Doris Roberts

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Doris Roberts
DorisRobertsApr2011.jpg
Roberts in April 2011
Born Doris May Green
(1925-11-04)November 4, 1925
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Died April 17, 2016(2016-04-17) (aged 90)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Stroke
Resting place Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1951–2016
Spouse(s)
  • Michael E. Cannata (m. 1956; div. 1962)
  • William Goyen (m. 1963; his death 1983)
Children 1

Doris Roberts (born Doris May Green; November 4, 1925 – April 17, 2016) was an American actress, author, and philanthropist whose career spanned six decades of television. She appeared as a guest on many talk and variety shows, along with appearing as a panelist on several game shows. She was an advocate of animal rights and animal-rights activism, supporting groups such as the United Activists for Animal Rights.

Roberts started in films in 1961, and had prominent roles in movies, including playing opposite Shirley Stoler in The Honeymoon Killers (1969), Elliott Gould in Little Murders (1971), Steven Keats in Hester Street (1975), Billy Crystal in Rabbit Test (1978), Robert Carradine in Number One with a Bullet (1987), and Cady McClain in Simple Justice (1989), among many others. She received five Emmy Awards and a Screen Actors Guild award during her acting career, which began in 1951. She achieved continuing success for her co-starring role as Raymond Barone's mother, Marie Barone, on the long-running CBS sitcom, Everybody Loves Raymond (1996–2005). She played Mildred Krebs in Remington Steele from 1983 to 1987. Towards the end of her acting career, she also had a prominent role opposite Tyler Perry in Madea's Witness Protection (2012).

Early life[edit]

Doris May Green was born on November 4, 1925, in St. Louis, Missouri, to a family of Russian Jewish immigrants. She was raised by her mother, Ann (née Meltzer),[1] and her maternal grandparents in The Bronx, New York, after her father, Larry Green, deserted the family.[2] Roberts' stepfather, whose surname she took as her own, was Chester H. Roberts. Chester and Roberts' mother operated the Z.L. Rosenfield Agency, a stenographic service catering to playwrights and actors.[3]

Career[edit]

Film and television[edit]

Roberts' acting career began in 1951 with a role on the TV series Studio One. She appeared in episodes of The Naked City (1958–63), Way Out (1961), Ben Casey (1963), and The Defenders (1962–63). In 1961, she made her film debut in Something Wild (1961).

She appeared in such cult 1960s/1970s films as A Lovely Way to Die, No Way to Treat a Lady, The Honeymoon Killers, Such Good Friends, Little Murders, and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. In 1978, she appeared in a film about John F. Kennedy's assassination, Ruby and Oswald, in which she played Jack Ruby's sister. She also appeared very briefly in The Rose, as the mother of the title character (played by Bette Midler).

Roberts in 1980 at the premiere of Seems Like Old Times, taken by Alan Light

In an interview with the Archive of American Television, Rue McClanahan confirmed that in 1972 she was approached by Norman Lear during the taping of an All In The Family episode to be a late replacement for Roberts, who was originally intended for the role of Vivian in Maude.[4] (Roberts later guest starred in a 1976 All in the Family episode, "Edith's Night Out".) Roberts played Theresa Falco on Angie, and later appeared as Mildred Krebs on Remington Steele.

After Remington Steele ended, she starred in the TV movie remake of If It's Tuesday, It Still Must Be Belgium (1987) and the National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). She appeared on Alice, playing the mother of the title character (played by her former Broadway co-star Linda Lavin), on Barney Miller as the wife of a man who secretly went to a sex surrogate, and on Full House as Danny Tanner's mother, Claire. She played the unhinged "Flo Flotsky" on four episodes of Soap; Dorelda Doremus, a faith healer, on Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman; and lonely Aunt Edna on Step by Step.

