Roberts’ son, Michael Cannata, confirmed the news of his mother’s death in a statement issued Monday.
The 90-year-old actress, whose celebrated career spanned six decades, won four Emmys for her portrayal of Marie Barone on the top-rated, long-running CBS comedy series (1996-2005). She won an Emmy earlier in her career for supporting actress for her role on NBC’s medical drama St. Elsewhere.
Raymond star Ray Romano remembered the actress who played his title character’s mother in a statement: “Doris Roberts had an energy and a spirit that amazed me. She never stopped. Whether working professionally or with her many charities, or just nurturing and mentoring a young, green comic trying to make it as an actor, she did it all with such a grand love for life and people and I will miss her dearly.”
On Raymond, Roberts’ Marie was a loving, sometimes smothering and often all-knowing (at least in her own mind) presence in the home of son Raymond and his wife, Debra (Patricia Heaton), who did not always appreciate Marie’s interference. The late Peter Boyle played Marie’s husband, Frank, and Brad Garrett played Raymond’s brother, Robert, who always felt that he played second fiddle to the coddled Raymond.
Roberts, who was born in St. Louis and grew up in New York, was a veteran of Broadway before starring in various films and TV series during an illustrious acting career that began in the 1950s. Her stage credits include The Desk Set, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Bad Habits, for which she won an Outer Critics Circle Award.
Besides Raymond, Roberts had memorable roles in other TV series, including Remington Steele and Angie. Early in her career, she appeared on such classic shows as The Naked City and Ben Casey and more recently she was featured in ABC’s Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy and The Middle, which stars Heaton.
Roberts’ feature film roles include Barefoot in the Park (1967), The Heartbreak Kid (1972) and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) and Madea’s Witness Protection (2012).
Roberts’ passion for cooking was reflected in her 2005 book, Are You Hungry, Dear? Life, Laughs and Lasagna, which she co-wrote with Danielle Morton.
In addition to son Michael, Roberts is survived by her daughter-in-law, Jane, and three grandchildren: Kelsey, Andrew and Devon Cannata. (Courtesy USA Today)