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Everybody Loves Raymond Actors You May Not Know Passed Away

Frequently cited as one of the best sitcoms in television history, "Everybody Loves Raymond" featured a stellar cast led by stand-up comic turned actor Ray Romano as sports writer Ray Barone, TV and stage actress Patricia Heaton as his long-suffering wife, Debra, and fellow stand-up Brad Garrett as Ray's underdog brother, Robert, with film vets Peter Boyle and Doris Roberts as Ray's intrusive parents. The series' Emmy-winning writing drew on Romano's comedy, skillfully blending humor with storylines about the ups and downs of family life that viewers found relatable and endearing.

"Raymond" ended its nine-year network run in 2005 on CBS while still in the Nielsen Top 10, and remains exceptionally popular in syndication. Many of its core cast members also remain active on screen: Romano transitioned to drama in "Vinyl" and "The Irishman," Heaton completed a nine-year run with her own series, "The Middle," and Garrett remains in-demand as a comic and actor in both comedy ("Single Parents") and drama ("Penny Dreadful: City of Angels"). However, many of their talented supporting and recurring castmates have passed away in the years since "Raymond" rang down its curtain. Following is a list of some "Raymond" alumni who are no longer with us.

Peter Boyle was tough but loving dad Frank Barone

Though an acclaimed and prolific actor with roles in some of the most critically praised movies of the 1970s, including "Young Frankenstein," "Taxi Driver," and his star-making turn as an aggrieved construction worker in the controversial 1970 drama "Joe," Peter Boyle may be best known as Frank Barone on "Everybody Loves Raymond." A perpetual crank with a gift for aggravating nearly everyone in his orbit through well-timed insults or pure stubbornness, Frank was also shown to have a gentle side through his relationship with his granddaughter, Ally (played by Madylin Sweeten), and even showed an occasional flash of softness and affection towards wife Marie and his sons.

Boyle received seven Emmy nominations, among many other laurels, for his turn as Frank, but would only claim a shared Screen Actors Guild Award with the cast in 2003 (he earned an Emmy for his melancholy performance in the Season 3 "X-Files" episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"). One year after "Raymond" aired its final episode in 2005, the 71-year-old Boyle died from the effects of multiple myeloma and heart disease in New York City on November 12, 2006.

Doris Roberts: the mother of all TV moms

Doris Roberts made the art of meddling into a science on "Raymond." Cast as Ray and Robert's mother, Marie Barone, Roberts found a way to make what seemed, on paper, an intrusive and overbearing character into a sympathetic figure whose desire to support and care for her family sometimes went to extreme lengths. One of the best examples of Roberts' ability to find humor and emotion in Marie's behavior came in the Season 5 episode "Ray's Journal," in which Ray discovers, to his horror, that his mother read the very personal (and embarrassing) journal he kept as a teenager.

Though the intrusion is played for laughs, Ray discovers that Marie has also read his angry words and feelings about her, leaving her doubting her abilities as a mother. The incident leads to some heartfelt dialogue between mother and son that showcases the series' ability to mine emotion and laughs with equal skill. For her performance in "Ray's Journal," Roberts won an Emmy — one of four (out of seven nominations) she earned during her run on the series.

Roberts died following a stroke at the age of 90 at her home in Los Angeles, California, on April 17, 2016.

Fred Willard was Amy's conservative dad, Hank

Fred Willard's brand of comedy – a mix of confidence and cluelessness — had been making people laugh since the late '60s, and found some of its greatest outlets in the "mockumentary" comedies of Christopher Guest, as well as "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle," and countless television guest shots, including an Emmy nominated turn as Phil Dunphy's father on "Modern Family." One of his most successful small screen roles was Hank MacDougall, the outwardly mild-mannered but decidedly conservative dad of Monica Horan's Amy MacDougall on "Raymond."

Hank and wife Pat, played by fellow comedy and TV vet Georgia Engel, made plain their dislike for Robert due to his religion (he's Catholic, they're Presbyterian) and previous marriage, as seen in the characters' first appearance in Season 7's "Just a Formality." They eventually soften on him, though attempts to build bridges between the MacDougalls and Barones only makes matters worse, as seen in Season 8's "The Bird," where Pat's decision to put an injured bird out of its misery results in all-out war between the families. Like Engel, Willard received three Emmy nominations for his work on "Raymond."

Willard died at the age of 86 at his home in Los Angeles, California on May 15, 2020.

Georgia Engel was Amy's sweet and secretive mom, Pat

Georgia Engel, whose wide-eyed delivery and distinctive, feather-soft voice helped earn her two Emmy nominations for her recurring role on "The Mary Tyler Moore Show," enjoyed even greater success and acclaim as Pat MacDougall, the infinitely even-tempered mother of Amy MacDougall on "Raymond." Paired with another effortless comic talent, Fred Willard, as her husband, Hank, Engel walked away with nearly every scene in which she appeared.

