Ray Romano is just one of many people who was profoundly influenced by the life and career of Mary Tyler Moore. Moore, who passed away last week at 80-years-old, was best known for her starring roles in The Dick Van Dyke Show and then The Mary Tyler Moore Show. According to ET, Ray Romano referred to those two sitcoms as “the beginnings of the classic sitcoms,” going on to add that Moore was a pioneer.
“[Mary Tyler Moore] was a pioneer herself, just to play a career woman when there really weren’t any on TV, and she was just brilliant with the comedy.”
— EntertainmentTonight (@etnow) January 26, 2017
As it turns out, Ray Romano and the other creators of his hit long-running TV sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond drew inspiration from the work of Moore when creating the show. Admitting that The Mary Tyler Moore Show was “one of the shows we tried to emulate” when creating Everybody Loves Raymond, Ray Romano elaborated that Moore was known to be an authentic actress.
“Who she was on camera was just who she was. She was just a great person.”
Ray Romano is best known for playing the character of Raymond Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond: a character that became so popular and well-known that he also went on to feature in character in other popular sitcoms like Cosby, The King of Queens, The Nanny, and Becker.
In the last two decades, Ray Romano has managed to establish himself as a comedy actor who featured in comedy movies like Welcome to Mooseport, Eulogy, Grilled, Last Word, and The Grand. More recently, Romano has lent his to the character of Manny, the wooly mammoth, in the Ice Age animated film series.
Far from “just” a comedy actor, Ray Romano also played a serious character in a drama role in Martin Scorsese’s Vinyl, an HBO television series based on a fictional music company. Mick Jagger was the co-producer of the series in which Ray played the role of Zak Yankovich, an assistant to a record company executive who is trying to resurrect the company. Zak’s relationship with his boss is shown to be strained due to their vast differences of opinion with regard to the future of the company.
The opportunity to work with the legendary Martin Scorsese excited the Everybody Loves Raymond actor very much, as he believed that his stint in Vinyl would help him to grow professionally. However, his excitement was short-lived as Vinyl was canceled by HBO after the first season. Even the input of iconic professionals like Martin Scorcese and Mick Jagger could not force the show to succeed, as the plummeting television ratings clearly indicated that Vinyl had failed to become popular.
— Northwind Promotion (@northwind_promo) June 23, 2016
Following the cancellation of Vinyl, Ray Romano turned his attentions to a television series based on Get Shorty, Elmore Leonard’s best-selling novel which was also previously adapted to a popular movie that featured John Travolta, Gene Hackman, and Danny DeVito. Broadway World reports that MGM is producing the series, and the Epix cable network is broadcasting the same.
Screenwriter Davey Holmes is writing the script for the series that is not going to be an exact adaptation of the novel. Davey has twisted the material to adapt the cult classic to the present-day world. Ray Romano plays the role of Rick, a low-quality film producer, who helps Miles, a Nevada-based hitman, to break into the film industry. Chris O’Dowd plays the role of Miles, a man who wishes to venture into the world of show business, leaving his criminal past behind him for the sake of his daughter.
According to Showbiz Junkies, Mark S. Greenberg, the CEO of Epix, revealed that the production of the television series benefited greatly from the camaraderie between the two lead actors.
“Ray and Chris are a dynamic team and with a strong supporting cast, we are anticipating that Get Shorty will be another example of the type of high-end, premium TV that Epix is committed to delivering to its audience.”
In addition, TV Guide reported that Chris O’Dowd had never filmed a violent scene prior to his role in Get Shorty. O’Dowd, known for his good guy role on Bridesmaids and his voice narration role in the children’s television series Puffin Rock, had a steep learning curve to navigate in order to take on the role with conviction.
— Alexander Sky (@MyAlexanderSky) January 15, 2017
Get Shorty will be a dark comedy series, with a first season comprised of 10 one-hour episodes. Season 1 of the series was filmed in Los Angeles and Albuquerque.
Meanwhile, Ray Romano made a guest appearance in Kevin Can Wait, a CBS comedy sitcom featuring Kevin James. Kevin James plays the lead role in the comedy series about a newly-retired cop who has to cope with the challenges of leading a life of retirement while focusing on his wife and children. Broadway World reported that Ray Romano played the role of Vic Margolis, a car salesman who is eager to sell an overpriced car to Kevin’s character.
— Alexander Sky (@MyAlexanderSky) October 21, 2016
According to Entertainment Weekly, Kevin James and Ray Romano have worked together before when Romano appeared in The King of Queens.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/AP Images]