Actress Doris Roberts, who died at age 90 on April 17, was probably best known for playing the meddling Marie Barone on the hit sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond.
As the matriarch of an Italian-American family, Marie was both a doting mother and overbearing mother-in-law. She checks up on her son Raymond (Ray Romano) who lives right across the street from her home daily.
She also has a tendency to meddle with Raymond’s family life, much to the chagrin of daughter-in-law Debra (Patricia Heaton). Marie has often maintaned that because of her years of life experience, she can dish out advice whenever she sees fit (read: all the time).
We take a look at some of Marie’s best advice on the show.
Raymond and Debra are annoyed with Robert (Marie’s oldest son played by Brad Garrett) and his wife Amy’s (Monica Horan) overly affectionate manner in front of the family. Then the two got even more upset when Robert and Amy started dishing marriage advice to them, after being married for just three months.
As this becomes a source of contention at the dinner table, Marie steps in to put her children and their wives in their places.
“You want some real marriage advice? I’m going to give you the secret now. There’s gonna be yelling. There’s going to be anger. Don’t fight it. Accept it. You keep your head down and you plow through.”
To which her husband Frank (Peter Boyle) replies: “Amen!”
On the pursuit of love
Long before Robert happily settled down with Amy, he was miserably married to Joanne, his controlling ex-wife. After he worked up the courage to leave her, he becomes a miserable single man. In one episode, he declares that he is done with trying to find love. This gets Marie worked up and she tells Robert why she doesn’t want him to give up.
“I can’t take it anymore. You are into your 40s and you still can’t settle down. I stay up nights, tossing and turning in my bed because I’m so sick about it. I just want you to be with someone, anyone and I don’t care who it is. I mean, for God’s sake, do you want to die alone?”
On instilling confidence in her children
Raymond is upset at his parents for not telling the truth about his poor performance on TV as a sports commentator. Marie then confessed that she lies to her children to build up their confidence.
“Ray, we told you that you’re good so then you would think that you’re good, right? Then somebody gave you a job. That’s what parents do. They all lie to the kids for their own good.”
Raymond disagrees, saying other parents believe in their children. Marie flashes a knowing smile while shaking her head and says: “No … they don’t.”
On being insensitive
Debra vents her frustrations at Raymond for not helping her with chores around the house. She says that whenever she gets upset, Raymond just blames it on her menstrual cycle. She then admits that Raymond’s insensitivity makes her want to smack him sometimes.
Raymond turns around to his mother, looks at her and guess what … Marie slaps him. A bewildered Raymond asks: “What is that for?” and a shaken Marie says: “You’re becoming just like your father.”
She slaps him again and goes on to add: “He was so awful during my lady’s days. Anytime I happen to make a comment on the usual disgusting thing that he does, he just blames it on that.”
When Raymond says he’s just trying to help when he offers Debra some medication, Marie says: “You should be quiet. I can’t let you go on with this cycle of your father’s imbecility.”
Even after winning five Emmy awards, Roberts revealed that she attended acting class every week to better herself. Her advice to young actors looking for career longevity is to never stop improving.
“I still go to class on Saturday mornings. I’m learning how to act, finally (laughs). I’ve been going to the Beverly Hills Play House every Saturday morning, for the last 25 years. I learn something new every single time. You can’t close the brain. You can’t stop that. To be an actor, you have to explore,” she says.