Classic television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond ran for nine seasons on CBS.
During that time, the cast and crew grew as close as a family, celebrated one another’s marriages, births of their children and grandchildren, and more.
They became so close, in fact, that one member of the hit comedy’s cast had a heart attack, and it was thanks to a quick-thinking crew member that the actor received medical care just in time.
Peter Boyle had a heart attack on the set of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
In 1999, Peter Boyle suffered a heart attack while on the set of the CBS comedy. The actor, who died in 2006, spoke with CNN in 2003 about the symptoms he recalled having and his shock at the normal day that turned into anything but.
“On my way into work, I had this chest pain and I kept coughing,” he told CNN. “I felt kind of pale and clammy and it just wouldn’t stop. I didn’t lose consciousness, and I didn’t have any enormous pain. [It was] just this feeling that something was going on and I thought it would just pass.”
One of the assistant directors on the set noticed Boyle’s countenance and knew his condition was serious. They insisted on calling for help, which the veteran actor fought at first.
“The A.D., assistant director, said ‘you better sit down, I’m calling the medics, you are having a heart attack.’ I was going, ‘No, no, no, not me. … I’ll be strong.’ But I got help right away.”
“I was in the hospital for about four or five days,” he said. “Within a week I was back on the set and did a little bit in the last episode of ‘Raymond,’ and it meant a lot to me to be able to get up and go back.”
Doris Roberts on working with Peter Boyle and how arguing ‘was their characters’ foreplay’
In a 2005 conversation with the Television Academy Foundation, Roberts, who died in 2016, opened up about her working relationship with her counterpart on the show, Peter Boyle. The Young Frankenstein star played her husband, Frank Barone, for the full run of the comedy.
“They love each other, but they just fight,” the actor said of Marie and Frank Barone. “That’s their foreplay…That constant arguing, it is their way of life.”
“Towards the end, when [Marie and Frank] went off to their retirement home, I thought that was hysterical. And sweet, the way I kept patting his bald head, and how much fun we had together. They got sort of personal and intimate. I thought that was lovely,” she shared.
The Mrs. Miracle star emphasized that, while the writing on the show was stellar, it was the acting that made the show what it was.
“That, again, is partly in the writing but it really is in the acting,” Roberts noted. “Because we get more said by not speaking any words, those two characters, Peter and myself. The way he can look at me, the way I look at him. I mean that’s a paragraph of dialogue that we don’t say, just by looking.”