Ray RomanoActor / Comedian
Born: 21 December 1957
Birthplace: Queens, New York
Best known as: The star of TV's Everybody Loves Raymond
A dark-haired average Joe with a New York accent, Ray Romano starred in the CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond
(1996-2005). After building a career on the stand-up comedy stage, Romano began appearing on television, doing his act for Johnny Carson
, Jay Leno
and David Letterman
in the early 1990s. In 1996 Letterman and CBS signed him to develop a sitcom based loosely on his family life and the show became a ratings success. (Romano played Ray Barone, a Long Island sportswriter surrounded by oddball friends and relatives.) By the time Everybody Loves Raymond
ended in 2005, Romano was earning $1.8 million per episode, making him at that time the highest-paid actor on TV. He has also starred in the political comedy feature Welcome to Mooseport
(2004, with Gene Hackman
) and the straight-to-DVD feature Grilled
(2006, with Kevin James), and provided the voice of Manny the Mammoth in the animated film Ice Age
(2002) and the sequel Ice Age 2: the Meltdown
Romano went to high school in Queens with Fran Drescher, star of the TV show The Nanny. He told a Time magazine interviewer in 1999, “We had like 600 kids in our graduating class, so I never met her”… During his run on Raymond, Romano also made crossover appearances as Ray Barone on the sitcom The King of Queens.
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