In an exclusive interview with Closer Weekly, on newsstands now, Everybody Loves Raymond star Ray Romano admits he wouldn’t be the actor that he is today if it weren’t for his unforgettable sitcom mom, Doris Roberts.
“Doris never stopped wanting to learn. She was always open to getting better,” Ray tells Closer, adding that she took acting lessons her entire life. "They asked me if I wanted an acting coach, because I was coming from stand-up. I remember thinking, Here’s this veteran actress who’s still learning. So I just followed her lead."
"She wasn’t a selfish actor. If she was there to set you up, she wanted it to be perfect. She was not there to be better than me — she was there to make me better,” Ray explains to Closer.
Ray and Doris with the Everybody Loves Raymond cast. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Ray and Doris had incredible onscreen and offscreen chemistry. “The main thing she did for me was just to accept me. She never made me feel like the inexperienced guy I was. She complimented me. She’d constantly tell me not to worry. Because I did nothing but worry.”
"Doris was 70 when the show started, yet she could outwork anybody,” Ray recalls to Closer. “During the summer hiatuses, I would be ready to collapse, and she would be in France at a castle. She would be on a cruise — working the cruise, not just on vacation or she’d be riding a camel in Bahrain.”
Ray and Doris in 2012. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
“She had this zest,” Ray tells Closer. "She did so much work for charity, and she testified before Congress about ageism. She was ballsy and brassy."
“For all these years, when fans come up to me, they always say Doris is their favorite. It pisses me off a little! But at least they’re not saying it’s Brad Garrett,” Ray jokes to Closer.
“Doris was one of a kind,” Ray confides to Closer. "She made me.”
For the full interview with Ray Romano, pick up the latest issue of Closer Weekly, on newsstands now!