Everybody Loves Raymond
“I don't think I would be an actor if I was all that intelligent.” Peter Boyle
Irish American actor Peter Boyle, born in 1935, died in 2006, is best recalled for his role as Raymond's father, Frank Barone, on the hit CBS sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond” (1996-2005), from which he jointly netted a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series in 2003 and was nominated for seven Emmys in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and two SAGs for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series. He also received Emmy nominations for his performance in the 1977 TV film “Tail Gunner Joe” and the TV series “ Midnight Caller” (1988). The actor won an Emmy Award in 1996 for his guest starring role in “The X-Files.” Boyle had offered notable performances in “Joe” (1970), “The Candidate” (1972), “Young Frankenstein” (1974), “Taxi Driver” (1976), “Where the Buffalo Roam” (1980), “Johnny Dangerously” (1984), “The Dream Team” (1989), “The Shadow” (1994), “Doctor Dolittle” (1998), “Monster's Ball” (2001) and “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002), among other films. In his lifetime, Boyle also had performed on and off-Broadway.
Boyle had two children with his wife Loraine Alterman Boyle, whom he married from 1977 to his death in 2006.His wife founded the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the International Myeloma Foundation in late 2006. Boyle's closest friends, family and co-stars have since gathered yearly for a comedy celebration fundraiser in Los Angeles.
Childhood and Family:
“I went through that adolescent crisis where you either jump into the river or jump into spirituality. I felt the call for a while; then I felt the normal pull of the world and the flesh.” Peter Boyle (referring to his early life as a monk)
Peter Lawrence Boyle Jr. was born on October 18, 1935, in Norristown, Pennsylvania, to Peter Boyle Sr. and Alice Boyle. His family later moved to Philadelphia, where his father was an in demand local TV personality and children's show host. Peter was raised in a good Roman Catholic household and enrolled at St. Francis de Sales School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School For Boys. After high school, he spent three years as a novice of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or De La Salle Brothers, a Catholic teaching order, while pursuing a BA in La Salle University in Philadelphia. He completed college in 1957, but left the monastery when he did not feel called to religious life. While in Philadelphia, he worked as a cameraman in a cooking show hosted by Florence Hanford. Peter then went to Officer Candidate School, and upon his graduation in 1959, he was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy. His military career, however, cut short by a nervous breakdown. It was not long before Peter headed to New York City to try his hand in acting. There he trained under the famed coach Uta Hagen, and while waiting for first big break, he took various odd jobs like as a postal worker, a waiter and a bouncer.
On October 21, 1977, Peter married Loraine Alterman Boyle. They had two daughters, Lucy Boyle (born December 10, 1980) and Amy Boyle (born 1983). The couple remained together until his death on December 21, 2006. Peter passed away in New York City at New York Presbyterian Hospital after suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease. At the time, he was 71 years old.
Peter Boyle began his acting career on stage in New York City. One of his early stage appearance was in “Shadow of Heroes” (1961). He struggled for many years before eventually joining the national company of Neil Simon's “The Odd Couple” in 1965, as an understudy for Oscar Madison role. He left the tour in Chicago, Illinois and then became a member of the Second City improv comedy ensemble there. While in Chicago, he landed a bit part as gun clinic manager in the critically acclaimed drama film “Medium Cool” (1969), which was directed and written by Haskell Wexler and starring Robert Forster, Verna Bloom and Peter Bonerz. He also did a brief scene in the Jack Shea helmed comedy “The Monitors” (1969).
Boyle got his first larger film part in the comedy “The Virgin President” (1969), but he did not enjoy his breakthrough until he was cast in the titular role, Joe Curran, an intolerant New York City factory worker, on the drama film “Joe,” which was released in the US on July 15, 1970 following a premiere in Italy in December 1969. Directed by John G. Avildsen and written by Norman Wexler, the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay Based on Factual Material or Material Not Previously Published or Produced. Still in 1970, Boyle made his television series debut as regular on CBS' “Comedy Tonight” and performed on Broadway in Paul Sills' “Story Theatre.”
