Why ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Star Ray Romano Calls His Wife the ‘Hero’ in Their Marriage

Ray Romano portrayed the not-so-perfect husband and father Ray Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. Starring on the hit sitcom for nine seasons, Romano has ventured out into more dramatic roles since the series ended in 2005.

Married to Anna since 1987, Romano and his wife have a full house with four kids. With the actor’s busy standup and filming schedule, the former sitcom star credits his spouse for giving him a “long leash” when it comes to comedy.

Ray Romano of 'Everybody Loves Raymond'
Ray Romano of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ | Jean-Paul Aussenard/WireImage

Ray Romano gets dramatic after ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’

Since the CBS sitcom ended, Romano has been landing more dramatic roles. Starring on TNT’s Men of a Certain Age, the NBC drama Parenthood, and the HBO series Vinyl, Romano has certainly been stretching himself as an actor.

“I’ve been working constantly since Raymond ended,” Romano told Time in 2019.” It’s just stuff that some people see, some people don’t. I never stopped doing stand-up. And I’ve continued to do as much other stuff as I could – or as much as people wanted me.”

The Everybody Loves Raymond alum also appeared in several films including The Big Sick, Paddleton, and Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman. Romano considers himself a work in progress when it comes to acting.

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“I guess I’m attracted to that kind of story: the insecure guy, the underdog,” he said. “I’m not going to be playing the super-macho stud. I’m realistic. … Insecurity is relative. … Look, I think I’m good at stand-up. Am I a great actor? No. I’m learning. Every time I get a new role, I’m petrified and I break out in some kind of rash.”

Ray Romano’s family provides great standup material

Romano often uses material from his own family stories in his standup routines. His 2019 Netflix special Right Here, Around the Corner was no different. While some may be put off by their inclusion in a comedy bit, Romano insisted his wife and four kids enjoy being referenced.

“To be honest, they’re sometimes a little jealous when they’re not in the bit,” the Paddleton star shared. “I’d never do anything they felt uncomfortable about.”

The comedic actor praised his wife for her patience and flexibility with his somewhat home-related jokes, adding that she gets perks for her generosity.

“My wife gives me a long leash; I have to give her credit,” Romano explained. “She knows it’s comedy, and she knows it pays. She’s got a movie theater in her backyard. That doesn’t pay for itself.”

Ray Romano gives props to his wife

Married for over 30 years, Romano can easily identify the differences between himself and his wife. The Vinyl star admitted that as an actor, he can be a bit self-absorbed.

“Listen, here’s the thing. I’m in show business,” Romano told Time. “You can’t not be a bit of a narcissist and not need attention to be in that business.”

Apparently, Anna doesn’t yearn to be in the spotlight. Romano raved of his wife’s self-sufficiency and credited her for their marriage’s success.

Anna and Ray Romano
Anna and Ray Romano | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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“So the reason this works is because she is a person who (a) doesn’t need attention and (b) can understand how I feel about her,” Romano revealed. “Even though it’s hard for me to outwardly express that. She’s the hero here.”

The two will celebrate their 33rd wedding anniversary in October.