Doris Roberts (born Doris May Green; November 4, 1925) is an American character actress of film, stage, and television. She has received five Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild award during her acting career, which began in 1951. She is perhaps best known for her role as Raymond Barone's mother, Marie Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005).
Doris May Green was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1925. Her mother, Ann Meltzer, who was of Russian Jewish descent, raised her daughter in the New York City borough of The Bronx with the assistance of her own parents, after her husband Larry deserted the family.
Doris' stepfather, whose surname she took as her own, was Chester H. Roberts, whose name is included with Ann and Doris Green in the 1940 census as "lodger". Chester and Ann Roberts operated the Z.L. Rosenfield Agency, a stenographic service catering to playwrights and actors.
Television and film career
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Roberts's acting career began in 1952 with a role on the TV series Studio One. She appeared in episodes of The Naked City (1958–63), Way Out (1961), Ben Casey (1963), and The Defenders (1962–63). In 1961, she made her film debut in Something Wild (1961).
She appeared in such 1960s and 1970s films as A Lovely Way to Die, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Honeymoon Killers, Such Good Friends, Little Murders, and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. In 1978, she appeared in a film about John F. Kennedy's assassination, Ruby and Oswald, in which she played Jack Ruby's sister. She also appeared very briefly in The Rose, as the mother of the title character (played by Bette Midler).
In an interview with the Archive of American Television, Rue McClanahan confirmed that in 1972 she was approached by Norman Lear during the taping of an All In The Family episode to be a late replacement for Roberts, who was originally intended for the role of Vivian in Maude. (Roberts later guest starred in a 1976 All in the Family episode, "Edith's Night Out".) She has usually been cast as a mother or mother-in-law on television, i.e. as Theresa Falco on Angie. She later appeared as Mildred Krebs on Remington Steele.
After that show ended, she starred in the TV movie remake of If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987) and the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). She appeared on Alice, playing the mother of the title character (played by her former Broadway co-star Linda Lavin), on Barney Miller as the wife of a man who secretly went to a sex surrogate, and on Full House as Danny Tanner's mother, Claire. She played the unhinged "Flo Flotsky" on four episodes of Soap, Dorelda Doremus, a faith healer, on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; and lonely Aunt Edna on Step by Step.
Roberts achieved her widest fame for her role as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. She was reportedly one of 100 actresses considered for the role. For her work on the series, she was nominated for seven Emmy Awards (and won four times) for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.
She previously won an Emmy for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere, playing a homeless woman, and she was also nominated once for her role on Remington Steele. She was nominated for appearances on Perfect Strangers and a PBS special called The Sunset Gang. In 2003, she made a guest appearance as Gordo's grandmother in Lizzie McGuire. The same year, Roberts received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2006, she starred in Our House where she portrayed a wealthy woman who took homeless people in her house, and in Grandma's Boy. In 2007, she made a guest appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In 2008, Roberts appeared in the romantic comedy Play the Game alongside Andy Griffith, who plays a lonely, widowed grandfather re-entering the dating world after a 60-year hiatus.
She appeared in the 2009 film Aliens in the Attic, which was filmed in Auckland, New Zealand. She played George Needleman's mother in Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (2012). On September 23, 2010, she played Ms. Rinsky, Brick Heck's schoolteacher in the second season premiere episode of The Middle. This appearance reunited her with Patricia Heaton, her co-star from Everybody Loves Raymond; the character disliked Frankie. Roberts returned in two other episodes that season, "The Math Class" and the finale, "Back to Summer".
Roberts's stage career began in the 1950s on Broadway. She has appeared in numerous Broadway shows including The Desk Set (with Shirley Booth), Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (with James Coco and Linda Lavin) and Terrence McNally's Bad Habits. She starred in McNally's Unusual Acts of Devotion at the LaJolla Playhouse in June 2009.
Roberts's first husband was Michael Cannata; they divorced in 1962. Their son, Michael Cannata, Jr. (born 1957) is her only child. He serves as her manager. She has three grandchildren: Kelsey, Andrew, and Devon. Her second husband was writer William Goyen. She was married to Goyen from 1963 until his death from leukemia on August 30, 1983.