Roberts in December 2010

Roberts achieved much of her fame for her role as Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond. She was reportedly one of 100 actresses considered for the role.[5] For her work on the series, she was nominated for seven Emmy Awards (and won four times) for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She had previously won an Emmy for a guest appearance on St. Elsewhere, playing a homeless woman, and was also once nominated for her role on Remington Steele.[6] She was nominated for appearances on Perfect Strangers and a PBS special called The Sunset Gang. In 2003, she made a guest appearance as Gordo's grandmother in Lizzie McGuire. The same year, she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2006, she starred in Our House as a wealthy woman who took in homeless people into her own house, and in Grandma's Boy.

In 2007, she made a guest appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent.[6] In 2008, she appeared in the romantic comedy Play the Game alongside Andy Griffith, who plays a lonely widowed grandfather re-entering the dating world after a 60-year hiatus. Roberts appeared in the 2009 film Aliens in the Attic, which was filmed in Auckland, New Zealand. She played George Needleman's mother in Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection (2012).

On September 23, 2010, she played Ms. Rinsky, Brick Heck's teacher in the second-season premiere episode of The Middle. This appearance reunited her with Patricia Heaton, her co-star from Everybody Loves Raymond. The two women's characters, of course, clash, with Heaton's Frankie Heck always managing to get pushed out of sorts into disastrous action usually resulting in some kind of public chastisement by Roberts' Rinsky, an expert at passive-aggressive manipulation. Roberts returned in two other episodes that season, "The Math Class" and the finale, "Back to Summer".

Stage[edit]

Roberts' stage career began in the 1950s on Broadway. She appeared in numerous Broadway shows including William Marchant's The Desk Set (with Shirley Booth), Neil Simon's The Last of the Red Hot Lovers (with James Coco and Linda Lavin) and Terrence McNally's Bad Habits. She starred in McNally's Unusual Acts of Devotion at the LaJolla Playhouse in June 2009.[7]

Honors[edit]

In May 2005, Roberts received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from the University of South Carolina.[8] She was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor on May 7, 2011.[9] She was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in February 2003, at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.[10]

Advocacy and other work[edit]

On September 4, 2002, Roberts testified before a U.S. Congressional panel that age discrimination was prevalent in Hollywood.[11] She was a registered Democrat.[12]

An animal rights advocate, Roberts worked with the group Puppies Behind Bars, which works with inmates in training guide dogs and assistance dogs for the physically disabled and elderly, as well as dogs trained in explosives detection to be used by law enforcement agencies.[13] She was also active with the Children with AIDS Foundation, where she served as chairwoman.[13]

With Danelle Morton, Roberts wrote Are You Hungry, Dear? Life, Laughs, and Lasagna. The book was published by St. Martin's Press in 2003, and serves as a memoir as well as a collection of some of Roberts' recipes.[14][15]

Personal life[edit]

Roberts married Michael Cannata in 1956; they divorced in 1962. Their son, Michael Cannata, Jr. (born 1957) is her only child. She had three grandchildren: Kelsey, Andrew and Devon. Her second husband was writer William Goyen and they were married from 1963 until his death from leukemia in 1983.[16]

Death[edit]

Roberts died in Los Angeles, California, on the morning of April 17, 2016 in her sleep following a stroke. She was 90 years old.[17][18] She had also suffered from pulmonary hypertension for many years before her death. Just a month after her death she was memorialized in New York City, where a public tribute was held at the Ambassador Theatre, where she appeared in 1972 in The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild with Maureen Stapleton. Among the stars attending the service were Ray Romano and Patricia Heaton (her co-stars from Everybody Loves Raymond) and actor David Hyde Pierce. Romano said of Roberts, "Doris Roberts had an energy and a spirit that amazed me. She never stopped. Whether working professionally or with her many charities, or just nurturing and mentoring a green young comic trying to make it as an actor, she did everything with such a grand love for life and people and I will miss her dearly."[19]

In another interview Romano jokingly responded about the kissing thing that Roberts did off-camera: "You know how great she was then!" He also added: "We had a little get together for her. She was one of a kind. She can outwork it, outdrink it, good kisser, I was joking! I appreciated her."[20] Just a month after her death he added: "Here's how good she was: She played the most intrusive, overbearing, nosy woman — always starting fights and whatnot and meddling in our business — and yet when I asked the fans who their favorite character was, all the time it was her," said Romano, "She was so good at portraying the love that was underneath."[21] She was interred at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Filmography[edit]

