Peter Boyle
Boyle circa 2005/2006
Peter Lawrence Boyle

(1935-10-18)October 18, 1935
DiedDecember 12, 2006(2006-12-12) (aged 71)
New York City, U.S.
Resting placeGreen River Cemetery, Springs, New York, U.S.
Years active1966–2006
Loraine Alterman
(m. 1977)

Peter Lawrence Boyle (October 18, 1935 – December 12, 2006) was an American actor. Known as a character actor, he played Frank Barone on the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and the comical monster in Mel Brooks' film spoof Young Frankenstein (1974). He also starred in The Candidate (1972). Boyle, who won an Emmy Award in 1996 for a guest-starring role on the Fox science-fiction drama The X-Files, won praise in both comedic and dramatic parts following his breakthrough performance in the 1970 film Joe, and as Wizard in Taxi Driver (1976).[1]

Early life

Peter Lawrence Boyle was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the son of Alice (née Lewis) and Francis Xavier Boyle.[2] He was the youngest of three children and had two elder sisters: Alice Duffy (nee Boyle) and Sidney Boyle.[3][4] He moved with his family to nearby Philadelphia.[5]

His father, Francis, was a Philadelphia TV personality from 1951 to 1963. Among many other roles, he played the Western show host Chuck Wagon Pete, as well as hosting the after-school children's program Uncle Pete Presents the Little Rascals, which showed vintage Little Rascals and Three Stooges comedy shorts alongside Popeye cartoons. He also appeared at times on Ernie Kovacs' morning program on WPTZ (now KYW-TV).[6]

Boyle's paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants, and his mother was of mostly French, English, Scottish and Irish descent.[7][8] He was raised Catholic and attended St. Francis de Sales School and West Philadelphia Catholic High School for Boys. After graduating from high school in 1953, Boyle spent three years in formation with the De La Salle Brothers, a Catholic teaching order. He lived in a house of studies with other novices earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from La Salle University in Philadelphia in 1957, but left the order because he did not feel called to religious life.[9]

While in Philadelphia, he worked as a cameraman on the cooking show Television Kitchen hosted by Florence Hanford.[10]

After graduating from Officer Candidate School in 1959, he was commissioned as an ensign in the United States Navy, but his military career was shortened by a nervous breakdown.[7] In New York City, Boyle studied with acting coach Uta Hagen at HB Studio[11] while working as a postal clerk and a maitre d'.[12]


A program from Wayside Theatre listing Boyle as one of the actors in the 1963 production of Summer and Smoke.

In 1963, Boyle was hired for the Wayside Theatre's opening season. One of his starring roles that year was in Summer and Smoke by Tennessee Williams.[13][14] Boyle played Murray the cop in a touring company of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple,[1] leaving the tour in Chicago and joining The Second City ensemble there.[12] He had a brief scene as the manager of an indoor shooting range in the critically acclaimed 1969 film Medium Cool, filmed in Chicago.[citation needed]

Boyle gained acclaim for his first starring role as 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. During this time, Boyle became close friends with actress Jane Fonda, and he participated with her 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),[1] as well as other film and television roles that he believed glamorized violence. However, in 1974, he starred in a film based on the life of murdered New York gangster "Crazy" Joey Gallo, called Crazy Joe.

His next major role was as the campaign manager for a U.S. Senate candidate (Robert Redford) in The Candidate (1972). In 1973, he appeared in Steelyard Blues with Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland, a film about a bunch of misfits trying to get a Catalina flying boat in a scrapyard flying again so they could fly away to somewhere with not so many rules. 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 "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".[12] Boyle met his wife, Loraine Alterman, on the set of Young Frankenstein while she was there as a reporter for Rolling Stone.[15] He was still in his Frankenstein makeup when he asked her for a date.[16] 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.[17] Boyle and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy.

Boyle in 1978.

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 local crime boss named Jocko Dundee on his way to retirement, starring Michael Keaton in the comedy film Johnny Dangerously (1984); a psychiatric patient who belts out a Ray Charles song in the comedy The Dream Team (1989), also starring Michael Keaton; a boss of an unscrupulous corporation in the sci-fi movie Solar Crisis (1990) with Charlton Heston and Jack Palance; the title character's cab driver in The Shadow (1994), starring Alec Baldwin; the father of Sandra Bullock's fiancée 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 television 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.[18]

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 could see selected things in the near future, particularly others' deaths. Boyle also guest-starred in two episodes as Bill Church Sr. 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.[19][20]

Boyle played Frank Barone in the CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, which aired from 1996 to 2005. He was nominated for an Emmy seven times for this role and never won, though fellow co-stars Brad Garrett, Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, and Doris Roberts won at least one Emmy each for their performances.

