The great Doris Roberts died at age 90. The actress who spent six decades in show business became a household name and face as Marie Barone in the sitcom Everybody Love Raymond. Roberts was probably the most beloved pint-sized television tyrant since Danny DeVito played Louis DePalma on Taxi. Stars who worked with Roberts flooded the Internet with love and encomiums. Patricia Heaton, who played Ray’s wife and Marie’s nemesis on the show, wrote that Roberts was “a consummate professional from whom I learned so much. She was funny and tough and loved life, living it to the fullest.”
To my beloved Marie – RIP. pic.twitter.com/TtZCySQnLK
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) April 18, 2016
Producer-writer-director Tyler Perry, who directed Roberts in Madea’s Witness Protection, simply wrote: “God thank you for 90 years of Doris Roberts on this planet. You left us laughing!!! You left us better!! Travel well my beautiful friend.” With Roberts, unlike with many celebrity deaths, one didn’t need praise from another celebrity close to the deceased to get a sense of personal loss — a call to a friend with a TV would elicit similar kinds of love and lament. Because Doris Roberts’ Marie Barone struck the deepest of chords with the audience, who welcomed her righteous, feisty and vivacious character into their homes week after week. Roberts had the brilliant familiarity that great television stars cultivate with ease. So many people felt they knew Doris Roberts, or Marie Barone, or someone just like her — and it gave her a special place among fans. RIP, Doris Roberts.