|Born:||March 4, 1958|
Bay Village, Ohio, United States
Patricia Helen Heaton (born March 4, 1958) is an American actress best known for playing Ray Barone's wife Debra Barone on the CBS television sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond. In 2007, she made a return to sitcom television opposite Kelsey Grammer in the Fox comedy series, Back to You, which was cancelled in 2008.
Patricia Heaton was born in Bay Village, Ohio, the daughter of Pat and Chuck Heaton, who was a well-known Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter.
Heaton has three sisters, Sharon, Alice, and Frances, and one brother, Michael, who is the "Minister of Culture" columnist for the Plain Dealer and a writer for the paper's Friday Magazine.
While attending Ohio State University, she became a sister of Delta Gamma Sorority, and later graduated with a B.A. in drama. In 1980, Heaton moved to New York City to study with drama teacher William Esper.
Heaton made her first Broadway appearance in the chorus of the Don't Get God Started (1987), after which she and fellow students created Stage Three, an off-Broadway acting troupe.
In January 2007, Heaton returned to the stage to co-star with Tony Shalhoub in the off-Broadway play The Scene at Second Stage Theater in New York City. For this performance, Heaton was nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress category for the 22nd Lucille Lortel Awards.
When Stage Three brought one of their productions to Los Angeles, Heaton caught the eye of a casting director for the ABC drama thirtysomething. She was cast as an oncologist, leading to six appearances on the series from 1989-1991. Other TV guest appearances include: Alien Nation (1989), Matlock (1990), Party of Five (1996), The King of Queens (1999), and Danny Phantom (2004).
Heaton was featured in three short-lived sitcoms—Room for Two (1992) with Linda Lavin, Someone Like Me (1994), and Women of the House (1995) with Delta Burke and Terri Garr - before landing the plum role of beleaguered wife, mother, and in-law Debra Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond (1996 - 2005) with Ray Romano, Doris Roberts, Peter Boyle, Brad Garrett, and Monica Horan. She was nominated in each of the series's last seven seasons for the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy, winning the award twice. She has also collected two Viewers For Quality Television awards and a Screen Actors Guild trophy for her work on the series.
Starting September 2007, Heaton began to co-star with Kelsey Grammer in Back to You, a new situation comedy on Fox. The show was canceled in May 2008.
She recently appeared on The Rachael Ray Show and announced that she is planning to shoot a pilot for a new comedy. The new comedy is about a midwest family, titled "The Middle". Casting is not complete at this time. She has a new Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "Front of the Class" coming out Sunday, December 7, 2008 based on the real story of a mother, Ellen Cohen, dealing with a son, Brad Cohen, who has Tourette's Syndrome.
Heaton's television movies include Shattered Dreams (1990), Miracle in the Woods (1997), A Town Without Christmas (2001), as well as the remake of Neil Simon's The Goodbye Girl (2004) with Jeff Daniels, and The Engagement Ring (2005), both for TNT.
Heaton also played former U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Barbara Bodine, in the 2006 ABC docudrama The Path to 9/11. Her feature films include Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992), Beethoven (1992), The New Age (1994), and Space Jam (1996).
Heaton was the producer for the 2005 documentary The Bituminous Coal Queens of Pennsylvania, which was directed by her husband.
In 2003, Heaton appeared in a series of television and radio commercials as spokesperson for the various incarnations of the grocery chain Albertsons, such as Acme, Jewel and Shaw's. In 2007, Albertsons created the Crazy About Food slogan/campaign and Heaton's association with the company ended. She has also appeared in advertisements for Pantene hair-care products.
Heaton has been married to British actor David Hunt since 1990. The couple have four sons: Sam (b. 1993); John Basil (b. 1995); Joseph Charles (b. 1997); and Daniel Patrick (b. January 20, 1999). They divide their time between Los Angeles and England, where they own a country estate, as well as a house in her hometown of Bay Village. Her memoir, Motherhood and Hollywood: How to Get a Job Like Mine, was published by Villard Books in 2002.
Heaton is a consistent life ethicist and is supportive of pro-life groups and causes, opposing abortion, euthanasia, and the death penalty. Heaton's advocacy became particularly visible during the debate regarding the Terri Schiavo case. In addition, Heaton is Honorary Chair of Feminists for Life, a non-partisan organization which opposes abortion and embryonic stem cell research and supports other pro-life causes on the basis of feminism.
In October 2006, Heaton appeared in a commercial opposing a Missouri state constitutional amendment concerning embryonic stem cell research, which subsequently passed. The ad was a response to the election of Democratic Senate hopeful Claire McCaskill and ran at about the same time as Michael J. Fox's famous ad supporting the amendment. Appearing with Heaton were actor Jim Caviezel, pitcher Jeff Suppan of the St. Louis Cardinals (now of the Milwaukee Brewers), Mike Sweeney of the Kansas City Royals and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, formerly of the St. Louis Rams. Following a public outcry, Heaton later said she regretted doing the ad and sent an apology to Fox, claiming she wasn't aware of Fox's ad before she did hers. Fox accepted her apology and later stated that “If we can have a healthy dialogue about issues that people see differently, that’s marvelous.”
Although she is a Republican, The New York Times has stated that "her political views are not so easily pigeonholed." She supports gay rights and the use of birth control. Heaton has also been an advocate for several other organizations, including Heifer International, a nonprofit organization which addresses world hunger, and World Vision, a Christian relief organization.
Heaton supported John McCain for President in 2008. She also strongly supported Sarah Palin as McCain's vice-presidential running mate.
Heaton has two Emmys and was nominated for five others:
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "Be Nice" (1999)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "Bad Moon Rising" (2000)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "The Canister" (2001)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "A Vote for Debra" (2002)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "Baggage" (2003)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "Fun with Debra" (2004)
- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond for: "Finale" (2005)
- On The Scene, Tony Shalhoub and Patricia Heaton Open Off-Broadway, broadway.com, 2007-01-11
- KTVB.COM | Boise, Idaho News, Weather, Sports, Video, Traffic & Events | IDAHO NEWS
- Green, Jesse. Not Everybody Loves Patricia, The New York Times, December 31, 2006. Accessed April 1, 2009.
- Squires, Chase. Tampabay: Issues, not images, drive Schiavo TV coverage, March 25, 2005. Accessed April 1, 2009.
- Stem Cell Opponents To Air Celebrity Ad, To Rebut Ad Featuring Michael J. Fox, World Series Pitcher Speaks Out Against Missouri Amendment - CBS News
- Bond, Paul. Hollywood insiders rip MSNBC, defend Palin, Reuters, October 27, 2008. Accessed April 1, 2009.