On September 4, 2002, she testified before a U.S. Congressional panel that age discrimination is prevalent in Hollywood, advocating that such discrimination be treated on par with biases against race and gender.
An avid cook, she wrote Are You Hungry, Dear? Life, Laughs, and Lasagna (in 2005), co-written with Danelle Morton and published by St. Martin's Press. In May 2005, she received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of South Carolina. An animal rights advocate, she has worked with the group Puppies Behind Bars which works with inmates in training guide dogs and assistance dogs for the physically disabled and elderly, as well as dogs trained in explosives detection to be used by the ATF and other law enforcement agencies. She is active with the Children with AIDS Foundation, of which she has served as the chairwoman. Roberts was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 7, 2011.
Roberts is a registered Democrat.
- 1983 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — St. Elsewhere: Cora and Arnie
- 2001 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
- 2002 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
- 2003 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
- 2005 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
Emmy Award nominations
- 1985 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series — Remington Steele
- 1989 — Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series — Perfect Strangers: Maid to Order
- 1991 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special — The Sunset Gang
- 1999 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
- 2000 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
- 2004 — Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series — Everybody Loves Raymond
Outer Critics Circle
- 1974 — Outstanding Actress in a Play —
|1961||Something Wild||Mary Ann's Co-Worker|
|1967||Barefoot in the Park||Hotel Maid||Uncredited|
|1967||Divorce American Style||Hypnotic Subject||Uncredited|
|1968||No Way to Treat a Lady||Sylvia Poppie|
|1968||A Lovely Way to Die||Feeney|
|1970||The Honeymoon Killers||Bunny|
|1971||Little Murders||Mrs. Chamberlain|
|1971||A New Leaf||Mrs. Traggert|
|1971||Such Good Friends||Mrs. Gold|
|1974||The Taking of Pelham One Two Three||Jessie|
|1975||Hester Street||Mrs. Kavarsky|
|1978||Rabbit Test||Mrs. Carpenter|
|1979||Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff||Marie|
|1979||The Rose||Mrs. Foster|
|1980||The Diary of Anne Frank||Mrs. Van Daan||Television film|
|1985||California Girls||Mrs. Bowzer||Television film|
|1987||Number One with a Bullet||Mrs. Barzak|
|1989||National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation||Francis|
|1990||Blind Faith||Tessie McBride||Television miniseries|
|1990||A Mom for Christmas||Philomena||Television film|
|1992||Used People||Aunt Lonnie|
|1995||The Grass Harp||Mrs. Richards|
|1999||A Fish in the Bathtub||Frieda|
|2001||All Over the Guy||Esther|
|2003||Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star||Peggy Roberts|
|2003||A Time to Remember||Maggie Calhoun||Television film|
|2004||Raising Waylon||Great Aunt Marie|
|2006||Grandma's Boy||Grandma Lilly|
|2006||Our House||Ruth||Television film|
|2006||Keeping Up with the Steins||Rose Fielder|
|2009||Play the Game||Rose Sherman|
|2009||Aliens in the Attic||Nana Rose Pearson|
|2009||Another Harvest Moon||Alice|
|2009||Mrs. Merkle||Television Film|
|2010||Mrs. Miracle||Television Film|
|2011||Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension||Mrs. Thompson|
|2012||Madea's Witness Protection||Barbara|
|2014||The Little Rascals Save the Day||Grandma||Video|
|2014||(short film; "Woman of the Flowers" section)||Grandma|
|1951||Starlight Theatre||Operator||Episode: "Act of God Notwithstanding"|
|1952||Studio One in Hollywood||The Madwoman||Episode: "Jane Eyre"|
