SHE FIRST CAME TO MY ATTENTION as part of the detective agency on Remington Steele. Doris Roberts was a terrific addition to the cast. There was chemistry between Pierce Brosnan and Stephanie Zimbalist, and then Doris Roberts.
I am especially fond of the episodes with Doris as Mildred and with Stephanie’s father, Efrem. Before the introduction of Mildred, there was a certain bland quality to the supporting cast. She added that extra something.
She was part of the team, rather than being a disruptive force as some cast mix ups can be, and such an entertaining and endearing part too. She reminded me so much of my mother.
Then, Doris became the mother-in-law on Everybody Loves Raymond. Another great role brought to life by a talented actress. She and the entire cast were just perfect: Peter Boyle as her husband, Ray Romano as her son and Patricia Heaton as her imperfect daughter-in-law.
She and Boyle still make me laugh. Thank heaven for reruns, so others, generations from now, can enjoy this quirky sitcom family.
Whatever her age, another obscure detail I find amusing, she was a wonderful actress and I’m sure a wonderful person too. Her persona and personality came through the TV. Like she herself said, she was real. She did not like fakery.
“I’m not a bull artist. I tell it like it is. I’m not some celebrity thinking I’m greater than anybody else. I’m one of the people. And they know that. It’s wonderful when they say to me ‘Thank you for the humor you’ve brought us all these years.’ I am a lucky son of a gun. I get paid for it.”