‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Actress Doris Roberts

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on November 16, 2003

I love Doris Roberts. What can you tell me about her?
—Sandy S., Maine

A New York native, Doris Roberts knew she would become an actress early on. "I had one line in a play in kindergarten in which I said, 'I am Patrick Potato and this is my cousin, Mrs. Tomato,'" the actress recalls. "There was laughter in the room and I loved the sound of that. It made me feel very important and that's what I wanted to do from that moment on." And so she did. She just won her third Emmy for her work as pushy mother Marie Barone on the comedy Everybody Loves Raymond. But her long career includes plenty of drama, including an Emmy for her work as a bag lady on the medical drama St. Elsewhere in 1983. She's appeared on Broadway and made more than 30 films, including The Rose, Hester Street and The Grass Harp. Her next project, the Hallmark Channel movie A Time To Remember that airs Nov. 23, brings her back to drama. Roberts, 73, plays a very wealthy, proper woman who has a strained relationship with her artist daughter and is in the first stages of Alzheimer's disease. She believes Raymond fans will be quite surprised to see her play such a different type of mother than Marie. As excited as she is about the strong dramatic part, Roberts, a widow who lives in Los Angeles, is still thrilled by the effect of her work on Raymond. "What I love and will never get jaded by is that people come to me with great big smiles on their faces. I make them laugh, which is wonderful, because if you can laugh at my character, you can laugh at your mother or mother-in-law and we need to do that."