|1952||Suspense||Woman||Episode: "A Time on Innocence"|
|1954||Look Up and Live||Minnah||Episode: "Rider Number Six"|
|1962||Naked City||Miss Tresant||Episode: "One of the Most Important Men in the Whole World"|
|1963||Ben Casey||Claire Forest||Episode: "Father Was an Intern"|
|1963||Naked City||N/A||Episode: "Color Schemes Like Never Before"|
|1969||CBS Playhouse||Shimmy||Episode: "Shadow Game"|
|1975||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Helen Ferrell||Episode: "Phyllis Whips Inflation"|
|1975||Medical Center||Gladys Callahan||Episode: "Two Against Death"|
|1975||Baretta||Mrs. Asher||Episode: "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"|
|1976||All in the Family||Marge||Episode: "Edith's Night Out"|
|1976||Viva Valdez||Gladys||Episode: "The Nurse's Pipes"|
|1976||Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman||Dorelda Doremus||3 episodes|
|1976||The Streets of San Francisco||Mrs. Strauss||2 episodes|
|1976||Family||Etta||Episode: "Home Movie"|
|1976||Rhoda||Sylvia Levy||Episode: "Meet the Levy's"|
|1978–1980||Barney Miller||Harriet Brauer||3 episodes|
|1978||Soap||Flo Flotsky||4 episodes|
|1979–1980||Angie||Theresa Falco||36 episodes|
|1979||Fantasy Island||Marjorie Gibbs||Episode: "Goose for the Gander/The Stuntman"|
|1981||Fantasy Island||Madam Clooney||Episode: "Delphine/The Unkillable"|
|1981–1982||Alice||Mona Spivak||2 episodes|
|1982||St. Elsewhere||Cora||Episode: "Cora and Arnie"
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
|1983||Romance Theatre||Maggie||5 episodes|
|1983||Cagney & Lacey||Helen Freitas||Episode: "Jane Doe #37"|
|1983–1987||Remington Steele||Mildred Krebs||71 episodes
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
|1986||Mr. Belvedere||Judge Westphall||Episode: "Deportation: Part 2"|
|1990||Full House||Claire Tanner||Episode: "Granny Tanny"|
|1990||Murder, She Wrote||Helen Owens||Episode: "Shear Madness"|
|1991||Empty Nest||Aunt Retha||Episode: "The Last Temptation of Laverne"|
|1991||American Playhouse||Mimi Finkelstein||Episode: "The Sunset Gang"
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1993||The Boys||Doris Greenblat||6 episodes|
|1993||The John Larroquette Show||Mrs. Shenker||Episode: "Pilot"|
|1993–1995||Dream On||Angie Pedalbee||6 episodes|
|1994||Murder, She Wrote||Mrs. Leah Colfax||Episode: "The Murder Chanel"|
|1994||Step by Step||Aunt Edna||Episode: "I'll Be Home for Christmas"|
|1995||Walker, Texas Ranger||Elaine Portugal||Episode: "The Big Bingo Bamboozle"|
|1996–2005||Everybody Loves Raymond||Marie Barone||210 episodes
American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female Performer in a TV Series
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2001–03, 2005)
Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actress – Television Series
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Quality Comedy Series (1998–2000)
Nominated—American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Female Performer in a TV Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (1999–2000, 2004)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series (2004–05)
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series (1999–2000, 2002, 2004–06)
|1999||The King of Queens||Marie Barone||Episode: "Rayny Day"|
|2000||The Wild Thornberrys||Cow #1||Episode: "Critical Masai"|
|2002||Touched by an Angel||Rose||Episode: "The Bells of St. Peters"|
|2003||Lizzie McGuire||Grandma Ruth||Episode: "Grand Ole' Grandma"|
|2007||Law & Order: Criminal Intent||Virginia Harrington||Episode: "Privilege"|
|2010–2011||The Middle||Mrs. Rinsky||3 episodes|
|2011||Grey's Anatomy||Gladys Polcher||Episode: "It's a Long Way Back"|
|2011||Hot in Cleveland||Lydia||Episode: "Dancing Queens"|
|2012||Desperate Housewives||Doris Hammond||Episode: "Lost My Power"|
|2013–2014||Melissa & Joey||Sofia||3 episodes|