Television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1951 Starlight Theatre Operator Episode: "Act of God Notwithstanding"
1952 Studio One in Hollywood The Madwoman Episode: "Jane Eyre"
Suspense Woman Episode: "A Time on Innocence"
1954 Look Up and Live Minnah Episode: "Rider Number Six"
1962 Naked City Miss Tresant Episode: "One of the Most Important Men in the Whole World"
1963 Ben Casey Claire Forest Episode: "Father Was an Intern"
1969 CBS Playhouse Shimmy Episode: "Shadow Game"
1975 The Mary Tyler Moore Show Helen Ferrell Episode: "Phyllis Whips Inflation"
Medical Center Gladys Callahan Episode: "Two Against Death"
Baretta Mrs. Asher Episode: "Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth"
1976 All in the Family Marge Episode: "Edith's Night Out"
Viva Valdez Gladys Episode: "The Nurse's Pipes"
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman Dorelda Doremus 3 episodes
The Streets of San Francisco Mrs. Strauss 2 episodes
Family Etta Episode: "Home Movie"
Rhoda Sylvia Levy Episode: "Meet the Levy's"
1977 It Happened One Christmas Ma Bailey Movie
1978–1980 Barney Miller Harriet Brauer 3 episodes
1978 Soap Flo Flotsky 4 episodes
1979–1980 Angie Theresa Falco 36 episodes
1979 Fantasy Island Marjorie Gibbs Episode: "Goose for the Gander/The Stuntman"
1980 The Diary of Anne Frank Mrs. Van Daan Movie
1981 Fantasy Island Madam Clooney Episode: "Delphine/The Unkillable"
1981–1982 Maggie Loretta 8 episodes
Alice Mona Spivak 2 episodes
1982 St. Elsewhere Cora Episode: "Cora and Arnie"
1983 Romance Theatre Maggie 5 episodes
Cagney & Lacey Helen Freitas Episode: "Jane Doe #37"
1983–1987 Remington Steele Mildred Krebs Recurring: season 2, main role: seasons 3–5 (71 episodes)
1985 California Girls Mrs. Bowzer Movie
1986 Mr. Belvedere Judge Westphall Episode: "Deportation: Part 2"
1989 Perfect Strangers Mrs. Bailey Episode: "Maid to Order"
1990 Full House Claire Tanner Episode: "Granny Tanny"
Murder, She Wrote Helen Owens Episode: "Shear Madness"
Blind Faith Tessie McBride Miniseries
A Mom for Christmas Philomena Movie[22]
1991 Empty Nest Aunt Retha Episode: "The Last Temptation of Laverne"
American Playhouse Mimi Finkelstein Episode: "The Sunset Gang"
1993 The Boys Doris Greenblat 6 episodes
The John Larroquette Show Mrs. Shenker Episode: "Pilot"
1993–1995 Dream On Angie Pedalbee 6 episodes
1994 Murder, She Wrote Mrs. Leah Colfax Episode: "The Murder Chanel"
Step by Step Aunt Edna Episode: "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
A Time to Heal Maddy Movie[23]
1995 Walker, Texas Ranger Elaine Portugal Episode: "The Big Bingo Bamboozle"
1996–2005 Everybody Loves Raymond Marie Barone Main role (210 episodes)
1997 A Thousand Men and a Baby Sister Philomena Movie[24]
1999 The King of Queens Marie Barone Episode: "Rayny Day"
2000 The Wild Thornberrys Cow #1 Episode: "Critical Masai"
One True Love Lillian Movie[25]
2001 The Sons of Mistletoe Margie Movie[26]
2002 Touched by an Angel Rose Episode: "The Bells of St. Peters"
2003 Lizzie McGuire Grandma Ruth Episode: "Grand Ole' Grandma"
A Time to Remember Maggie Calhoun Movie
2004 Raising Waylon Great Aunt Marie Movie[27]
2006 Our House Ruth Movie[28]
2007 Law & Order: Criminal Intent Virginia Harrington Episode: "Privilege"
2009 Mrs. Miracle Mrs. Merkle Movie[29]
2010 Miracle in Manhattan Mrs. Miracle Movie; originally titled Call Me Mrs. Miracle[30]
2010–2011 The Middle Mrs. Rinsky 3 episodes
2011 Grey's Anatomy Gladys Polcher Episode: "It's a Long Way Back"
Hot in Cleveland Lydia Episode: "Dancing Queens"
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension Mrs. Thompson Disney Channel original movie
2012 Desperate Housewives Doris Hammond Episode: "Lost My Power"
2013 Major Crimes Vera Walker Episode: "There's No Place Like Home"
2013–2014 Melissa & Joey Sofia 3 episodes
2014 Touched Norma Movie
2015 Merry Kissmas Mrs. Billing Movie[31]
2016 Adam Astra Casting Dame Daisy Phillips / Lois Willard / Lana delPeno / Carla Lockwood / Cleo Benington Movie

