Patricia Heaton

Actress


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

Tab

About
About this interview

Patricia Heaton was interviewed for nearly two hours in Burbank, CA. Heaton talks of growing up a "daydreamer" in Cleveland and enjoying the attention she got as the daughter of Chuck Heaton, a well-known local sportswriter.  She describes her early years as a struggling actress in New York City and Los Angeles, picking up small roles in commercials and television series.  She discusses her recurring role in the hit dramedy series thirtysomething and her co-starring roles in the short-lived series Room for Two (opposite Linda Lavin, who mentored her) and Women of the House. Heaton then details the role and series for which she is best known, "Debra Barone" on Everybody Loves Raymond. She chronicles her work on the series from her audition, to shooting the series finale (which was delayed when she contracted laryngitis).  She describes the series' shooting schedule, working with series' directors Gary Halvorson and Will MacKenzie, and how her real-life pregnancies were covered up on the show. She also notes some of the moments of the show that garnered the biggest laughs, including: Debra's desperate attempts to get a turkey in the oven, Raymond trying lift Debra onto the refrigerator in a moment of glee and slamming her into it, and Debra dropping ice cream on Raymond's lap (eliciting a "minute and a half laugh").  Lastly, she touches on her appearances as spokesperson for Albertsons grocery stores and on some of her post-Raymond television movies. Karen Herman conducted the interview on October 23, 2006.

"It was scary the way the 'Everybody Loves Raymond' writers would write exactly what I was going through in my own life. It would freak me out that I would be dealing with the kids' school stuff, or with an aspect of my relationship with my husband, and I'd get the script and it would be right there on the page! I think it's what made the show so successful -- the experience of the characters is really universal."

Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Patricia Heaton on "Debra Barone," her character on Everybody Loves Raymond
Patricia Heaton on working with Ray Romano
Patricia Heaton on the series finale of Everybody Loves Raymond  
Patricia Heaton on winning an Emmy for the "Bad Moon Rising" episode of Everybody Loves Raymond  
Patricia Heaton on the legacy of Everybody Loves Raymond as a classic comedy 
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her childhood and early influences; on her father being a local sportswriter in Cleveland and a minor celebrity; on always enjoying performing; on working at the ABC affiliate in Cleveland; on moving to New York; on TV shows she enjoyed as a child; on her childhood daydreams
On her first professional job; on working odd jobs in New York to get by; on moving to Los Angeles to produce a play; on acting tips from William Esper; on forming a theater company; on her first television work in LA; on her first steady television gig on Thirtysomething; on Room for Two with Linda Lavin

Chapter 2

On Room for Two going off the air; on playing a mother on Someone Like Me; on a guest appearance on Party of Five  as Jennifer Love Hewitt's birth mother; on her role on Women of the House with Delta Burke; on reading for the pilot of Everybody Loves Raymond  
On "Debra Barone," her character on Everybody Loves Raymond; on the benefits of performing in front of a live audience; on the relationship between "Debra Barone" and her family on Everybody Loves Raymond

Chapter 3

On her Everybody Loves Raymond character "Debra's" relationship with friend "Amy"; on her wardrobe on the show; on how the show dealt with her pregnancies; on working with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal; on her interactions with the show's writers and directors; on a typical work week on the show
On her favorite episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond; on winning an Emmy for the "Bad Moon Rising" episode; on the series finale

Chapter 4

On working with director Will Mackenzie on Everybody Loves Raymond; on winning her first and second Emmy for the show; on the legacy of the program; on working with Ray Romano; on being an Albertson's spokesperson
On pilots since Everybody Loves Raymond; on then-current projects; on her production company, Four Boys; on her proudest career achievement; on advice to an aspiring actress
Shows

Alien Nation

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on her first television work in LA - on Alien Nation

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on winning an Emmy for Everybody Loves Raymond right after 9/11, on that show being like "lightning in a bottle"

Everybody Loves Raymond

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on reading for the pilot of Everybody Loves Raymond  
Patricia Heaton on the requirement of kissing Ray Romano when auditioning for Everybody Loves Raymond
Patricia Heaton on her character "Debra" on Everybody Loves Raymond  
Patricia Heaton on the comedic elements of her role and Ray Romano's on Everybody Loves Raymond; on her character's relationship with her family
Patricia Heaton on the final episode of Everybody Loves Raymond as a "brilliant way to end the series"
Patricia Heaton on working on Everybody Loves Raymond - on the cast, writers, directors, and work week
Patricia Heaton on her favorite episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond  
Patricia Heaton on the legacy of Everybody Loves Raymond as a classic comedy and on working with Ray Romano
Patricia Heaton on her proudest career achievement - Everybody Loves Raymond

