Boyle in 1978
|Born||Peter Lawrence Boyle
October 18, 1935
|Died||December 12, 2006
New York City
|Cause of death||multiple myeloma|
(m.1977–2006; his death)
Peter Lawrence Boyle (October 18, 1935 – December 12, 2006) was an American actor, best known for his role as Frank Barone on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, and as a comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein (1974).
Boyle, who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a guest-starring role on the science-fiction drama The X-Files, won praise in both comedic and dramatic parts following his breakthrough performance in the 1970 film Joe.
Early life and career
Boyle was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the son of Alice (née Lewis) and Francis Xavier Boyle. He moved with his family to nearby Philadelphia. His father was a Philadelphia TV personality from 1951–1963 who, among many other things, played the Western-show host Chuck Wagon Pete, and hosted the afterschool children's program Uncle Pete Presents the Little Rascals, which showed vintage Little Rascals, Three Stooges comedy shorts and Popeye cartoons.
He had Irish ancestry and was raised Roman Catholic. He attended St. Francis de Sales School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School For Boys. After high school Boyle spent three years as a novice of the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, or De La Salle Brothers, a Catholic teaching order. He lived in a house of studies with other novices and earned a BA from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1957, but left the order because he did not feel called to religious life. While in Philadelphia, he worked as a cameraman on the cooking show Television Kitchen, hosted by Florence Hanford.
In New York City, Boyle studied with acting coach Uta Hagen while working as a postal clerk and a maitre d'. He went on to play Murray the cop in a touring company of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple, leaving the tour in Chicago, Illinois and joining The Second City improv comedy ensemble there. He had a brief scene as the manager of an indoor shooting range in the critically acclaimed 1969 film Medium Cool, filmed in Chicago.
Screen and theater
Boyle gained acclaim for his first starring role, playing the title character, a bigoted New York City factory worker, in the 1970 movie Joe. The film's release was surrounded by controversy over its violence and language. It was during this time that Boyle became close friends with actress Jane Fonda, and with her he participated in many protests against the Vietnam War. After seeing people cheer at his role in Joe, Boyle refused the lead role in The French Connection (1971), as well as other movie and TV roles that he believed glamorized violence. His next major role was as the campaign manager for a U.S. Senate candidate (Robert Redford) in The Candidate (1972). He also played an Irish mobster opposite Robert Mitchum in The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973).
Boyle had another hit role as Frankenstein's monster in the 1974 Mel Brooks comedy Young Frankenstein, in which, in an homage to King Kong, the monster is placed onstage in top hat and tails, grunt-singing and dancing to the song "Puttin' on the Ritz". Boyle said at the time, "The Frankenstein monster I play is a baby. He's big and ugly and scary, but he's just been born, remember, and it's been traumatic, and to him the whole world is a brand new alien environment. That's how I'm playing it". Boyle met his wife, Loraine Alterman, on the set of Young Frankenstein while she was there as a reporter for Rolling Stone. He was still in his Frankenstein makeup when he asked her for a date. Through Alterman and her friend Yoko Ono, Boyle became friends with John Lennon, who was the best man at Boyle and Alterman's 1977 wedding. Boyle and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.
