‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Patricia Heaton Says This Co-Star Keeps the Cast Connected

Patricia Heaton became a household name playing Debra Barone for nine seasons on Everybody Loves Raymond. Co-starring alongside Ray Romano, Brad Garrett, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle, and Monica Horan, Heaton and the ensemble became close friends during their time on the show. Though Roberts and Boyle are both deceased, Heaton credited this cast member for maintaining the bond amongst her former colleagues.

Patricia Heaton of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' wears a white dress and smiles for cameras as she attends the 43rd Annual Daytime Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Westin Bonaventure Hotel
Patricia Heaton of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ | David Livingston/Getty Images

Patricia Heaton praised Ray Romano for keeping the cast in contact

In a recent interview, Heaton revealed that despite the massive success of Everybody Loves Raymond, her four sons were never huge fans. The former sitcom star has a plan on how to finally get them to see her in action on the show.

“I’m going to make them sit at my funeral for nine years of Raymond,” she told Us Weekly. “It’s going to be the longest funeral in recorded history, and they are going to watch it, damn it!”

A Monday night staple on CBS from 1996 to 2005, Everybody Loves Raymond was loosely based on Romano’s life as well as personal stories from show creator Phil Rosenthal. The ensemble cast grew close over the years, where Heaton gave props to Romano for keeping them in touch decades after the show left the airwaves.

“We don’t do [cast] group chats necessarily, but we are in communication,” she said. “Ray does a wonderful job of [keeping us connected.] We have a party every year, a Labor Day party in L.A. that we all come to every year. It’s always rough when we, for some reason, have to cancel it.”

RELATED: ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’: Brad Garrett Called This Co-Star the ‘Anchor to the Show’

Ray Romano helped out on Patricia Heaton’s birthday mishap

Apparently, Romano is also willing to lend a helping hand when an Everybody Loves Raymond alum is in need. In an appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show last year, Heaton revealed that she made a major snafu when she forgot her son’s birthday.

“The other night I get a text from my youngest son [Dan] and he says, “Well Happy Birthday to me, I guess,’” she told Clarkson in August 2020. “And I realized that not only was it his birthday, it was his 21st birthday.”

Attempting to redeem herself, Heaton reached out to celebrity friends to send her son some birthday wishes. She praised Romano going the extra mile by creating a hilarious video for her youngest born.

“Hey Dan, I know it’s a little noisy,” Romano said in the video. “I understand it’s your 21st birthday, according to my calendar. I guess your parents don’t have the same calendar that I do. But I keep track of things. So Happy 21st Birthday!”

‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ cast member calls Patricia Heaton the ‘anchor’ of the show

While Heaton noted Romano’s commitment to keeping the cast in touch behind the scenes, Garrett considered The Middle star to be the sitcom’s strong presence on camera.

RELATED: Why This ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Episode is Ray Romano’s Least Favorite

“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 in his 2015 book, When the Balls DropHow I Learned to Get Real and Embrace Life’s Second Half. “On the show, she was surrounded by this band of crazies and she would fight against the powers of evil hilariously.”

Though fans still hold out hope for a reboot, they can still get their Everybody Loves Raymond fix thanks to syndication and streaming services.