marie.”