Boyle received his first Emmy nomination for his acclaimed dramatic performance in the 1977 television film Tail Gunner Joe, in which he played Senator Joseph McCarthy. Yet he was more often cast as a character actor than as a leading man. His roles include the philosophical cab driver "Wizard" in Martin Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), starring Robert De Niro; a bar owner and fence in The Brink's Job (1978); the private detective hired in Hardcore (1979); the attorney of gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson (played by Bill Murray) in Where the Buffalo Roam (1980); a corrupt space mining-facility boss in the science-fiction film Outland (1981), opposite Sean Connery; Boatswain Moon in the 1983 pirate comedy Yellowbeard, also starring Cheech and Chong, Madeline Kahn, and members of the comedy troupe Monty Python; a psychiatric patient who belts out a Ray Charles song in the comedy The Dream Team (1989), starring Michael Keaton; a boss of unscrupulous corporation in the sci-fi Solar Crisis (1990) along Charlton Heston and Jack Palance; the title character's cab driver in The Shadow (1994), starring Alec Baldwin; the father of Sandra Bullock's fiancee in While You Were Sleeping (1995); the corporate raider out to buy Eddie Murphy's medical partnership in Dr. Dolittle (1998); the hateful father of Billy Bob Thornton's prison-guard character in Monster's Ball (2001); Muta in The Cat Returns (2002); and Old Man Wickles in the comedy Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). In cameo roles, he can be seen as a police captain in Malcolm X (1992), and as a drawbridge operator in Porky's Revenge (1985). In 1992, he starred in Alex Cox's Death and the Compass, an adaptation of Jorge Luis Borges' La Muerte y la Brujula. However, the film was not released until 1996.
His New York theater work included playing a comedian who is the object of The Roast, a 1980 Broadway play directed by Carl Reiner. Also in 1980 he co-starred with Tommy Lee Jones in an Off Broadway production of playwright Sam Shepard's acclaimed True West. Two years later, Boyle played the head of a dysfunctional family in Joe Pintauro's less well-received Snow Orchid, at the Circle Repertory.
In 1986, Boyle played the title role of the acclaimed but short-lived TV series Joe Bash, created by Danny Arnold. The comedy-drama followed the life of a lonely, world-weary, and sometimes compromised New York City beat cop whose closest friend was a prostitute, played by actress DeLane Matthews.
Later life and career
In October 1990, Boyle suffered a near-fatal stroke that rendered him completely speechless and immobile for nearly six months. After recovering, he went on to win an Emmy Award in 1996 as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his appearance on The X-Files. In the episode, "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose", he played an insurance salesman who can see selected things in the near future, particularly others' deaths. Boyle also guest starred in two episodes as Bill Church in Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. He appears in Sony Music's unaired Roger Waters' music video "Three Wishes" (1992) as a scruffy genie in a dirty coat and red scarf, who tries to tempt Waters at a desert diner.
Boyle was perhaps most widely known for his role as the deadpan, cranky Frank Barone in the CBS television sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, which aired from 1996 to 2005. The show was shot in Los Angeles, to which Boyle commuted from his New York City home. He was nominated for an Emmy seven times for this role, but never won (beaten out multiple times in the Supporting Actor category by his co-star Brad Garrett), though fellow co-stars Garrett, Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, and Boyle's TV wife Doris Roberts won at least one Emmy each for their performances.
In 1999, he had a heart attack on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond. He soon regained his health and returned to the series. After the incident, Boyle was drawn back to his Catholic faith, and resumed attending Mass.
Introduced by comedian Carlos Mencia as "the most honest man in show business", Boyle made guest appearances on three episodes of the Comedy Central program Mind of Mencia — one of which was shown as a tribute in a segment made before Boyle's death — in which he read hate mail, explained the "hidden meanings" behind bumper stickers, and occasionally told Mencia how he felt about him.
Starting in late 2005, Boyle and former TV wife Doris Roberts appeared in TV commercials for the 75th anniversary of Alka-Seltzer, reprising the famous line, "I can't believe I ate that whole thing!" Although this quote has entered into popular culture, it is often misquoted as, "...the whole thing." Boyle had a role in all three of The Santa Clause films. In the original, he plays Scott Calvin's boss. In the sequels, he plays Father Time.
Death and legacy
On December 12, 2006, Boyle died in New York City at New York Presbyterian Hospital after suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease. He was 71 years old. At the time of his death, Boyle had completed his role in the film All Roads Lead Home and was scheduled to appear in The Golden Boys. The end credits of All Roads Lead Home include a dedication to his memory.
