The tight knit cast and creator of classic sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond spoke out Thursday night on the apparent suicide death of fellow Raymond castmate, Sawyer Sweeten. Raymond lead Ray Romano stated:
“I’m shocked, and terribly saddened, by the news about Sawyer. He was a wonderful and sweet kid to be around. Just a great energy whenever he was there. My heart breaks for him, his family, and his friends during this very difficult time.”
Everybody Loves Raymond creator Phil Rosenthal called the Sweeten siblings, “charming” and “an integral part of our TV family,” also stating that he was “loved” and “never failed to make us laugh or remind us how we feel about our own children.”
Sweeten’s sister Madylin who played his older sister Ally on Raymond confirmed his death earlier in the day by releasing a statement requesting privacy for the family. In a message on Facebook, she reminded everyone to “reach out” to those they love.
Patricia Heaton who portrayed Sawyer’s mother on Everybody Loves Raymond took to Twitter to express her grief, as did Mean Girls actress Lacy Chabert and celebrity gossiper Perez Hilton:
Sawyer Sweeten was a funny and exceptionally bright young man. He is gone from us far too soon.
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) April 24, 2015
My thoughts are with the family of #SawyerSweeten Heartbreaking news.
— Lacey Chabert (@IamLaceyChabert) April 24, 2015
— Perez Hilton (@PerezHilton) April 24, 2015
Everybody Loves Raymond ran from 1996 to 2005. Over that nine-year period, Raymond won thirteen Emmys, one SAG award, and a Writer’s Guild of America award. Based on the real life of comedian Ray Romano, the comedy was a critical and audience success. The parts of Raymond Barrone’s twins were originally played by triplets Amber, Justin, and Drew Ferreira in the pilot episode, but because the pilot took so long to air, Raymond‘s twins were eventually recast with Sawyer and his twin brother Sullivan.
In 2010, the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond reunited at the TV Land Awards to receive the Impact Award. While Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton would go on to other projects including Parenthood and The Middle, the children of Everybody Loves Raymond appeared to keep low profiles.
Sawyer Sweeten was 19-years-old at the time of his death, just weeks from celebrating his 20th birthday. As his family mourn their loss, fans are able to honor his memory through Everybody Loves Raymond reruns airing globally and on Netflix.
[Image courtesy of Matthew Simmons/Getty Images]