Doris Roberts

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).

    Early life

    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

    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".

    Stage career

    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.

    Personal life

    Roberts with Rip Taylor in November 2010

    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.

    Emmy Awards

    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 —


    Roberts in April 2011


    Year Title Role Notes
    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
    2015 Ruth Morrison
    2015 Gracie McBee


    Year Title Role Notes
    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 Maggie Loretta 8 episodes
    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
    2014 Norma Television movie


    External links