Case in point: "Pat's Secret," from Season 9, in which Robert discovers that Pat has been smoking without Peter's knowledge for nearly three decades. After sneaking a few drags from Pat, Amy accuses Robert of smoking, and in desperation, he turns to Pat for a defense. But Pat, in her impossibly sweet way, refuses to take the blame. Engel received an Emmy nomination for the episode, and earned two more during her two-year recurring run on "Raymond."

Engel, who was also a veteran of the Broadway stage, died of unknown causes at the age of 70 on April 12, 2019.

Sawyer Sweetin was one of the Barone Boys

"Everybody Loves Raymond" employed three child actors, all siblings, to play Ray and Debra's kids. Madylin Sweeten played the eldest daughter, Ally, while her brothers, twins Sullivan and Sawyer Sweeten, played Geoffrey and Michael who, in the pilot episode, were played by toddler triplets, and named Matthew and Gregory, the names of Ray Romano's real-life twin sons. Sullivan and Sawyer were hired to play the Barone boys when they were just 18 months old, and remained with the series until its conclusion in 2005.

Save for a few minor roles, the Sweeten twins' acting careers were relegated to "Raymond," and they remained off-screen for much of the decade that followed its last episode (sister Madylin remains active as a comic actress on television and short films). On April 23, 2015, Sawyer Sweeten was visiting a family member in Austin, Texas when he took his own life at the age of 19.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

"Who's the Boss" mom Katherine Helmond was also Debra's mother

The extended Barone family added two new branches in Season 1 with the introduction of Debra's parents, Lois and Warren Whelan. Played by TV mainstays Katherine Helmond and Robert Culp, respectively, the Whelans were depicted as wealthy upper-class types with a penchant for world travel. However, as the characters' debut episode, "In-Laws," revealed, there were more than a few cracks in that façade. Helmond's Lois, in particular, was far more brittle and troubled than her polished veneer suggested: she and Warren had marriage issues that, despite counseling, resulted in divorce, as seen in Season 5's "Separation."

Helmond specialized in ladies of refinement with edge, netting Golden Globes for two such roles on "Soap" and "Who's the Boss?" and memorably depicting the extremes of vanity as Jonathan Pryce's mother in Terry Gilliam's "Brazil." Her turn as Lois Whelan earned Helmond her seventh Emmy nomination in 2002, and Helmond remained exceptionally active for nearly another decade, with roles on "True Blood" and Pixar's "Cars" before her death at the age of 89 on February 23, 2019.

Robert Culp: from TV spy to Debra's dad

Robert Culp had entertained TV audiences for nearly a half century before appearing on "Raymond." '60s viewers knew him from "Demon with a Glass Hand," one of the best episodes of "The Outer Limits," and as secret agent Kelly Robinson on "I Spy," while '80s kids remember him as wild card FBI agent Bill Maxwell on "The Greatest American Hero," for which he also wrote and directed episodes. In 1996, he parlayed his natural charm into the role of Warren Whelan, Debra's father, on 11 episodes of "Raymond."

Like wife Lois, played by Katherine Helmond, Warren gave off an air of contentment and self-satisfaction brought on by considerable wealth and travel. The truth, however, was that the couple was on the verge of splitting up, which came to pass in Season 5's "Separation." Having played it glibly for most of his appearances, the episode gave Culp a chance to show some emotion by confessing to Debra that the separation had been his idea, not Lois's, and long overdue.

Culp died at age 79 near his home in the Hollywood Hills on March 24, 2010.

Hey, it's Len Lesser as Garvin

After decades of menacing roles in films like "Papillon" and "The Outlaw Josey Wales," character actor Len Lesser gained newfound fame as the exuberantly weird Uncle Leo on "Seinfeld." Leo's eccentricities — the close talking, the arm grabbing, the endless anecdotes about his son, Jeffrey, in the Parks Department — also seemed to inform his recurring role as Garvin, a friend of Frank's, on "Raymond." Garvin, who made his first of nine appearances on the series in Season 1's "Win, Lose or Draw," was noted for his enthusiastic, very Leo-like response whenever Ray made an appearance on the scene ("Hey! Ray's here!").

The popularity of Garvin and Leo led to near-constant TV work for Lesser in the late '90s and early 2000s; he enjoyed numerous guest shots on shows like Brad Garrett's post-"Raymond" series "'Til Death" and "Castle" until 2009, when treatment for cancer curtailed his busy schedule. Lesser died from pneumonia at the age of 88 on February 16, 2011.

Charles Durning tried to advise the Barones as Father Hubley

One of the most prolific character actors in feature films for more than a half-century, two-time Oscar nominee Charles Durning was also one of the most versatile, moving easily from drama like "Dog Day Afternoon" and "When a Stranger Calls" to comedies that included "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and "Tootsie." Durning also maintained a steady schedule of television, including an Emmy-nominated stint as a series regular on "Evening Shade" and six episodes of "Raymond" as Father Hubley, a Catholic priest at the church attended by the Barones.

