PETER BOYLE Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Peter Lawrence Boyle                                                                 
Born: 18 October 1935 Norristown, Pennsylvania                                             
Died: 12 December 2006 New York, New York                                                 
Peter Lawrence Boyle (October 18, 1935 - December 12, 2006) was an Emmy                   
Award-winning American actor known for his role as Frank Barone on the 1996-2005           
CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond and as a singing and dancing Frankenstein's             
Monster in the writer-director 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.                                             
Boyle was born in Norristown, Pennsylvania of Irish descent, the son of Alice             
and Peter Boyle, Sr. 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 and Three Stooges comedy shorts and Popeye                   
Boyle attended St. Francis de Sales school and West Philadelphia Catholic High             
School. 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                 
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.                                                                         
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.                                                 
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 the 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, Loraien 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 have                 
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, who led the Communist witch hunts in the 1950s. Yet he was more often           
cast as a character actor than as a leading man.                                           
Boyle portrays Oscar Zeta Acosta alongside Bill Murray in the 1980 film Where             
the Buffalo Roam                                                                           
His roles include the philosophical cab driver "Wizard" in Martin Scorsese's               
Taxi Driver (1976), starring Robert De Niro; 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's Flying Circus; a mental patient who belts out a Ray Charles song           
in the comedy The Dream Team (1989), starring Michael Keaton; 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 hateful                 
father of Billy Bob Thornton's prison-guard character in Monster's Ball (2001);           
and Old Man Wickles in the comedy Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). In             
cameo roles, he can be seen as a tough police officer 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 (Barney Miller). 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.                 
In 1990, Boyle suffered a stroke that rendered him speechless for 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 popular 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. In 2001, he appeared in the               
Academy Award winning feature 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 TV wife 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 Santa Clause, he plays Scott           
Calvin's boss. In The Santa Clause 2 and The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause,           
he plays Father Time.                                                                     
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. At           
the time of his death, Boyle had completed the film All Roads Lead Home                   
and was scheduled to appear in the film Chatham. The end-credits                           
of The Santa Clause 3 list a dedication to his memory for his participation in             
The Santa Clause.                                                                         
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 passed away a while back we met               
him when we first came to New York City... Today would have been his birthday".