Film[edit]

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1961 Something Wild Mary Ann's Co-Worker [32]
1967 Barefoot in the Park Hotel Maid [33]
Divorce American Style Hypnotic Subject [34]
1968 No Way to Treat a Lady Sylvia Poppie [35]
A Lovely Way to Die Feeney [36]
1970 The Honeymoon Killers Bunny [37]
1971 Little Murders Mrs. Chamberlain [38]
A New Leaf Mrs. Traggert [39]
Such Good Friends Mrs. Gold [40]
1972 The Heartbreak Kid Mrs. Cantrow [41]
1974 The Taking of Pelham One Two Three Jessie [42]
1975 Hester Street Mrs. Kavarsky [43]
1978 Rabbit Test Mrs. Carpenter [44]
1979 Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff Marie [45]
The Rose Mrs. Foster Loosely based on the life of singer Janis Joplin [46]
1987 Number One with a Bullet Mrs. Barzak [47]
1989 National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Frances [48]
1992 Used People Aunt Lonnie [49]
1995 The Grass Harp Mrs. Richards [50]
Taffy [51]
1997 Walking to Waldheim Mina Goldblatt Short drama film
1998 My Giant Rose Kaminski [52]
1999 A Fish in the Bathtub Frieda [53]
2001 All Over the Guy Esther [54]
2003 Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star Peggy Roberts [55]
2006 Grandma's Boy Grandma Lilly [56]
Keeping Up with the Steins Rose Fielder [57]
2009 Play the Game Rose Sherman [58]
Aliens in the Attic Nana Rose Pearson [59]
2010 Another Harvest Moon Alice [60]
2011 Margarine Wars Grandma Betty Johansson [61]
2012 Madea's Witness Protection Barbara [62]
2014 The Little Rascals Save the Day Grandma Also known as The Little Rascals 2: Save the Day [63]
The Secret of Joy Grandma Short film
2015 Zizi and Honeyboy Zizi Short drama film
2016 Job's Daughter Ruth Morrison
The Escort Margaret Short film
Old Soldiers Gracie McBee
The Red Maple Leaf Mrs. Samantha Adams

Stage[edit]