Party of Five

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on a guest appearance on Party of Five  as Jennifer Love Hewitt's birth mother

Room for Two

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on Room for Two with Linda Lavin
Patricia Heaton on Room For Two 

Someone Like Me

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on playing a mother on Someone Like Me

Thirtysomething

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on her first steady television gig on Thirtysomething

Wild Wild West, The

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on not being allowed to watch Wild, Wild West as a child

Women of the House

View Show Page
Patricia Heaton on her role on Women of the House with Delta Burke; on memorizing lines for the show
Topics

Characters & Catchphrases

View Topic
Patricia Heaton on "Debra Barone," her character on Everybody Loves Raymond
Patricia Heaton on the relationship between "Debra Barone" and her family on Everybody Loves Raymond

Emmy Awards

View Topic
Patricia Heaton on winning an Emmy for the "Bad Moon Rising" episode of Everybody Loves Raymond  
Patricia Heaton on winning her first and second Emmy for Everybody Loves Raymond

We Laughed

View Topic
Patricia Heaton on the final episode of Everybody Loves Raymond as a "brilliant way to end the series"
Professions

Actress

View Profession
Patricia Heaton on wanting to be a performer
Patricia Heaton on acting tips from William Esper
Patricia Heaton on what made her character on Everybody Loves Raymond a comedic force; the power of silence
Patricia Heaton on the benefits of performing in front of a live audience
Patricia Heaton on her advice to aspiring actresses
Genres

Comedy Series

View Genre
Patricia Heaton on Room for Two with Linda Lavin
Patricia Heaton on her role as "Debra Barone" on Everybody Loves Raymond
Patricia Heaton on working on Everybody Loves Raymond - on the cast, writers, directors, work week, specific episodes, and series finale
Patricia Heaton on winning Emmys for and the legacy of Everybody Loves Raymond as a classic comedy; on working with Ray Romano

Drama Series

View Genre
Patricia Heaton on her first steady television gig, on Thirtysomething
People

Jason Alexander

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on her first professional job - a commercial with Jason Alexander

Peter Boyle

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on the relationship between "Debra Barone" and her in-laws on Everybody Loves Raymond

Delta Burke

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on her role on Women of the House with Delta Burke; on memorizing lines for the show

Robert Conrad

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on not being allowed to watch Wild, Wild West as a child

Ellen DeGeneres

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on winning an Emmy for Everybody Loves Raymond right after 9/11

Teri Garr

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on her role on Women of the House with Delta Burke; on memorizing lines for the show

Brad Garrett

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on the relationship between "Debra Barone" and her brother-in-law on Everybody Loves Raymond

Bruce Helford

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on playing a mother on Someone Like Me

Marshall Herskovitz

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on her first steady television gig, on Thirtysomething

Jennifer Love Hewitt

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on a guest appearance on Party of Five  as Jennifer Love Hewitt's birth mother

Monica Horan

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on her Everybody Loves Raymond character "Debra's" relationship with friend "Amy"

Harvey Keitel

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on working with Harvey Keitel in The Path to 9/11

Linda Lavin

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on Room for Two with Linda Lavin
Patricia Heaton on Room For Two 

Will Mackenzie

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on working with director Will Mackenzie on Everybody Loves Raymond

Doris Roberts

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on the relationship between "Debra Barone" and her in-laws on Everybody Loves Raymond

Ray Romano

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on meeting Ray Romano; on the requirement of kissing Ray Romano when auditioning for Everybody Loves Raymond
Patricia Heaton on working with Ray Romano on Everybody Loves Raymond

Phil Rosenthal

View Interview Page
Patricia Heaton on working with Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal

Linda Bloodworth Thomason

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on her role on Women of the House with Delta Burke; on memorizing lines for the show

Patricia Wettig

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on her first steady television gig, on Thirtysomething

Edward Zwick

View Person Page
Patricia Heaton on her first steady television gig, on Thirtysomething

All Interviews

Q
S