Everybody Loves Raymond
Peter Boyle
Date of Birth Peter Lawrence Boyle
October 18, 1935 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Date of Death December 12, 2006 in New York City, New York, U.S.
Character Frank Barone
First Appearance Season 1 Episode 1
Number of episodes 207 episodes

Peter Lawrence Boyle (October 18, 1935 – December 12, 2006)[1][2] was an American actor, best known for his role as Frank Barone on the CBS-TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and as a comical Frankenstein's Monster in Mel Brooks' horror film spoof Young Frankenstein (1974).

Peter, who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a guest-starring role on the science-fiction drama The X-Files, won praise in both comedic and dramatic parts following his breakthrough performance in the 1970 film Joe.

Early life and career[]

Boyle was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the son of Alice (née Lewis) and Francis Xavier Boyle.[3]He moved with his family to nearby Philadelphia.[4] His father was a Philadelphia TV personality from 1951–1963 who, among many other things, played the Western-show host Chuck Wagon Pete, and hosted the afterschool children's program Uncle Pete Presents the Little Rascals, which showed vintage Little Rascals, Three Stooges comedy shorts and Popeye cartoons.[5]

Peter, who was of Irish ancestry, was raised a Roman Catholic.[6][7]He attended St. Francis de Sales School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School For Boys. After high school Boyle 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. Peter lived in a house of studies with other novices and earned a BA from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1957, but left the order because he did not feel called to religious life.[8][9] While in Philadelphia, he worked as a cameraman on the cooking show Television Kitchen, hosted by Florence Hanford.[10]

After graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1959, Boyle was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy, but his military career was shortened by a nervous breakdown.[11]

In New York City, Peter studied with acting coach Uta Hagen while working as a postal clerk and a maitre d'.[12] He went on to play Murray the cop in a touring company of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, leaving the tour in Chicago, Illinois and joining the Second City improv comedy ensemble there. He had a brief scene as the manager of an indoor shooting range in the critically acclaimed 1969 film Medium Cool, filmed in Chicago.

Screen and theatre works[]

Peter gained acclaim for his first starring role, playing the title character, a bigoted New York City factory worker, in the 1970 movie Joe. The film's release was surrounded by controversy over its violence and language. It was during this time that Boyle became close friends with actress Jane Fonda, and with her he participated in many protests against the Vietnam War. After seeing people cheer at his role in Joe, Boyle refused the lead role in The French Connection (1971),[13]as well as other movie and TV roles that he believed glamorized violence. His next major role was as the campaign manager for a U.S. Senate candidate (Robert Redford) in The Candidate (1972). He also played an Irish mobster opposite Robert Mitchum in The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973).

Boyle had another hit role as Frankenstein's monster in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein, in which, in an homage to King Kong, the monster is placed onstage in top hat and tails, grunt-singing and dancing to the song "Puttin' on the Ritz". Boyle said at the time, "The Frankenstein monster I play is a baby. He's big and ugly and scary, but he's just been born, remember, and it's been traumatic, and to him the whole world is a brand new alien environment. That's how I'm playing it".[14] Boyle met his wife, Loraine Alterman, on the set of Young Frankensteinwhile she was there as a reporter for Rolling Stone.[15]He was still in his Frankenstein makeup when he asked her for a date.[16] Through Alterman and her friend Yoko Ono, Boyle became friends with John Lennon, who was the best man at Boyle and Alterman's 1977 wedding.[17]

Boyle received his first Emmy nomination for his acclaimed dramatic performance in the 1977 television film Tail Gunner Joe, in which he played Senator Joseph McCarthy. Yet he was more often cast as a character actor than as a leading man. His roles include the philosophical cab driver "Wizard" in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), starring Robert De Niro; a bar owner and fence in The Brink's Job(1978); the private detective hired in Hardcore(1979); the attorney of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (played by Bill Murray) in Where the Buffalo Roam(1980); a corrupt space mining-facility boss in the science- fiction film Outland(1981), opposite Sean Connery; Boatswain Moon in the 1983 pirate comedy Yellowbeard, also starring Cheech and Chong, Madeline Kahn, and members of the comedy troupe Monty Python's Flying Circus; a psychiatric patient who belts out a Ray Charles song in the comedy The Dream Team (1989), starring Michael Keaton; a boss of unscrupulous corporation in the sci-fi Solar Crisis (1990) along Charlton Heston and Jack Palance; the title character's cab driver in The Shadow (1994), starring Alec Baldwin; the father of Sandra Bullock's fiancee in While You Were Sleeping(1995); the corporate raider out to buy Eddie Murphy's medical partnership in Doctor Dolittle(1998); the hateful father of Billy Bob Thornton's prison-guard character in Monster's Ball (2001); Muta in The Cat Returnss (2002); and Old Man Wickles in the comedy Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004).

