Famous Veteran: Peter Boyle

Peter Boyle as Franeknstein's monster
'Everybody Loves Raymond' actor and Navy veteran Peter Boyle's credits include playing Frankenstein's monster in 'Young Frankenstein.'

Whether he was playing it angry, funny or both, Peter Boyle was loved and respected by colleagues and fans alike. Best known for his roles as Raymond's father in "Everybody Loves Raymond" and as Frankenstein's monster in Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein," Boyle had a long, notable career as an actor.

Boyle was born on Oct. 18, 1935, in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Before he started his career in acting, he tried his hand as a monk for the Christian Brothers. He found the pious lifestyle "an unnatural way to live," and left. Afterward, he joined the Navy but his service was cut short when he experienced a nervous breakdown. He then went to New York and tried becoming an actor.

After a few odd jobs, he became part of the cast for a road production of "The Odd Couple." When the company arrived in Chicago, he quit to study with the improv troupe Second City. He made his way to New York and started appearing in commercials, plays and eventually film.

As he gained momentum in acting, he was typecast in formidable, tough-guy roles. Boyle broke through this with ease after his performance in "Young Frankenstein," and his defining hilariously monstrous performance of "Puttin' on the Ritz." It was during this production that he met Loraine Alterman, a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, whom he eventually married.

His comedic talents flourished again in "Everybody Loves Raymond." "He's just obnoxious in a nice way, just for laughs," Boyle said of his character. "It's a very sweet experience having this [success] happen at a time when you basically go back over your life and see every mistake you ever made."

Boyle was kept waiting during his audition and, according to show creator Phil Rosenthal, "came in all hot and angry." He pulled off the right mix of anger and humor, and was hired.

Boyle died in 2006 at age 71 and is survived by his wife and their daughters, Lucy and Amy.

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