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Everybody Loves Raymond is remembered fondly by many for its relatable comedy and honest insights into the inner workings of marriage and family. The show ran for nine years, and as you can imagine, a few crazy stories exist from the set of Everybody Loves Raymond. While some of those tales are lighthearted, there are also some dark Everybody Loves Raymond stories.

To some, this may not be surprising, as there was a whole lot of anger in the show – the family dysfunction was much more in-your-face than on shows like Home Improvement, where the discord was buried in subtext. Still, a few of the actors got themselves into some shady situations, and there was even a point when Ray Ramano’s co-stars were not so much in love with him (though he was probably used to such treatment, as fans don’t seem to like him, either).

Everybody Loves Raymond behind the scenes was full of tension, whether it was due to a pay disparity between cast members or secret addictions and illnesses among the actors and crew. Not everything was gloom and doom, though; there are straight-up weird Everybody Loves Raymond facts that will surprise even the most die-hard fans.

 

The Cast Was Pissed Ray Romano Made $1.8 Million Per Episode While They Only Got $160K

Photo:  CBS

In 2003, Brad Garrett staged a work walkout from Everybody Loves Raymond. Garrett and the other cast members were making $160,000 per episode. Though a fat paycheck, it was a far cry from the $1.8 million Ray Romano received each episode.

The two-week standoff ended with all the cast members being included in syndication royalties, granting roughly $20 million to each of the cast members; before the walkout, only Romano was set to benefit from these residuals. Garrett has said there’s no ill will toward Romano about the wage discrepancy, but it probably helps they received the pay bump they sought.

Sawyer Sweeten Tragically Died By Suicide At 19-Years-Old

Photo:  CBS

In April 2015, Sawyer Sweeten took his life. Sweeten played Geoffrey Barone, twin brother of Michael (Sullivan Sweeten) and the youngest child of Ray and Debra. The actor’s family, as one can imagine, was shocked.

His family had difficulty processing what happened to him. They opposed the idea he suffered from depression, with Sweeten’s mother saying:

What happened to our son was not textbook depression. He was happy, upbeat and loving. But in the last week of his life, we saw something happen. It was so rapid in progression that we were caught off guard.

Patricia Heaton, who played his onscreen mother, told E! News: 

Sawyer was a funny and exceptionally bright young man. He is gone from us far too soon. The loss the Sweeten family is experiencing is unimaginable. Tonight hug your children a little tighter and please keep Sawyer and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Brad Garrett Kept His Marital Woes A Secret During The Show’s Run

Photo:  CBS

Brad Garrett proposed to his girlfriend Jill Diven on the set of Everybody Loves Raymond in 1998. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t outlive the show, as the two separated in 2005 and divorced in 2007. The couple had issues throughout their relationship while the show was still filming, but Garrett insisted on keeping up a facade.

Despite going through this turmoil, the actor kept it under wraps from both his real family and television family until the news finally leaked in August 2006. Of course, it’s not really anyone’s business, but to put on a funny face while no one knows your life is in upheaval must be tough.

Brad Garrett Struggled With Alcohol Abuse In The Early Days Of The Show

Photo:  CBS

In a 2015 interview with ET, Garrett revealed his struggles with alcohol during his early Everybody Loves Raymond days. Garrett said he was a “high functioning alcoholic,” drinking “a fifth a day.” The interview was part of the press tour for his tell-all book, When the Balls Drop, where he discussed his experience in more detail.

Garrett described the moment he decided to quit, stating, “This sh*t’s eventually gonna kill me.”

Peter Boyle Didn’t Tell Most Of The Crew Or Press When Diagnosed With Terminal Cancer In 2002

Photo:  CBS

Peter Boyle, who played Ray Romano’s father, passed away in 2006 from multiple myeloma and heart disease. Garrett and Romano told Larry King that Boyle’s illness was “kept pretty much just between the family and the cast.”