Newspapers and magazines reported on Boyle's death and reflected on his lifetime accomplishments, while numerous tribute pages and videos can be found on the Internet in commemoration of him and his career. The familiarity of Boyle's grouchy but lovable character on Raymond could easily allow the audience to develop a seemingly intimate parasocial relationship with the actor. Since his death, fans have been quoted saying such remarks as "It was like we lost a family member ourselves".
Boyle's death also had a tremendous effect on his Raymond co-stars, who worked alongside him for the entire nine seasons of the popular CBS sitcom. When asked to comment on Boyle's death, his cast members had nothing but positive things to say. Ray Romano was personally affected by the loss, saying, "He gave me great advice, he always made me laugh, and the way he connected with everyone around him amazed me." Boyle's death also saddened Patricia Heaton who stated, "Peter was an incredible man who made all of us who had the privilege of working with him aspire to be better actors."
On October 18, 2007, which would have been Boyle's 72nd birthday, his friend Bruce Springsteen, during a Madison Square Garden concert with the E Street Band in New York, dedicated "Meeting Across the River", segueing into "Jungleland", in memory of Boyle, stating: "An old friend died a while back – we met him when we first came to New York City... Today would have been his birthday."
After he died from multiple myeloma in late 2006, Boyle's wife Loraine Alterman Boyle established the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the International Myeloma Foundation. Boyle's closest friends, family and co-stars have since gathered yearly for a comedy celebration fundraiser in Los Angeles. Acting as a tribute to Boyle, the annual event is hosted by Ray Romano and has included performances by many comedic veterans including Dana Carvey, Fred Willard, Richard Lewis, Kevin James, Jeff Garlin and Martin Short. Performances typically revolve around Boyle's life, recalling favorite moments with the actor. The comedy celebration has been noted as the most successful fundraiser in IMF history, as the first event held in 2007 raised over $550,000, while the following year over $600,000 was raised for the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the IMF's research programs.
Awards and nominations
- Nomination (1977) — Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special: Tail Gunner Joe
- Nomination (1989) — Guest Actor in a Drama Series: J.J. Killian in Midnight Caller episode "Fathers and Sins"
- Win (1996) — Guest Actor in a Drama Series: Clyde Bruckman in The X-Files episode "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
- (7) Nominations (1999–2005) — Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: Everybody Loves Raymond
- Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award
- The cast of Everybody Loves Raymond was nominated for Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series each year from 1999–2000 and 2002–2006. Boyle was additionally nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series in 2002.
- The Group (1966)
- The Virgin President (1968)
- Medium Cool (1969)
- The Monitors (1969)
- Joe (1970)
- Diary of a Mad Housewife (1970)
- T.R. Baskin (1971)
- The Candidate (1972)
- F.T.A. (1972)
- Ghost in the Noonday Sun (1973)
- Steelyard Blues (1973)
- Slither (1973)
- The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
- Kid Blue (1973)
- Crazy Joe (1974)
- Young Frankenstein (1974)
- Taxi Driver (1976)
- Swashbuckler (1976)
- Tail Gunner Joe (1977)
- F.I.S.T. (1978)
- The Brink's Job (1978)
- Hardcore (1979)
- Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)
- Where the Buffalo Roam (1980)
- In God We Tru$t (1980)
- Outland (1981)
- Hammett (1982)
- Yellowbeard (1983)
- Johnny Dangerously (1984)
- Turk 182 (1985)
- Surrender (1987)
- Walker (1987)
- The In Crowd (1988)
- Superman 50th Anniversary TV Special as James "Jimmy" Malone (1988)
- Red Heat (1988)
- The Dream Team (1989)
- Speed Zone! (1989)
- Funny (1989)
- The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story (1990)
- Challenger (1990)
- Solar Crisis (1990)
- Men of Respect (1991)
- Kickboxer 2: The Road Back (1991)
- Nervous Ticks (1992)
