Why ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Star Ray Romano Increased His Therapy Visits After the Series Ended
Everybody Loves Raymond became one of television’s most popular sitcoms. Airing from 1996 to 2005, the CBS comedy launched Ray Romano into stardom and made him one of the highest-paid actors on the small screen.
The actor revealed that when the show’s final episode wrapped after nine seasons, he found himself at a bit of a crossroads.
Series finale of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
While some shows go with bells and whistles in their final sendoff, the creators of Everybody Loves Raymond wanted to maintain its focus on family.
“We kept true to ourselves,” Romano told Larry King in 2005. “It’s not spectacular, and there’s no life-changing thing. But it has a little more emotional resonance, I think. … We just did a funny episode.”
Romano revealed he got choked up when he saw co-star Peter Boyle, who played his grumpy TV father Frank Barone, get misty-eyed.
“I got to tell you, I was keeping it together,” Romano recalled. “We came out for the curtain call and Peter hugged me and I saw tears in his eyes. … You know, I know him as Peter, but I also know him as Frank the curmudgeon … that was kind of heavy when I saw that.”
Ray Romano is sitcom-free
Playing a role for nine years had Romano laser-focused on the sitcom. With the series centered around his character Ray Barone, the actor’s presence was frequently required.
“I always say that I felt like I was in a bubble,” Romano told Graham Bensinger in 2016. “I was in probably at least 95 percent of every scene of every show … very rarely where I was not in two scenes in an episode, so I was constantly on the floor acting. … As soon as I was done acting I would run to the writer’s room and sit with the guys. And then editing. … So it was all consuming.”
When the show went off the air in 2005, Romano was finally able to catch his breath outside of work.
“When it ended, it felt like this submarine came up and I came out,” the Everybody Loves Raymond alum explained. “I was like, ‘I live in California now? Wait a minute, my kids are 12?’ … In the beginning it was kind of fun to have the time and all that. And then after a couple of months, it wasn’t that much fun.”
Therapy doubles after ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Romano admitted he hit a wall after some time passed following the series finale. Transparent about being in therapy, the sitcom star soon decided to double his visits to his counselor to get through the rough patch.
“I kind of crashed about three months,” Romano shared. “I was seeing a therapist – my whole life I’ve been seeing a therapist. When the show was ending, when it was about to end, he said, ‘You want to start coming twice a week?’ I said, ‘No, I’ve run out of things to say now.’ But within three months, I was seeing him twice a week because it was, it was not easy.”
Explaining that he had to somewhat reinvent himself after Everybody Loves Raymond’s nine-season run, Romano was able to move forward and has since taken on several dramatic roles.
“You throw everything in for nine years and all of a sudden there’s this lull,” Romano told Bensinger. “The show became part of who I was and then all of a sudden you gotta figure out who you are again.”