Father Hubley officiated at Ray and Debra's wedding, as seen in the Season 2 two-parter "The Wedding," and served as occasional counsel for the family. Though he appeared to face the family's unusual issues — like Ray's phobia of being touched by Debra while he's sleeping in Season 3's "Move Over" — with a mix of dismay and resignation, Father Hubley managed to provide them with thoughtful and caring advice. Durning — a highly decorated World War II veteran — died of natural causes at the age of 89 on December 24, 2012.

Jean Stapleton took on Doris Roberts as Aunt Alda

Actress Jean Stapleton was a television legend, having won three Emmys (out of seven nominations) and two Golden Globes for playing Edith Bunker, the eternally optimistic spouse of Archie Bunker on the groundbreaking "All in the Family." So for her appearance on "Raymond" in Season 1's "I Wish I Were Gus," they gave her a role that pitted her against an equally formidable actress, Doris Roberts, as Marie's sister, Alda, who has carried a grudge against her for placing her in a remote corner at Ray and Debra's wedding. The episode, which focuses on the funeral of Alda's husband, Gus — for which Ray is tapped to deliver the eulogy — gives both actresses plenty of material to deliver some tart lines.

At the time of her appearance on "Raymond," Stapleton was a busy guest and supporting player in features and on television, and still netting laurels for her work, including an Emmy nod for her appearance on "Grace Under Fire" in 1995. Stapleton continued to act until 2001, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame the following year. She died at the age of 90 on May 31, 2013.

Two actors served slices as Nemo

Every great sitcom needs a hangout place, and for "Raymond," that was Nemo's Pizza. Ray, the family, and friends Gianni (Jon Manfrellotti), Andy (Andy Kindler), and Bernie (Tom McGowan) not only chowed down on Nemo's pies in eight episodes of the series, but in Season 1's "Captain Nemo," Ray takes over the captain spot of an amateur basketball team sponsored by the restaurant from Kevin James' Kevin.

Manning the counter was Nemo himself, played by veteran character actor Joseph V. Perry. The Pittsburgh native amassed a sizable number of television roles in a four-decade career, including the original "Twilight Zone" and "Seinfeld." When Perry died on February 23, 2000, Robert Ruth — another longtime character player who appeared in "Reservoir Dogs" — stepped in to play Nemo in Season 5's "What Good Are You" and "Stefania Arrives."

The latter episode marked both Ruth and Nemo's final appearance, as Stefani's father, Marco ("Sopranos" actor David Proval), took over Nemo's — and, as Robert alleges in the Season 6 episode "Odd Man Out," bumped off the pizza cook ("He looked at me with that face and said, 'He go away'," says Robert), though this is never proven. Ruth died the age of 82 on December 29, 2019.

Phil Leeds' Uncle Mel out-cranked Frank

No one topped Frank Barone in the curmudgeon department — no one, that is, except his brother, Mel. Uncle Mel, as Ray and Robert knew him, was a pint-sized ball of bad temper in four episodes of "Raymond," beginning with Season 1's "Turkey or Fish." The episode also launched the recurring gag of Mel loudly declaring to everyone that he meets that while he is always solo at family events, it's not because he's gay.

Mel was played by Phil Leeds, a one-time standup comic who turned to acting on stage and then in movies and in television after entertaining the troops as part of the Army Special Service Unit during World War II. His slight stature and cagey demeanor made him ideal for hustlers and fast talkers, including an amiable spirit in "Ghost," though one of his most widely seen roles was as Dr. Shand, a "famous dentist" and secret Satanist in "Rosemary's Baby."

In the late '90s, Leeds was a go-to for irritable elderly men, most notably as a hygiene-obsessed judge on "Ally McBeal." His final screen performance in the David Spade comedy "Lost & Found" (1998) was posthumous: Leeds died on August 16, 1998 at the age of 82.

David Byrd was Frank Barone clone Harry Stipe

To the chagrin of Frank and Marie, Robert finally cuts the apron strings in Season 3's "Moving Out." Unfortunately, he discovers that his new landlords, Harry and Rita Stipe, are just as combative and intrusive as his parents. Harry, in particular, is almost a clone of Frank, right down to the catch phrase — though Harry favors "Holy crud!" over "Holy crap!" — and affinity for Ray over Robert.

Ray later sees an opportunity to keep Frank and Marie from barging into their house by brokering a friendship with the Stipes in Season 4's "Marie and Frank's New Friends," though this fails in spectacular fashion, as the Stipes decide to make regular and unwanted house calls on Ray and Debra as well.

Harry Stipe was played by character actor David Byrd, whose deadpan delivery made him a natural fit on sitcoms like "Seinfeld" (he played a pharmacist in the final episode) and comedy features like the Coen Brothers' "Hudsucker Proxy" (with Charles Durning). His second turn on "Raymond" was also his final screen appearance prior to his death on January 26, 2001 at the age of 68. Stage actress Anna Berger, who played the very Marie-like Rita Stipe, died on May 26, 2014 at the age of 91.