In cameo roles, he can be seen as a police captain in the Academy-Award nominated, Spike Lee directed Malcolm X (1992), and as a drawbridge operator in Porky's Revenge(1985). In 1992, he starred in Alex Cox's Death and the Compass, an adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges' La Muerte y la Brujula (Death and the Compass). However, the film was not released until 1996.

His New York theater work included playing a comedian who is the object of The Roast, a 1980 Broadway play directed by Carl Reiner. Also in 1980 he co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in an Off-Broadway production of playwright Sam Shepard's acclaimed True West. Two years later, Boyle played the head of a dysfunctional family in Joe Pintauro's less well-received Snow Orchid, at the Circle Repertory.

Death and legacy[]

On December 12, 2006, Boyle died in New York City at New York Presbyterian Hospital after suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease. He was 71 years old. At the time of his death, Boyle had justcompleted his role in the film All Roads Lead Home and was scheduled to appear in The Golden Boys.[18] The end credits of The Santa Clause 3 and All Roads Lead Home include a dedication to his memory. Boyle and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

After he lost his battle to multiple myeloma in late 2006, Boyle's wife Loraine Alterman Boyle established the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the International Myeloma Foundation.[19]Boyle's closest friends, family and co-stars have since gathered yearly for a comedy celebration fundraiser in Los Angeles. Acting as a tribute to Boyle, the annual event is hosted by Ray Romano and has included performances by many comedic veterans including actor Fred Willard, comedians Richard Lewis, Dana Carvey, Kevin James, actor/comedian Jeff Garlin and Martin Short. Performances typically revolve around Boyle's life, recalling favorite and hysterical moments with the late actor. The comedy celebration has been noted as the most successful fundraiser in IMF history, as the first event held in 2007 raised over $550,000, while the following year over $600,000 was raised for the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the IMF's research programs.[20]


  1. Dates per Social Security death file 163-28-7187. Note: Prior to this, his birth year had appeared two ways in different sources, as either 1935 or, incorrectly, 1933. See examples at Hollywood.com, AllMovie.com, and InfoPlease.com
  2. Raymond' star Peter Boyle dies at 71, MSNBC.com, Associated Press article,17 December 2006, accessed 2007-02-01.
  3. http://www.sketchclub.org/PSC_memOfNote.html
  4. Peter Boyle, 71; father on 'Raymond', Los Angeles Times, by Dennis McLellan, December 14, 2006, accessed 2007-02-01.
  5. Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia: Pete Boyle, Broadcast Pioneers, accessed 2007-02-01 (includes 1953 photo)
  6. Peter Boyle, 71, Is Dead; Roles Evoked Laughter and Anger, by Robert Berkvist for the New York Times, December 14, 2006, accessed May 12, 2010.
  7. Biography for Peter Boyle at Turner Classic Movies, accessed May 12, 2010.
  8. Peter Boyle: From monk to Frank, he led fascinating life, by Ellen Grey for the Philadelphia Daily News, December 14, 2006, accessed = 2007-02-01, Dead link, September 2010.
  9. Peter Boyle, 71, Character Actor Played Psychotics and Monsters, The New York Sun, by Stephen Miller, 14 December 2006, accessed 2007-02-01.
  10. Florence Hanford, a Broadcast Pioneer, Broadcast Pioneers, by Gerry Wilkinson, accessed 2007-11-12. Dead link, September 2010.
  11. Peter Boyle, 71, Is Dead; Roles Evoked Laughter and Anger, by Robert Berkvist, for the New York Times, 14 December 2006, accessed 2007-02-01.
  12. Peter Boyle; 'Raymond' Dad Put Some Ritz in 'Young Frankenstein', by Adam Bernstein for The Washington Post, 14 December 2006.
  13. [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001967/bio Peter Boyle Biography] at the Internet Movie Database (IMDb)
  14. The Washington Post
  15. In Step With: Peter Boyle, Parade Magazine, August 15, 2004.
  16. "Raymond" dad Peter Boyle dies in NYC, by Deepti Hajela for Yahoo! News, December 13, 2006, accessed 2007-02-01. Dead link, September 2010.
  17. You may love Raymond, but you don't know Peter, by David Hiltbrand for The Boston Globe, 21 March 2004, accessed 2007-02-01.
  18. [1] See Trivia
  19. [2] Peter Boyle Fund Annual Comedy Gala
  20. [http://myeloma.org/myelomapreprod/ArticlePage.action?tabId=9&menuId=172&articleId=2695 About The Peter Boyle Memorial Fund]

External links[]