Abrasive, weird, and completely unafraid to say what was on his mind, Frank Barone was the best character on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Raymond’s father Frank was the perfect sidekick for Marie, who more often than not stole the show. His constant barrage of insults brought her down to earth, when everyone else was afraid to stand up to her. And had any other character uttered Frank Barone’s lines, they would have become instantly unlikeable. But Frank Barone remained loveable throughout. Here is why Frank Barone was the best character on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
“Everybody Loves Raymond” was one of the most critically acclaimed American sitcoms of its time. It ran from 1996 to 2005, and can still be seen in syndication several times a day all over the country. I admit I was one of the few American viewers who didn’t love “Raymond” during its initial run. I found Ray Romano’s character Raymond Barone incredibly annoying, what with that nasal voice and pathetic fear of his beautiful wife Debra. I didn’t care much at all for his brother Robert, played by Brad Garrett, either. He was nothing but a big goof and the character was overdone, overacted. But I did love “Raymond” when I began watching it in syndication on TBS, not because of Ray or Robert, but because of their hilarious parents, Frank and Marie.
Frank Barone was played by legendary character actor Peter Boyle, who passed away in New York on December 12, 2006. His trademark “Holy crap!” was hysterical, and just about every line he uttered during the show’s long run was perfectly delivered. With Frank’s strange look and attitude, the character could have been easily dismissed as nasty and mean, but quite the contrary, everybody loved Frank.
And Frank Barone loved Marie’s cooking, and deep down, he even loved Marie herself. The insults, the one-liners, it was just the way they were. Everybody used to get a few digs in on Frank, too. They remarked about his baldness, his weight, but Frank Barone always had a comeback, and when he didn’t, he simply brushed them off.
“I’m not some trophy wife!” exclaimed Marie, portrayed by Doris Roberts, on one occasion. “What contest in hell did I win?” said Frank.
Peter Boyle gave the character of Frank Barone heart and warmth, and the legendary actor is already missed, as is the show, “Everybody Loves Raymond.” Boyle’s seamless portrayal of Frank made him the best character on “Everybody Loves Raymond.”