Doris Roberts, who played Mrs. Miracle in the movies written by Debbie Macomber, passed away at the age of 90. Doris may be remembered for her role on Everybody Loves Raymond, but the people who loved romantic, Christian movies, will remember her as Mrs. Miracle.
In 2009, she played the role of Mrs. Merkle in two of Debbie Macomber’s Hallmark Christmas movies. The first movie, simply titled Mrs. Miracle, Doris appears out of nowhere to help widowed father Seth Webster, played by James Van Der Beek, take care of his two young boys. His sons have already run off numerous housekeepers, and the agency did not have any more people to send him because the word got out on how mischievous his sons were.
Suddenly, this grandmotherly woman shows up at their door and quickly wins the trust and obedience of Seth’s sons. Her name in the movie was Mrs. Merkle, but the two boys changed her name to Mrs. Miracle. In her role, she is a nanny to the boys, an awesome cook for his family, and a friend who turns into a matchmaker between Seth and travel agent Reba Maxwell, played by Erin Karpluk.
In the sequel movie, Just Call Me Mrs. Miracle, released in 2010, Doris Roberts returns as the adorable and much loved Mrs. Miracle. As in the previous movie, she shows up out of nowhere and begins working as a salesperson at Finley’s Department Store. Her nametag shows Mrs. Miracle, but she explains that it was supposed to say Merkle, instead.
In this movie, she helps show youngsters that the older style of toys is better than the popular robot toy that every kid wants. She also works her magic on helping two couples find healing and the joy of Christmas, instead of running away from the past as they had for years. Mrs. Miracle arranges chance meetings between the owner of Finleys and a person who has worked for the company many years. She helps in the romance of Mr. Finley’s son, Jake, and Holly who is a fashion designer and currently trying to take care of her brother’s son while he serves in the military.
Mrs. Miracle and Just Call Me Mrs. Miracle received 4.8 stars out of 5 on the Amazon website.
On November 4, 1925, Doris Roberts, whose real name is Doris May Green, was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Ann Meltzer. Her father’s name was never revealed because he left Doris and her mother when she was 10-years old. It was not easy for Doris when her biological father abandoned them, and for many years, Doris always felt responsible for his leaving.
“I always thought he left us because I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, tall enough. Something was wrong with me, otherwise my father would never have left my mother.”
Ann was forced to be a single parent and raise Doris on her own, so they moved in with Ann’s parents who lived in the Bronx. Doris knew she wanted to be an actress at a very early age. When she was 6-years-old, she played the part of a potato in a kindergarten play.
Doris said, “I always wanted to be an actress. In kindergarten I was in a little play and I had this line, ‘I am Patrick Potato and this is my cousin, Mrs. Tomato.’ And I heard the laughter in the room, and the bug bit me.”
Doris credits her uncle for being the father figure she needed while she was growing up.
“You get through it. All it takes is one person who loves you unconditionally. I had that person. He was my uncle, Willie Meltzer. He lived with my grandparents in the same apartment with us. He totally loved me and took care of me, and taught me laughter, music. In the morning—and this is a long time ago—he’d take the cream off the bottle of milk to put on my cereal, and then he’d take me to school and yell at the boys not to be rough with me. And then he’d pick me up and bring me home.”
Doris’s dream of acting followed her through her school years and into college, but her desire was so strong that she dropped out of the New York University to pursue a career in acting.
While Doris was still in school, her mother remarried and Doris took on her stepfather’s last name of Roberts.
Doris had a number of acting jobs on television and in the theater beginning in the early 1950s. In 1955, she debuted on Broadway when she got a part in The Time of Your Life. From her various parts, she discovered that she preferred to play the motherly types of roles and her first part was in The American Dream. In the 1960s, she appeared in a variety of movies including, A Lovely Way to Die, The Honeymoon Killers, and Something Wild.
In the 1970s, she found parts in many hit TV shows including, All in the Family and Soap. It wasn’t until her role in Angie that she became a familiar name to everyone.
Doris Roberts was always busy doing something. If she wasn’t acting, she was raising money and awareness for her favorite charities including Puppies Behind Bars and the Children with AIDS foundation. She was also involved in fighting against age discrimination, and she even testified before Congress on her stand. Doris wrote several books and in 2005, she was on the New York Times best-seller list for her book Are You Hungry, Dear? Life, Laughs, and Lasagna.
Doris Roberts passed away in her sleep in Los Angeles, California, and she leaves behind her son, who is also her manager, Michael Cannata.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Doris’s family, friends, and fans she leaves behind. She touched countless lives and will surely be missed.
[Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images]