The lovably cantankerous mother on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond was played by actress Doris Roberts, an actress with “a grand love for life and people,” according to show creator Ray Romano, four Emmy Awards, and a long career on the stage and on screen. Roberts died Monday of natural causes, and her age has been variously cited as 86 or 90, according to The Washington Post.
Roberts said in a 2003 interview that she was bit by the acting bug at age 5, and though she studied journalism at New York University she devoted her life to acting in plays on Broadway for 20 years before being discovered by Lily Tomlin and moving to Los Angeles to do television and movies. She married and divorced, married again and was widowed, saying in 2014 that “none of the men in my life ever wanted me to be successful. I think they thought I’d leave them.”
Roberts had roles on St. Elsewhere and Remington Steele before Raymond, for which she beat out 100 other actresses for the role of Marie Barone. She also memorably depicted Clark Griswold’s tipsy mother-in-law in the slapstick classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.
In addition to her accomplishments in show business, Roberts was an advocate for older actors and actresses in Hollywood, arguing for more roles for them, and was a mentor and philanthropist.
Read the full obituary at The Washington Post.