- Death and the Compass (1992)
- Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
- Malcolm X (1992)
- The Shadow (1994)
- Killer (1994)
- The Santa Clause (1994)
- Exquisite Tenderness (1995)
- Born to Be Wild (1995)
- While You Were Sleeping (1995)
- Final Vendetta (1996)
- Milk & Money (1996)
- Everybody Loves Raymond (TV: 1996-2005)
- That Darn Cat (1997)
- Species II (1998)
- Dr. Dolittle (1998)
- Monster's Ball (2001)
- The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)
- The Santa Clause 2 (2002)
- The Cat Returns (2003) (English dub, voice)
- Bitter Jester (2003)
- Imagine New York (2003)
- Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)
- The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006)
- All Roads Lead Home (2008)
- Dates per Social Security death file 163-28-7187[dead link]. Some sources give an incorrect birth year of 1933, e.g. InfoPlease.com
- "Raymond' star Peter Boyle dies at 71". MSNBC. Associated Press. 17 December 2006. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- Dennis McLellan (14 December 2006). "Peter Boyle, 71; father on 'Raymond'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- "Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia: Pete Boyle". Broadcast Pioneers. Retrieved 2007-02-01.(includes 1953 photo)
- Berkvist, Robert (December 14, 2006). "Peter Boyle, 71, Is Dead; Roles Evoked Laughter and Anger". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- "Biography for Peter Boyle". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved May 12, 2010.
- Ellen Grey (14 December 2006). "Peter Boyle: From monk to Frank, he led fascinating life". Philadelphia Daly News. Retrieved 2007-02-01.[dead link]
- Stephen Miller (14 December 2006). "Peter Boyle, 71, Character Actor Played Psychotics and Monsters". The New York Sun. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- Gerry Wilkinson. "Florence Hanford, a Broadcast Pioneer". Broadcast Pioneers. Retrieved 2007-11-12.[dead link]
- Robert Berkvist (14 December 2006). "Peter Boyle, 71, Is Dead; Roles Evoked Laughter and Anger". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- Adam Bernstein (14 December 2006). "BAD LINK". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2007-02-01.[dead link]
- Peter Boyle Biography at the Internet Movie Database
- "In Step With: Peter Boyle". Parade Magazine. August 15, 2004.
- Deepti Hajela (13 December 2006). "BAD LINK". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2007-02-01.[dead link]
- David Hiltbrand (21 March 2004). "You may love Raymond, but you don't know Peter". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- "Joe Bash". JumpTheShark.com. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- Videos, both aired and unaired, are routinely distributed to the music press; this clip appears on fan-made bootleg video compilations: "Roger Waters on Video". Going Underground Magazine. Retrieved 2007-02-01. Reprinted at Pink Floyd RoIO Database: Roger Waters Video Anthology
- "Three Wishes". youtube. 27 November 2005. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- Catholic News Service (14 December 2006). "Catholic actor Peter Boyle, a former Christian Brother, dies at age 71". Catholic Online. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
- "TV Land's The 100 Greatest TV Quotes...". Yahoo! Finance. 22 November 2006. Archived from the original on 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
-  See Trivia
-  Fan Memorial Comments
-  'Raymond' Cast Mourns Peter Boyle
- "Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band - Meeting Across The River". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-01-01.
-  Peter Boyle Fund Annual Comedy Gala
-  About The Peter Boyle Memorial Fund
- "Screen Actors Guild Awards Past Nominees & Recipients". SAG Awards. Archived from the original on 2007-01-27. Retrieved 2007-02-01.
- Peter Boyle at Find a Grave
- Peter Boyle at the Internet Broadway Database
- Peter Boyle at the Internet Off-Broadway Database
- Peter Boyle at the Internet Movie Database
- Archive of American Television interview with Peter Boyle
- Peter Boyle at the TCM Movie Database
- Peter Boyle at AllRovi
- MSNBC.com (December 13, 2006): The Daily Nightly: "Remembering Uncle Pete", by Clare Duffy, NBC Nightly News Producer