‘Everybody Loves Raymond’s Peter Boyle Was a Monk for 3 Years

Long before he was Frank Barone on the classic sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and even before he was Dr. Frankenstein’s monster in the film Young Frankenstein, actor Peter Boyle was a monk for several years.

It was an unforgettable experience for him, as he explained, one he called “amazing.”

The beloved character actor, who died in 2006, was honored by his former castmates recently at a charity event to raise money in his memory.

Here’s what Boyle had to say in 2005 about his brief time as a Christian Brothers monk.

Peter Boyle on the set of 'Everybody Loves Raymond'
Peter Boyle on the set of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ cast honored Peter Boyle this week

The Everybody Loves Raymond cast reunited this week to honor their late co-star Boyle who portrayed cantankerous Frank Barone on the series. The actor died in 2006 from multiple myeloma and heart disease.

Patricia Heaton who played Debra Barone on the series tweeted recently, “Heads up Everybody Loves Raymond fans! Our table read reunion on Oct. 23rd is FREE! But all donations to honor the memory of Peter Boyle are gratefully accepted. Go to http://myeloma.org for info!”

The Everybody Loves Raymond cast has this week – and in fact, every year since Boyle’s death – performed selected scenes from the sitcom.

Usually, the cast has acted out show scripts on a stage, but because of COVID-19, Heaton, Ray Romano (Ray Barone), Brad Garrett (Robert Barone), and Monica Horan (Amy Barone) decided to act out their roles for the event as a table read via video from remote locations.

Ray Romano remembered Boyle as a generous mentor

Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano told WBUR in a 2011 interview about the role Boyle played in helping him to transition from a stand-up comic to an actor.

Romano admittedly experienced imposter syndrome when he first started on Raymond, surrounded by so many other more accomplished actors, beginning with Peter Boyle, whose acting resume was beyond impressive.

Peter Boyle, seated, with Ray Romano on the set of 'Everybody Loves Raymond'
Peter Boyle, seated, with Ray Romano on the set of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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“I was wracked with insecurity,” Romano said. “When we were rehearsing our first episode … there’s Peter Boyle, and I hadn’t really talked to him that much … his reputation just scared me. Who he was, you know this, he was this hulking, strong presence.”

The Parenthood star had no reason to be concerned. Boyle took Romano under his wing almost immediately.

“During day one of rehearsal … our paths crossed backstage and he just stopped me,” Romano recalled. “He just stopped me and he goes, ‘It’s just like water, just let it flow.’ And that was it. … I know what he meant. At that moment I was just blown away … this kind gesture of trying to make me feel comfortable. And then we became great friends after that.”

The religious order Boyle joined

Peter Boyle in London, 1971
Peter Boyle in 1971 | Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

In a 2005 conversation with the Archive of American Television, Boyle recalled his years serving as a monk with the Christian Brothers order.

He explained that while attending LaSalle University, he became part of a religious order.

“I became a monk. [Boyle’s high school] was taught by the Christian Brothers. They’re a teaching order. I became a member of the Christian Brothers and basically did my college work as a member. They ran LaSalle College.”

Boyle explained that he served as a monk for “basically three and a half years. It was very intense and very amazing at first and then it got harder and harder. And then at a certain point, I couldn’t handle it, so I returned to civilian life,” Boyle said jokingly.