Year Title Role Venue Dates Ref.
1955 The Time of Your Life The Streetwalker's Sidekick CityCenter January 19 – January 30 [64]
The Desk Set Miss Rumple Broadhurst Theatre October 24, 1955 – July 7, 1956[65] [65]
1963 Marathon '33 Rae Wilson ANTA Playhouse December 22, 1963 – February 1, 1964 [66]
1966 Malcolm Standby for:
Shubert Theatre January 11 – January 15 [67]
The Office Miss Punk Henry Miller's Theatre Never officially opened – April 30, 1966 [68]
Under the Weather Standby for: Shelley Winters as Flora Sharkey / Marcella Vankuchen / Hilda Cort Theatre October 27 – November 5 [69]
1967 The Natural Look Edna Longacre Theatre March 11 – March 11 [70]
1969 Last of the Red Hot Lovers Jeanette Fisher Eugene O'Neill Theater Center December 28, 1969 – September 4, 1971 [71]
[72]
1972 The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wild
Ambassador Theatre November 14 – December 2 [73]
1974 Bad Habits Dolly Scupp Booth Theatre May 5 – October 5 [74]
1978 Cheaters Grace Biltmore Theatre January 15 – February 11 [75]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Work Result Ref.
1983 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series St. Elsewhere Won [76]
1985 Remington Steele Nominated [77]
1989 Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series Perfect Strangers Nominated [78]
1991 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Special American Playhouse Nominated [79]
1999 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Everybody Loves Raymond Nominated [80]
2000 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [81]
2001 Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [82]
Online Film & Television Association Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [83]
2002 American Film Institute Actor of the Year – Female – TV Series Nominated [84]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [85]
Online Film & Television Association Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [86]
2003 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [87]
2004 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated [88]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Nominated [89]
2005 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated [90]
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Won [91]
2015 Hang Onto Your Shorts Film Festival Best Actress in a Short Film Zizi and Honeyboy Nominated [92]
CineRockom International Film Festival Lifetime Achievement Award Won [93]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Doris Roberts profile at Film Reference.com". Filmreference.com. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ Kelly Wilson (November 6, 2008). "Doris Roberts in the News". Members.aol.com. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Mrs. Chester Roberts". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. June 19, 1974. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  4. ^ (via YouTube)"Rue McClanahan Interview, part 2 of 5". Archive of American Television. Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ "'Larry King Live' transcript, interview with Everybody Loves Raymond Cast". CNN.com. CNN. March 8, 2002. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Doris Roberts, Star Of 'Everybody Loves Raymond', Dead At 90". The Huffington Post. AOL (Verizon Communications). April 18, 2016. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  7. ^ Mandell Weiss Theatre (June 28, 2009). "Unusual Acts of Devotion". La Jolla Playhouse. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  8. ^ Webster, Jacintha (April 18, 2016). "Remembering Doris Roberts". Inquisitr. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Best of Entertainment". Getty Images. The Carlyle Group. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  10. ^ BBC News Staff (April 19, 2016). "Doris Roberts: Everybody Loves Raymond star dies at 90". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  11. ^ "Hearings on Ageism". CNN. September 4, 2002. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Profile". The Hollywood Reporter. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Levitt, Hayley (April 18, 2016). "Everybody Loves Raymond Star Doris Roberts Dies at 90". Theater Mania. Los Angeles. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Are you hungry, dear? : life, laughs, and lasagna". World Cat. United States. Retrieved April 18, 2016. 
  15. ^ Roberts, Doris; Morton, Danelle (2004). Are You Hungry, Dear? Life, Laughs, and Lasagna. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 978-0312312275. 
  16. ^ "Doris Roberts profile at". Biography.com. Retrieved July 6, 2010. 
  17. ^ D'Zurilla, Christie (April 18, 2016). "Doris Roberts dies at 90; Italian mamma from 'Everybody Loves Raymond'". Los Angeles Times. Tribune Publishing. 
  18. ^ "Doris Roberts Died of a Stroke". TMZ. May 6, 2016. Retrieved May 7, 2016. 
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  39. ^ "A New Leaf". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  40. ^ "Such Good Friends". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  41. ^ "The Heartbreak Kid". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
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  43. ^ "Hester Street". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  44. ^ "Rabbit Test". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  45. ^ "Good Luck, Miss Wyckoff". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  46. ^ "The Rose". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  47. ^ "Number One with a Bullet". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  48. ^ "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  49. ^ "Used People". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  50. ^ "The Grass Harp". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
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  54. ^ "All Over the Guy". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  55. ^ "Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  56. ^ "Grandma's Boy". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  57. ^ "Keeping Up with the Steins". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  58. ^ "Play the Game". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  59. ^ "Aliens in the Attic". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  60. ^ "Another Harvest Moon". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
  61. ^ "Margarine Wars". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 23, 2016. 
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  63. ^ "The Little Rascals Save the Day". Turner Classic Movies. Atlanta: Turner Broadcasting System (Time Warner). Retrieved April 19, 2016. 
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Sources[edit]

External links[edit]