When Boyle saw audience members cheering the hostility in “Joe”, the actor rejected to appear in any other film or television show that lauded hostility. This included the lead role in “The French Connection” (1971). Boyle next co-starred with Candice Bergen and James Caan in Herbert Ross' drama, “T.R. Baskin” (1971), portrayed Marvin Lucas, the campaign manager for a U.S. Senate candidate, on Michael Ritchie's “The Candidate” (1972) and was cast as an Irish criminal in Peter Yates' “The Friends of Eddie Coyle” (1973), opposite Robert Mitchum. 1973 also work with Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Anthony Franciosa in Peter Medak's “Ghost in the Noonday Sun,” with Mel Stewart, Donald Sutherland and Howard Hesseman in Alan Myerson's “Steelyard Blues,” with James Caan and Sally Kellerman in Howard Zieff's “Slither” and with Dennis Hopper and Warren Oates in James Frawley's “Kid Blue.” The same year, he also made his television movie debut in “ The Man Who Could Talk to Kids” (ABC), starring as Charlie Datweiler.
Following a leading role on “Crazy Joe” (1974), a film about New York gangster Joey Gallo, Boyle delivered a memorable turn as the titular scientist's monster in Mel Brooks' “Young Frankenstein” (1974). The film received two Oscar nominations for Best Sound and Best Writing, Screenplay Adapted From Other Material, and was a box office hit in the US, with over $86 million. Boyle resurfaced two years later in Martin Scorsese's critically acclaimed and commercially successful drama film, “Taxi Driver” (1976), where he had a featured supporting role as a taxi driver named Wizard. The same year, he played a greedy overlord, evil Lord Durant in the adventure film “Swashbuckler,” starring Robert Shaw as Captain “Red” Ned Lynch. In 1977, he portrayed Senator Joseph McCarthy in the NBC TV film “Tail Gunner Joe,” where he was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special for his performance. Between 1978 and 1979, the actor could be seen in such films as Norman Jewison's “F.I.S.T” (with Sylvester Stallone and Rod Steiger), William Friedkin's “The Brink's Job” (starred Peter Falk and Warren Oates), Paul Schrader's “Hardcore” (with George C. Scott) and Irwin Allen's “Beyond the Poseidon Adventure” (starred Michael Caine and Sally Field), a sequel to the 1972 film “The Poseidon Adventure.” Besides, he appeared as Fatso Judson in miniseries remake from “From Here to Eternity” (1979).
Boyle co-starred with Bill Murray in the comedy film “Where the Buffalo Roam” (1980), reunited with “Young Frankenstein” co-star Marty Feldman in “In God We Trust” (1980), co-starred with Sean Connery in the British science fiction/thriller film “Outland” (1981), which was penned and directed by Peter Hyams, played Jimmy Ryan in the detective drama “Hamlet” (1982), an homage to the renown novelist, and appeared in the comedy film “Yellowbeard” (1983), which marked the last film appearance of Feldman. He had an important supporting role of Jacko Dundee in the gangster comedy “Johnny Dangerously” (1984), starring Michael Keaton, and played a detective in Bob Clark's “Turk 182!” (1985). Meanwhile, on stage, Boyle played a comedian who is the object of “The Roast,” a 1980 Broadway play directed by Carl Reiner, and co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in an Off Broadway production of Sam Shepard's “True West” (also 1980). He also starred in Joe Pintauro's “Snow Orchid” (1982).
In 1986, Boyle played the title role in the acclaimed but short lived series “Joe Bash,”which ran on ABC from March 28 to May 10, 1986. He portrayed David Dellinger in the made for TV film “ Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8” (1987) and Sgt. Joe Van Nort in the CBS telepic “Echoes in the Darkness” (1987), opposite Peter Coyote, Stockard Channing and Robert Loggia. Also in 1987, he supported Sally Field, Michael Caine and Steve Guttenberg in the comedy film “Surrender” and worked with Ed Harris, Richard Masur and Rene Auberjonois in Alex Cox's action/drama film, “Walker.” He next appeared in “The In Crowd” (1988), starring Donovan Leich and Joe Pantoliano, “Speed Zone!” (1988), Walter Hill's “Red Heat” (1988), opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger and James Belushi, and reteamed with Michael Keaton for “The Dream Team” (1989), a comedy film helmed by Howard Zieff. He also made a guest appearance in an episode of “Cagney & Alice” (1988), co-starred with Ray Baker and Patricia Charbonneau in the Emmy Award nominating TV film “Disaster at Silo 7” (1988), supported David Keith, Barnard Hughes and Annette O'Toole in the TV film “Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North” (1989).
