Popular for portraying the title character in Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray Romano is an American stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. His highly acclaimed role in the 1996 – 2005 CBS sitcom shot him to fame, as well as earned him multiple awards.
Ray is also known for his role as Rick Moreweather in the Epix dramedy TV series, Get Shorty, a role he started playing in 2017. His other projects include Ray Romano: Right Here, Around the Corner, a comedy special which aired on Netflix.
Though Ray Romano has stayed away from the spotlight since his Everybody Loves Raymond era, he has built a massively successful career. Unsurprisingly, he has a lot going on with his career, including his life behind the cameras.
He Officially Began His Career In 1989 With The Johnnie Walker Comedy Search
Ray Romano, who attended the Archbishop Molloy High School before completing his secondary education at the Hillcrest High School, began performing comedy sketches and improvised stand-ups with his peers during his high school days.
After high school, Romano subsequently enrolled in Queens College in New York to study Accounting. However, he eventually dropped out to venture into comedy full-time, joining the No Talent comedy troupe. In 1989, Ray participated in, and won, the Johnnie Walker Comedy Search which aired on The Comedy Channel.
The exposure subsequently earned him several roles including a recurring voice role on Comedy Central’s Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist which ran from 1995 to 1997. He also competed on Star Search in the stand-up comedy category.
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Gave Him His Career Big Break
While on Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, Ray landed his career breakthrough after appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman. Highly impressed by his comedic talents, Letterman, alongside writer Philip Rosenthal – who served as the showrunner, created Everybody Loves Raymond based on Romano’s humour. Ray Romano starred as the titular character, Raymond Barone, from 1996 to 2005 on CBS.
The nine-year-long sitcom, in which Ray mostly drew inspiration from his daily home life activities with his wife and growing kids, earned him lifetime popularity. Within the same period, he also portrayed Raymond Barone in several other television shows, including Cosby (1997), The King of Queens (1998-2005), The Nanny (1998), and Becker (1999). These ventures further made him a staple player in the competitive industry.
After he was done with Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano appeared on numerous other films and TV shows such as Hannah Montana, The Simpsons, and The Last Word, among others. Then in 2008, he came up with another show, a dramedy titled, Men Of A Certain Age. The show which he co-created with Mike Royce aired on TNT from 2009 to 2011. Besides Ray Romano, it also starred Andre Braugher and Scott Bakula.
Ray Romano also provided the voice for Manny in the Ice Age franchise which has generated more than $6 billion in revenue and is considered one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. As such, it is also considered as one of Romano’s most successful projects.
The comedian later starred as Andy Freeman in Netflix’s 2019 film, Paddleton and in 2020, his projects included Made for Love where he landed the main role of Herbert Green, and an episode of One Day at a Time as Brian.
Besides Acting, He Is Also A Writer, Golfer And Poker Player
As a writer, Romano has published three books; the first was Everything and a Kite, which was a memoir published in 1999. His next book was Everybody Loves Raymond: Our Family Album which was published in 2004 and then, Raymie, Dickie and the Bean, a children’s book which was published in 2005.
In addition to acting and comedy, Ray Romano is also a celebrity golfer and an active poker player. Between 2007 and 2015, he participated in seven different ‘World Series of Poker’ tournaments as well as several golf championships.
He was also seen on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire in 2000 and he left the show with $125,000 which he won for the NYPD’s D.A.R.E. unit.
Ray Romano Has Amassed An Impressive Net Worth As A Testament To His Successful Career
Ray Romano has an estimated net worth of $200 million. He amassed a greater part of his wealth from his comedy career on television. Of all his works so far, the Ice Age franchise remains his highest grossing project, with over $6 billion in revenue. Everybody Loves Raymond is a close second as the show broke records, garnering $3.9 billion in revenue in the mid-2000s. Ray also emerged the all-time highest-paid TV actor at the time for his role in the comedy series.
Forbes revealed that Romano reaped an annual income of $16 million in 2013. This reflects the success Everybody Loves Raymond brought his way even after it ended in 2005.
‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ Earned Him Numerous Award Wins and Nominations
In a career spanning more than three decades, Ray Romano has been nominated for over thirty awards, winning 11 of them. Interestingly, most of the nominations are traced to his role as Raymond Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond.
Between 1999 and 2001, he was nominated for fifteen awards, including the American Comedy Awards, Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards. He won all three American Comedy Awards he was nominated for which fall into one category – Funniest Male Performer in a Television Series (Leading Role). The actor also scooped an American Film Institute Award for Best Male Actor in a Television Series in 2001.
So far in his career, Ray Romano is a three-time Emmy winner, taking home the award in 2002, 2003 and 2005 in the categories of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series, and Outstanding Comedy Series respectively. In all, he has sixteen Emmy nominations to his name and they are all for his role in Everybody Loves Raymond.
People’s Choice Awards have also honored him with four nominations which he won, including for Favorite Male Television Performer in 2002, 2003 and 2004 consecutively. Asides Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray has bagged two Kid’s Choice Awards nominations for Ice Age and Ice Age: Dawn of The Dinosaurs in the category of Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie.
Tracing Ray Romano’s Italian Origins
Ray Romano is the second of three children (all boys) born to his parents, Lucie and Albert Romano. While his mother worked as a piano tutor, his father was an engineer and real estate agent. Being a middle child, he has one older brother and one younger brother.
His older brother, named Richard Romano, was a New York Police Department (NYPD) sergeant. He worked in the position for twenty years before switching to screenwriting. Richard now has one feature film titled The Investigator to his credit. He also works as a baseball coach. Ray’s younger brother, Robert Romano, is a second-grade teacher who also works in New York City.
It’s quite interesting to note that Ray Romano lived with his parents until 1987, when he got married at the age of 29.
He Married Anna Scarpulla Before The Fame
Ray Romano met his wife, Anna Scarpulla, in 1982 while they both worked at the Brooklyn-based Williamsburg Savings Bank in New York City. The couple has four children together – Alexandra also known as Ally – a daughter born in 1990, Gregory and Matthew – twin sons born in 1993, and Joseph – a son born in 1998.
Ray Romano’s family, both biological and marital, have been very supportive of his comedy career. Most of them, including his wife, daughter and brother, have at one time or the other featured on his shows. His twin sons, who followed in their father’s footsteps, are already actors and writers in their own right.
Ray and Anna have been married for more than three decades now and his family is still inspiring most of his comedy acts. In 2010, Anna conquered stage one breast cancer and the family made it public to encourage others. The happy family currently resides in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California.