In 1999, he had a heart attack[15] 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.[21]

In 2001, he appeared in the film Monster's Ball as the bigoted father of Billy Bob Thornton's character. 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 television wife Doris Roberts appeared in television 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."[22] Boyle was in all three of The Santa Clause films. In the original, he plays Scott Calvin's boss Mr. Whittle. In the sequels, he plays Father Time.


On December 12, 2006, Boyle died at the age of 71 at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City after suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease.[23][24] At the time of his death, he had completed his roles in the films All Roads Lead Home and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause—the latter being released one month before his death—and was scheduled to appear in The Golden Boys.[25] The end credits of All Roads Lead Home include a dedication to his memory.

Boyle's death had a tremendous effect on his former co-stars from Everybody Loves Raymond, which had ceased production less than two years before his death. When asked to comment on Boyle's death, his cast members heaped praise on Boyle. 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." Patricia Heaton stated, "Peter was an incredible man who made all of us who had the privilege of working with him aspire to be better actors."[26]

On October 18, 2007 (which would have been Boyle's 72nd birthday), his friend Bruce Springsteen dedicated "Meeting Across the River" to Boyle during a Madison Square Garden concert with the E Street Band in New York. Springsteen segued 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."[27]

After Boyle died, his widow Loraine Alterman Boyle established the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the International Myeloma Foundation (IMF).[28] 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, Martin Mull, 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. The first event held in 2007 raised over $550,000, while the following year over $600,000 were raised for the Peter Boyle Memorial Fund in support of the IMF's research programs.[29]

He was interred at Green River Cemetery in Springs, New York.



Year Title Role Notes
1966 The Group[citation needed] Unknown role Uncredited
1968 The Virgin President General Heath
1969 Medium Cool Gun Clinic Manager
The Monitors Production Manager
1970 Joe Joe Curran
Diary of a Mad Housewife Man in Group Therapy Session Uncredited
1971 T.R. Baskin Jack Mitchell
1972 The Candidate Marvin Lucas
1973 Steelyard Blues Eagle Thornberry
Slither Barry Fenaka
Kid Blue Preacher Bob
The Friends of Eddie Coyle Dillon
1974 Crazy Joe Joe
Young Frankenstein The Monster
Ghost in the Noonday Sun Ras Mohammed
1976 Taxi Driver Wizard
Swashbuckler Lord Durant
1978 F.I.S.T. Max Graham
The Brink's Job Joe McGinnis
1979 Hardcore Andy Mast
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure Frank Mazzetti
1980 Where the Buffalo Roam Carl Lazlo
In God We Trust (or Gimme That Prime Time Religion) Dr. Sebastian Melmoth
1981 Outland Mark B. Sheppard
1982 Hammett Jimmy Ryan
1983 Yellowbeard Moon
Group Madness Himself Documentary
1984 Johnny Dangerously Jocko Dundee
1985 Turk 182 Detective Ryan
1987 Surrender Jay
Walker Cornelius Vanderbilt
1988 The in Crowd "Uncle Pete" Boyle
Red Heat Lou Donnelly
Funny Himself Documentary
1989 The Dream Team Jack McDermott
Speed Zone Police Chief Spiro T. Edsel
Buster Poindexter: Hit the Road, Jack Jack McDermott Short Film
1990 Solar Crisis Arnold Teague
Men of Respect Matt Duffy
1991 Kickboxer 2: The Road Back Justin Maciah
1992 Nervous Ticks Ron Rudman
Honeymoon in Vegas Chief Orman
Malcolm X Captain Green
1994 Bulletproof Heart George
The Shadow Moe Shrevnitz
The Santa Clause Mr. Whittle
The Surgeon Lieutenant McEllwaine
1995 Born to Be Wild Gus Charnley
While You Were Sleeping Ox
1996 Sweet Evil Jay Glass
Milk & Money Belted Galloway
1997 That Darn Cat Pa
1998 Species II Dr. Herman Cromwell Uncredited
Dr. Dolittle Calloway
2001 Monster's Ball Buck Grotowski
Lunch Break Lou Short Film
2002 The Cat Returns Muta (voice role) English version
The Adventures of Pluto Nash Rowland
The Santa Clause 2 Father Time Uncredited
2003 True Confessions of the Legendary Figures Father Time Short Film
Bitter Jester Himself Documentary
2004 Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed Old Man Wickles
2006 The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause Father Time
2007 The Shallow End of the Ocean Larry Aims (voice role) Short Film, posthumous release
2008 All Roads Lead Home Poovey Posthumous release


