Born and raised in Ohio, actress Patricia Heaton got her start on the stage, performing with the off-Broadway company Stage Three. In 1989, she got her screen-acting big break when she was cast in a recurring role on ABC's thirtysomething. Over the next several years, she could be seen in a number of failed sitcoms, small TV guest roles, and bit film parts. But in 1996, Heaton landed the role that would make her career, that of long-suffering matriarch Debra Barone on the hit CBS sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond. Heaton starred on the show through its nine-year run, receiving seven consecutive Emmy nominations and two wins. Following the conclusion of Everybody Loves Raymond in 2005, Heaton appeared in a pair of made-for-TV movies (The Engagement Ring and The Path to 9/11) before making her way back to sitcom territory in 2007, when she began starring as a TV news anchor opposite Kelsey Grammer on Fox's Back to You, and again 2009 for The Middle, in which she plays the lead role of Frankie Heck, a working-class mother devoted to her family despite her struggles at work and as caretaker for her ailing mother.
Biography by Matthew Tobey
- Worked as a copy clerk for People magazine in the mid-1980s while struggling to get her acting career started.
- Met British-born husband David in 1988 when she sublet his apartment.
- Auditioned for the role of Elaine on Seinfeld.
- Has served as honorary chair for the pro-life organization Feminists for Life since 1998.
- Published her memoir, Motherhood & Hollywood: How to Get a Job Like Mine, in 2002.
- Supports the charities Heifer International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending world hunger, and World Vision, which works to alleviate poverty.