Patricia Heaton is famous for her roles as a sitcom mom. Starring on Everybody Loves Raymond and The Middle for nine seasons, the mother of four learned to juggle family life and career simultaneously.
During her stint on the CBS comedy with Ray Romano, Heaton discovered she was pregnant two separate times.
Patricia Heaton in her role as mom on- and off-screen
With four sons – Samuel, John, Joseph, and Daniel – in their 20s, Heaton knows plenty about motherhood. The sitcom star revealed there are some definite differences between being parenting at home and portraying a mom on camera.
“When you’re playing a mom on TV, people think you’re funny and smart,” The Middle star said, according to Today.com. “They bring you water and they bring you food and if you don’t like the food, they take it back and they change it for you. And they do your hair and makeup … if you need a car, they’ll come and pick you up.”
On the home front, Heaton never received that type of pampering. She was usually the one providing it.
“When you’re a mom in real life it’s the exact opposite of that,” Heaton explained. “You bring everybody else food. If they don’t like it you make you something else. You drive everybody else around,” she shared. “And, yeah, nobody thinks you’re smart or funny at home, even if you’ve won Emmys for your incredible humor … But that’s the difference and it’s a good balance, so it keeps everything in perspective.”
Sitcom star has to bolt through ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ audition
When Heaton tried out for the role of Debra in Everybody Loves Raymond, she almost had to ditch the opportunity. With two young sons at home at the time, Heaton’s babysitter had to attend a college class and couldn’t stay long.
“I ran over there. And I was kind of, you know, frazzled and hassled,” she told NPR in 2010. “So I came in, and there were probably 20 women in the waiting room to read for this part. And I thought, oh, I’m never going to get back.”
Due to her time crunch, Heaton sped through her reading for the part. Despite her harried state, she won over Romano and executive producer Phil Rosenthal.
“I read it really fast,” the CBS star revealed. “I was like, come on, let’s do this; I’ve got to go. And they were so lovely.”
Expecting during 1st and 3rd seasons of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’
Last year, Heaton commented on juggling her home life and high-profile acting gig while on Everybody Loves Raymond. Sharing that she was pregnant during seasons 1 and 3, Heaton looked back in awe on how she managed it all.
“I don’t know how I did it on Raymond,” she told the New York Post in September 2019. “I have four kids, and the first and third seasons I was giving birth to two of them, so I was going through surgery and then right back to the show. With the fourth one, I think I was back two weeks later. … There have been moments I’m like, ‘Why did I think I’d do this?’”
Turns out her fourth son was completely unexpected. Feeling a bit off while on a trip to England with her husband David, Heaton discovered she’d be bringing more than just souvenirs back to the States.
“The fourth one was a total surprise,” she recalled on the Today Show in 2016. “I had just fit into all my pre-baby clothes, and then I took a test because I thought ‘something is not right here’… I looked at the stick and it said positive. … Sweat started dripping down my sides.”
Heaton clearly accomplished a lot during her years on the CBS sitcom, though that time period is a bit blurry for her. “[My sons] were born in’ 93 ’95, ’97, and ’99,” she said. “I don’t remember the ’90s at all.”
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