Doris Roberts (Doris May Green)

Doris Roberts

Doris Roberts’ acting career began in 1952 with a role on the TV series Studio One. She appeared in episodes of The Naked City (1958–63), Way Out (1961), Ben Casey (1963), and The Defenders (1962–63). In 1961, she made her film debut in Something Wild (1961). She appeared in such 1960s and 1970s films as A Lovely Way to Die, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Honeymoon Killers, Such Good Friends, Little Murders, and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. In 1978, she appeared in a film about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Ruby and Oswald, in which she played Jack Ruby’s sister. She also appeared very briefly in The Rose, as the mother of the title character (played by Bette Midler). In an interview with the Archive of American Television, Rue McClanahan confirmed that in 1972 she was approached by Norman Lear during the taping of an All In The Family episode to be a late replacement for Roberts, who was originally intended for the role of Vivian in Maude. (Roberts later guest starred in a 1976 All in the Family episode, “Edith’s Night Out”.) Roberts played Theresa Falco on Angie, and later appeared as Mildred Krebs on Remington Steele. After Remington Steele ended, Doris Roberts starred in the TV movie remake of If It’s Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987) and the National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989). She appeared on Alice, playing the mother of the title character (played by her former Broadway co-star Linda Lavin), on Barney Miller as the wife of a man who secretly went to a sex surrogate, and on Full House as Danny Tanner’s mother, Claire. She played the unhinged “Flo Flotsky” on four episodes of Soap; Dorelda Doremus, a faith healer, on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; and lonely Aunt Edna on Step by Step.

Doris Roberts achieved much of her fame for her role as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. She was reportedly one of 100 actresses considered for the role. For her work on the series, she was nominated for seven Emmy Awards (and won four times) for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She had previously won an Emmy for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere, playing a homeless woman, and was also once nominated for her role on Remington Steele. She was nominated for appearances on Perfect Strangers and a PBS special called The Sunset Gang. In 2003, she made a guest appearance as Gordo’s grandmother in Lizzie McGuire. The same year, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2006, she starred in Our House where she portrayed a wealthy woman who took homeless people in her house, and in Grandma’s Boy. In 2007, she made a guest appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. In 2008, she appeared in the romantic comedy Play the Game alongside Andy Griffith, who plays a lonely widowed grandfather re-entering the dating world after a 60-year hiatus. Doris Roberts appeared in the 2009 film Aliens in the Attic, which was filmed in Auckland, New Zealand. She played George Needleman’s mother in Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection (2012). On September 23, 2010, she played Ms. Rinsky, Brick Heck’s schoolteacher in the second season premiere episode of The Middle. This appearance reunited her with Patricia Heaton, her co-star from Everybody Loves Raymond. Roberts returned in two other episodes that season, “The Math Class” and the finale, “Back to Summer”.

Doris Roberts’ stage career began in the 1950s on Broadway. She appeared in numerous Broadway shows including The Desk Set (with Shirley Booth), Neil Simon’s The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (with James Coco and Linda Lavin) and Terrence McNally’s Bad Habits. She starred in McNally’s Unusual Acts of Devotion at the LaJolla Playhouse in June 2009. Roberts married Michael Cannata in 1956; they divorced in 1962. Their son, Michael Cannata, Jr. (born 1957) is her only child. She had three grandchildren: Kelsey, Andrew and Devon. Her second husband was writer William Goyen and they were married from 1963 until his death from leukemia in 1983. Doris Roberts died in Los Angeles, California, on April 17, 2016, at age 90.

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Born

  • November, 04, 1925
  • St. Louis, Missouri

Died

  • April, 17, 2016
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • Stroke

Cemetery

  • Westwood Memorial Park
  • Los Angeles, Calif.

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