View Full Version : Peter Boyle of 'Everybody Loves Raymond' dies

12-13-2006, 01:37 PM
Holy crap!



NEW YORK (AP) -- Peter Boyle, the tall, prematurely bald actor who was the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71.

Boyle died Tuesday evening at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, said his publicist, Jennifer Plante.

A Christian Brothers monk who turned to acting, Boyle gained notice playing an angry workingman in the Vietnam-era hit "Joe." But he overcome typecasting when he took on the role of the hulking, lab-created monster in Mel Brooks' 1974 send-up of horror films.

The movie's defining moment came when Gene Wilder, as scientist Frederick Frankenstein, introduced his creation to an upscale audience. Boyle, decked out in tails, performed a song-and-dance routine to the Irving Berlin classic "Puttin' On the Ritz."

It showed another side of the Emmy-winning actor, one that would be exploited in countless other films and perhaps best in "Everybody Loves Raymond," in which he played incorrigible paterfamilias Frank Barone for 10 years.

"He's just obnoxious in a nice way, just for laughs," he said of the character in a 2001 interview. "It's a very sweet experience having this happen at a time when you basically go back over your life and see every mistake you ever made."

When Boyle tried out for the role opposite series star Ray Romano's Ray Barone, however, he was kept waiting for his audition -- and he was not happy.

"He came in all hot and angry," recalled the show's creator, Phil Rosenthal, "and I hired him because I was afraid of him."

But Rosenthal also noted: "I knew right away that he had a comic presence."

Impact of 'Joe'
Boyle first came to the public's attention more than a quarter century before. "Joe" was a sleeper hit in which he portrayed the title role, an angry, murderous bigot at odds with the era's emerging hippie youth culture.

Although critically acclaimed, he faced being categorized as someone who played tough, angry types. He broke free of that to some degree as Robert Redford's campaign manager in "The Candidate," and shed it entirely in "Young Frankenstein."

The latter film also led to the actor meeting his wife, Loraine Alterman, who visited the set as a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. Boyle, still in his monster makeup, quickly asked her for a date.

He went on to appear in dozens of films and to star in "Joe Bash," an acclaimed but short-lived 1986 "dramedy" in which he played a lonely beat cop. He won an Emmy in 1996 for his guest-starring role in an episode of "The X Files," and he was nominated for "Everybody Loves Raymond" and for the 1977 TV film "Tail Gunner Joe," in which he played Sen. Joseph McCarthy.

In the 1976 film "Taxi Driver," he was the cabbie-philosopher Wizard, who counseled Robert DeNiro's violent Travis Bickle.

Other notable films included "T.R. Baskin," "F.I.S.T.," "Johnny Dangerously," "Conspiracy: Trial of the Chicago 8" (as activist David Dellinger), "The Dream Team," "The Santa Claus," "The Santa Claus 2," "While You Were Sleeping" (in a charming turn as Sandra Bullock's future father-in-law) and "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed."

'The normal pull of the world'
Educated in Roman Catholic schools in Philadelphia, Boyle would spend three years in a monastery before abandoning his studies there. He later described the experience as similar to "living in the Middle Ages."

He explained his decision to leave in 1991: "I felt the call for awhile; then I felt the normal pull of the world and the flesh."

He traveled to New York to study with Uta Hagen, supporting himself for five years with various jobs, including postal worker, waiter, maitre d' and office temp. Finally, he was cast in a road company version of "The Odd Couple." When the play reached Chicago he quit to study with that city's famed improvisational troupe Second City.

Upon returning to New York, he began to land roles in TV commercials, off-Broadway plays and finally films.

Through Alterman, a friend of Yoko Ono, the actor became close friends with John Lennon.

"We were both seekers after a truth, looking for a quick way to enlightenment," Boyle once said of Lennon, who was best man at his wedding.

In 1990, Boyle suffered a stroke and couldn't talk for six months. In 1999, he had a heart attack on the set of "Everybody Loves Raymond." He soon regained his health, however, and returned to the series.

Despite his work in "Everybody Loves Raymond" and other Hollywood productions, Boyle made New York City his home. He and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

12-13-2006, 01:47 PM
He was absolutely brilliant in his Emmy Award winning X-Files performance as a psychic. John Lennon was the best man at his wedding. RIP

Johnny Footstool
12-13-2006, 02:13 PM
Peter Boyle was an incredible talent who had a long and memorable career with many high points.

The X-Files episode was called "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," and it was a true classic -- my second favorite after the Jose Chung episode.

CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I have only one dream. I dream it every night. You're not one of those people who turns everything into a sexual symbol, are you?

MULDER: No, no, I'm not a Freudian, no.

CLYDE BRUCKMAN: I'm lying naked in a field of red tulips. I'm not concerned with where I am or how I got there. I'm at peace and it's then that I realize I'm dead. My body begins to turn a greenish-white with spots of purple. Next, the insects arrive. The inevitable follows, putridity and liquescence. Before I know it, I'm nothing but bones. When I start fading to dust, I lose whatever care I still might have had about where my clothes are and as I begin to feel myself slipping away towards I know not what, I wake up. Well, good night.

12-13-2006, 02:19 PM
The X-Files episode was called "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," and it was a true classic -- my second favorite after the Jose Chung episode.

Remembering that just sent chills down my spine. Great episode!


12-13-2006, 02:21 PM
What a shame. Really liked Boyle. He was also a close friend of John Lennon's.

--- Nevermind I just saw it in the article.

12-13-2006, 02:24 PM


12-13-2006, 02:29 PM


Watched the tap dancing sequence with my 5 year old a couple of months ago...the first time I've ever seen him laugh till he cried at something on television.

Chip R
12-13-2006, 02:33 PM
Watched the tap dancing sequence with my 5 year old a couple of months ago...the first time I've ever seen him laugh till he cried at something on television.

Every time I see that I LMAO. Tears run down my face.

Falls City Beer
12-13-2006, 03:42 PM
The guy was great. This is really sad.

12-13-2006, 04:08 PM
Holy crap indeed. That Frank Barone character was a classic. Thanks for the laughs Mr. Boyle.

12-13-2006, 05:17 PM
He was disgustingly compeling as Buck, Billy Bob Thornton's awful, racist father in "Monster Ball." Good actor.

12-13-2006, 08:57 PM
I was in my normal nightly routine of laying on the couch and watching TBS... Seinfeld and then Raymond.... when they showed a short tribute.

I said What???

RIP Peter.

12-13-2006, 09:12 PM

Indeed. Clicky. (http://youtube.com/watch?v=MGN2aa3oQRM)

RIP Peter.

12-13-2006, 09:50 PM
I must be getting old if I don't think 71 is old anymore.


12-13-2006, 11:21 PM
in classic frank barone fashion holy crap

12-14-2006, 12:12 AM
the casting and chemistry of that show(everyone loves raymond) was just perfect.

12-14-2006, 07:51 AM

12-14-2006, 08:46 AM
Peter Boyle made me laugh numerous times. He will be missed, but will always be enjoyed in the reruns. RIP. :(

Sabo Fan
12-14-2006, 09:08 AM
Anybody ever see the episode of Saturday Night Live that he hosted? Peter Boyle and John Belushi doing the Dueling Brandos sketch together is one of my all-time favorite SNL pieces. Sad to think that a man with his acting and comedic abilities is gone. Way too soon.