Everybody Loves Raymond was a fan favorite CBS sitcom during its nine season run from September, 1996 to May, 2005. Thanks to star Ray Romano and creator/producer Philip Rosenthal, fans were introduced to a sitcom featuring an extremely relatable family which drove the show’s success and kept fans tuning in week after week and season after season. It has now been over 10 years since fans said goodbye to the Barone family but luckily we can rewatch all of the best episodes through many afternoon re-runs. Take a look back on the hilarious series with 10 things you didn’t know about the show and cast.
Real Life Inspiration
Thanks to the lives and experiences of Ray Romano and creator Philip Rosenthal, many of the series’ characters and situations were inspired by the two men’s real lives with their families. Ray Romano’s real life brother is actually a police officer, much like his on-screen brother Robert, and Robert’s habit of touching his food to his chin was inspired by Romano’s real brother who had “the same quirky mannerism.” Meanwhile Rosenthal’s wife once spoke out about seeing her real life arguments with Rosenthal end up in scripts. Monica Horan portrayed Amy on the series and told People, “I’m hearing lines from conversations I had with my husband. Ray was telling Debra to take medication, and she was telling him she need a hug. I was like, ‘Whoa.’ I was crying, then laughing, then crying. It was surreal.” Rosenthal himself added, “Ninety percent of everything you hear on the show has been said to me or Ray Romano or one of the writers.”
The cast of Everybody Loves Raymond ended up as one of the most believable TV families in recent history, but it wasn’t so easy putting everyone together. Peter Boyle, who expertly portrayed Frank Barone, revealed in his audition he was angry and sarcastic (much like his character) and producers loved it, but what they didn’t know was that he wasn’t acting. “I was out here and my kids were visiting from back East because I live in Manhattan and my girls go to school there. But we couldn’t get on the lot. Then we couldn’t get a parking space. Then when we finally got all of that worked out, we went to where the office was and they said, no, the auditions are being held in another place. So when I walked in, Ray and Phil were there and I was enraged.” Meanwhile casting Patricia Heaton wasn’t any easy feat either. At first CBS wanted Jane Sibbet, who was known for playing Carol in Friends, in the role of Debra, but Rosenthal and Romano wanted Heaton. “They were suggesting someone to play Raymond’s wife that I just couldn’t live with, and so I was quitting over that,” Rosenthal said of the ultimatum he gave CBS if they hired Sibbet. Romano however insists Heaton got the part because “she was the only one willing to kiss me on the lips in the auditions.”