"Everybody Loves Raymond" was a loving gift for its cast. Patricia Heaton puts it most bluntly: "I didn't have a career until this show." For veteran actress Doris Roberts, "it put my career over the top."
So where do the actors go from here as the CBS comedy wraps its nine-year run? They're thinking it over.
RAY ROMANO: He wants to continue his standup comedy and would consider another sitcom, but probably not on a broadcast network. He's intrigued by Larry David's HBO comedy "Curb Your Enthusiasm."
Then there's films. "I don't know, my track record isn't good so far with movies. I'm kind of 0h-for-two, as we stand now," said Romano, who was in the box-office misses "Welcome to Mooseport" and "Eulogy."
He had better luck with the animated "Ice Age" and will be back with "Ice Age 2," due in 2006, but he's giving live action another try with the upcoming "Grilled," co-starring Kevin James.
Money shouldn't be a problem: At a reported $2 million per episode this season, Romano, 47, was TV's highest-paid actor.
PATRICIA HEATON: She has a development deal with ABC and a preference for comedy, although no series is set for now. "It's what I do best," said Heaton, 47. The consistent shooting schedule followed by TV comedies also allows her to be a hands-on mom to her four children. "It's such a gift," she said.
BRAD GARRETT: "I have that odd dynamic: I'm picky and not in demand. It's a brutal combination. I'm turning down stuff I'm not even offered," he jokes.
But seriously, folks, there's talk of an "Everybody Loves Raymond" spinoff with Garrett, 45, and Monica Horan reprising their roles. He says any series would "have to be really, really right."
Plans a standup comedy tour this spring, his first since he started on the show. "I anticipate a very large refund line as well as a lawsuit, but I'm looking forward to it."
DORIS ROBERTS: "Who knows after this? Nobody writes for older people," says the 74-year-old Roberts who, although she works steadily, has been an outspoken critic of Hollywood's age bias.
The stage, screen and TV performer is in the film "Lucky 13," which has played at film festivals, and reportedly is set to co-star in Adam Sandler's "Nana's Boy."
PETER BOYLE: Although he was the only series lead to miss out on an Emmy despite repeated nominations, Boyle could be allowed to rest on his laurels from a long, distinguished career. But word is the 69-year-old actor is looking for another TV show.
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