Everybody loved Peter

Sitcom dad dies at 71

Peter Boyle, the actor who played the grumpy father in American sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, has died at the age of 71.

Boyle came to fame in 1974, as the monster in Mel Brook's spoof horror movie Young Frankenstein.

His film credits also include Malcolm X, Taxi Driver and, Yellowbeard, opposite John Cleese and Peter Cook.

He had been suffering from cancer of the bone marrow and heart disease and died in at New York Presbyterian Hospital on Tuesday.

A member of the Christian Brothers religious order, Boyle’s first starring role was as the title character in the controversial 1970 movie Joe, in which Boyle played a bigoted New York City factory worker. But after seeing people cheer at his role in Joe, Boyle refused the lead role in The French Connection, as well as other movie and TV roles that he believed glamorised violence.

In 1990, Boyle suffered a stroke and could not talk for six months, but he soon returned to work and, in 1996, made his debut in Everybody Loves Raymond, playing Ray Romano’s ‘cranky’ dad Frank Barone.

Romano said: ‘I am deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Boyle. He gave me great advice, he always made me laugh, and the way he connected with everyone around him amazed me.

‘The fact that he could play a convincing curmudgeon on the show, but in reality be such a compassionate and thoughtful person, is a true testament to his talent.’

In 1999, Boyle had a heart attack on the set of the sitcom, but made a speedy recovery and stayed with the series until it ended in May last year.

Boyle died peacefully in his sleep and leaves behind his wife of 29 years, Lorraine, and two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

Published: 14 Dec 2006

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