In 1989, Boyle landed a recurring role as Jack Killian (Gary Cole)'s con man father JJ on the NBC drama series “Midnight Caller.” His fine acting on the 1989 episode “Fathers and Sins” (1989) even brought the actor an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. He would appear in two more episodes, “ Three for the Money” (1990) and “The Leopard” (1991).
Despite a blood clot-induced stroke in 1990 that damaged d his speech for six months, Boyle kept on busy taking various acing jobs during the 1990s. He appeared in such films as “ Challenger” (1991, TV), “Men of Respect” (1990), “Solar Crisis” (1990), “Kickboxer 2: The Road Back” (1991), “Nervous Ticks” (1992, starred Bill Pullman), “ In the Line of Duty: Street War” (1992, TV), “Death and the Compass” (1992), “Honeymoon in Vegas” (1992), Spike Lee's “Malcolm X” (1992), “ Taking the Heat” (1993, TV), “Philly Heat” (1994, TVv), “Royce” (1994, TV), “The Shadow” (1994), “Killer” (1994), and “The Santa Clause” (1994), a box office hit comedy starring Tim Allen. He had a recurring role as Alicia (played by Tea Leoni)'s father in the Fox sitcom “Flying Blind” between 1992 and 1993 and played Dan Breen, the father of a schizophrenic man, in several moving episodes of “NYPD Blue” from 1994 to 1995. He also appeared as Bill Church in two episodes of “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman” (1994-1995) but it was his bright turn as Clyde Bruckman in an episode of “The X-Files” called “Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose” (1995) that won him a 1996 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. 1995 also saw roles in the films “ The Surgeon,” “Born to Be Wild” and “While You Were Sleeping.”
In 1996, Boyle returned to series TV as regular on the CBS sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” starring Ray Romano as Raymond “Ray” Barone, a sportswriter for Newsday. Playing Raymond's ill natured father, Frank Barrone, Boyle stayed with the show throughout its nine season run from September 1996 to May 2005, and he was nominated for Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series seven times from 1999 to 2005. The role also brought the actor a 2000 American Comedy nomination for Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a TV Series, Viewers for Quality Television's Q Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series and two Screen Actors Guild nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (2002 and 2004). Besides, he jointly netted a 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.
Throughout the reminder of the 1990s, Boyle appeared in such films as “Final Vendetta” (1996), “Milk & Money” (1996), “That Darn Cat” (1997), “Species II” (1998) and “Doctor Dolittle” (1998, starred Eddie Murphy) as well as in the made for TV films “In the Lake of the Woods” (1996) and “ A Deadly Vision” (1997). In addition, he made guest appearances in TV series like “The Single Guy” (1996-1997, 2 episodes, as Walter), “Cosby” (1997, 1 episode) and “The King of Queens” (1998, 1 episode).
Entering the new millennium, Boyle was cast as Billy Bob Thornton's ailing father, Buck, on “Monster's Ball” (2001), a romance/drama film directed by Marc Forster and starring Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger, reteamed with Eddie Murphy on the Ron Underwood failed science fiction/comedy film “The Adventures of Pluto Nash” (2002), had an credited part in the sequel “The Santa Clause 2” (2002) and played Jeremiah Wickles in the sequel “Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” (2004). He portrayed Howard Hanssen in the 2002 TV film “Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story.”
After “Everybody Loves Raymond” came to an end in May 2005, Boyle guest starred as Marvin in an episode of “Tripping the Rift” called “Roswell,” which aired on September 14, 2005. He then appeared in “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” (2006), which marked the actor's last film appearance in his lifetime. Boyle died on December 12, 2006, a month after the film's release, due to multiple myeloma and heart disease. At the time of his death, he had completed his role in the film “All Roads Lead Home,” a 2008 drama/family film directed by Dennis Fallon.
Screen Actors Guild: Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” 2003
Emmy: Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series, “The X-Files,” 1996
Sci-Fi Universe Magazine: Universe Reader's Choice Award, Best Guest Actor in a Genre TV Series, “The X-Files,” 1996