Ray Romano admits that he always knew he could make his friends laugh, but he never really gave standup comedy any serious thought until one fateful open-mike night at a New York comedy club in l984. He did well, the bug bit hard and Romano was smitten. After several odd jobs, including futon mattress delivery boy by day and journeyman comedian by night, he decided to pursue comedy full time, eventually winning a standup comedy competition that same year.
Following that success, Romano’s regular appearances at comedy clubs throughout the country led to guest spots on The Tonight Show and Late Show with David Letterman. Letterman recognized his talent and offered him a development deal with Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated. From that association, Everybody Loves Raymond evolved.
For his role in Everybody Loves Raymond, Romano won the 2002 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series,” for which he was also nominated in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Comedy Series” in 2000 and 2001, and for the 2002 AFI “Actor of the Year” Award for a Male in a Series. He won the 2002 and 2003 People’s Choice Award for “Favorite Male TV Performer.”
The role also has earned him nominations for two Screen Actors Guild Awards for “Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series,” and he won the 2003 Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series.”
He has won a TV Guide Award for “Actor of the Year in a Comedy Series,” an American Comedy Award as the “Funniest Male Lead in a TV Series” and the 1999 Television Critics Association Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement in Comedy.”
He is the author of the book, Everything and a Kite, based on his comedy. He released a CD titled “Ray Romano: Live At Carnegie Hall,” and donated all of the proceeds to the September 11 Fund. The CD was nominated for a Grammy Award.
His film credits include Eulogy and Welcome to Mooseport. He can also be heard as the voice of Manny the Woolly Mammoth in Ice Age and Ice Age 2.
Romano, who is originally from Forest Hills, N.Y., lives with his wife and four children in Los Angeles.