Doris Roberts, who played Boyle’s wife, Marie, on the show, spoke with the Los Angeles Times in 2009, admitting she was partly responsible for his silence on he matter:

He said, “Should I tell them?” I said, “No. They will treat you like a dying man and you don’t need that. You need for them to write for you.” We had such fun together.

Patricia Heaton Was Sued For Unpaid Overtime By An Assistant She Fired

Photo:  CBS

In 2009, Patricia Heaton was sued by personal assistant Jennifer Lee. Lee cited unpaid wages and uncompensated forced overtime in the suit. Lee was hired to work 15-20 hours a week and compensated $770 per week; Lee claimed she was forced to work much more than her initial contract stated, all without extra pay or benefits.

It gets worse. When Lee brought up her due compensation, Heaton dismissed her. Heaton also claimed Lee’s child was “becoming a problem” due to the work schedule. Lee sued Heaton for $7,425, stating, “If the rich and famous wish to employ individuals to cater to their every need, they must also refrain from violating California’s wage and hour laws.”

Patricia Heaton Was Associated With An Anti-Gay Conservative Radical

Photo:  CBS

Patricia Heaton is a conservative; something of a rarity in Hollywood. That said, she’s made an effort to paint herself as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community – which is why Jeremy Hooper of GLAAD was surprised when he found out Heaton appeared on the radio program Focal Point. The America Family Association radio show was hosted by Bryan Fischer, a man who lumped homosexuality in with pedophilia and bestiality in a tweet, claiming they were all “aberrant sexual behaviors.”

Hooper tweeted Heaton about it, who responded with an air of apology (without actually apologizing), saying she was completely unaware of Fischer’s horrific statements on homosexuality. She loses a couple more points, though, for adding her “gay makeup artist” wasn’t even familiar with that “homophobic guy!”

Boyle Got Cast As Frank After Showing Up To His Audition ‘Enraged,’ Which Fit The Character

Photo:  CBS

Peter Boyle had a few issues on his way to the audition for Everybody Loves Raymond. As Ray Romano and Philip Rosenthal awaited Boyle’s arrival, the star of Young Frankenstein was losing his sh*t, telling Larry King:

…we couldn’t get on the lot. Then we couldn’t get a parking space. Then when we finally got all of that worked out, we went to where the office – and they said, no, the auditions are being held in another place. So when I walked in, Ray and Phil were there and I was enraged.

Fortunately, Frank Barone was frequently enraged, so Boyle’s ire proved him perfect for the part.

Brad Garrett Didn’t Think Ray Romano Could Carry The Show

Photo:  CBS

Brad Garrett’s initial impression of Ray Romano was not a particularly good one. “I met Raymond and promptly felt that we were doomed,” Garrett wrote in his book. “He looked like the teenager you would see at Whole Foods spraying down the produce… I wanted to flee like a hooker in church.”

Of course, some of this is hyperbole for the sake of comedy, but it’s interesting Garrett’s first take was so wrong. He clearly admits his mistake, though, and goes on to describe the close relationship he developed with Romano.

Peter Boyle Would Fart On Set All The Time

Photo:  CBS

Brad Garrett outed the late, great Peter Boyle in regard to a particular on-set habit. Speaking to FOX411, Garrett revealed Boyle’s flatulence issues:

I adored him. To this day we don’t know if it was voluntary or involuntary. It was definitely something to contend with but after we ended up knowing who it was on the set, we were able to get along with our business again. Sometimes it’s just knowing.

Ray Romano’s Brother Caught Flak From His Police Colleagues For The Show’s Version Of Him

Photo:  CBS

Much of Everybody Loves Raymond was based on Ray Romano’s actual life, including that of his police officer brother. Romano told Larry King:

Well, my brother was – he is a retired cop now, but at the time he would take a lot of stuff from the other cops. They think it’s a documentary.

Romano’s brother was less than thrilled with some of Robert’s (Brad Garrett) antics, as he would often be teased about them by his colleagues.

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