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.