Year Title Role Notes
1973 The Man Who Could Talk to Kids Charlie Datweiler TV movie
1976–1999 Saturday Night Live Himself / host / guest 2 episodes
- "Peter Boyle/Al Jarreau" (1976)
- "Ray Romano/The Corrs" (1999) uncredited
1977 Tail Gunner Joe Joe McCarthy TV movie
1979 From Here to Eternity Fatso Judson Miniseries
1986 Joe Bash Joe Bash Series regular
1987 Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 David Dellinger TV movie
Echoes in the Darkness Sergeant Joe Van Nort Miniseries
1988 Superman 50th Anniversary James "Jimmy" Malone, Shop Owner TV movie
Cagney & Lacey Phillip Greenlow "A Class Act"
Disaster at Silo 7 General Sanger TV movie
1989 Guts and Glory: The Rise and Fall of Oliver North Admiral John Poindexter
1989–1991 Midnight Caller J.J. Killian 3 episodes
1990 American Playwrights Theater: The One-Acts Jake "27 Wagons Full of Cotton"
Challenger Roger Boisjoly TV movie
Poochinski Stanley Poochinski (voice role) TV Short
The Tragedy of Flight 103: The Inside Story Fred Ford TV movie
1992 In the Line of Duty: Street War Detective Dan Reilly
Cuentos de Borges Erik Lonnrot "Death and the Compass"
1992–1993 Flying Blind Dad / Alicia's dad 2 episodes
1993 Tribeca Harry "The Hopeless Romantic"
Taking the Heat Judge TV movie
1994 Royce Huggins
Philly Heat Stanislas Kelly Unknown episodes
1994–1995 NYPD Blue Dan Breen Recurring
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Bill Church 2 episodes
1995 The X-Files Clyde Bruckman "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose"
1996 In the Lake of the Woods Tony Carbo TV movie
1996–1997 The Single Guy Walter Eliot / Walter 2 episodes
1996–2005 Everybody Loves Raymond Frank Barone Series regular
1997 A Deadly Vision Detective Salvatore DaVinci TV movie
Cosby Frank Barone "Lucas Raymondicus"
1998 The King of Queens "Road Rage"
1999 Hollywood Squares Himself / Panelist Recurring
2002 Master Spy: The Robert Hanssen Story Howard Hanssen TV movie
2003–2005 Biography Himself / Interviewee 2 episodes
- "Peter Boyle" (2003)
- "Ray Romano" (2005)
2005 Tripping the Rift Marvin (voice role) "Roswell"
60 Minutes Himself "President Putin / Duty, Honor, Country / Everybody Loves Raymond"
2009 My Profile Story Narrator TV movie

Awards and nominations

Emmy Awards (Primetime)

Nominated Work Year Category Results Ref
Tail Gunner Joe 1977 Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama or Comedy Special Nominated [30]
Midnight Caller 1989 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for episode ("Fathers and Sins")
The X-Files 1996 Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for episode ("Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose") Won
Everybody Loves Raymond 1996 Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated

Screen Actors Guild Awards

Nominated Work Year Category Results Ref
Everybody Loves Raymond 1999 Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Nominated [31]
2002 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
2003 Won
2004 Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

Other Accolades

Nominated Work Year Accolade Results
The X-Files 1996 Sci-Fi Universe Magazine Award for Best Guest Actor in a Genre Television Series Won
Everybody Loves Raymond 2000 American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Male Performer in a Television Series Nominated
2005 Gold Derby Award for Comedy Supporting Actor Won
2000 OFTA Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Nominated
1999 OFTA Television Award for Best Ensemble in a Comedy Series
1998 Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Quality Comedy Series


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  19. ^ 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. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2007. Reprinted at Pink Floyd RoIO Database: Roger Waters Video Anthology
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  22. ^ "TV Land's The 100 Greatest TV Quotes..." Yahoo! Finance. November 22, 2006. Archived from the original on January 23, 2007. Retrieved February 1, 2007.
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  28. ^ "Peter Boyle Fund Annual Comedy Gala". Archived from the original on January 16, 2010.
  29. ^ "About The Peter Boyle Memorial Fund". Archived from the original on July 18, 2011.
  30. ^ "Peter Boyle". Television Academy. Retrieved September 26, 2021.
  31. ^ "SAG Awards Search | Screen Actors Guild Awards". Retrieved September 26, 2021.