Film, TV actor Peter Boyle dead at 71 By Daniel Trotta
Wed Dec 13, 4:34 PM ET
Emmy-winning actor Peter Boyle, who played the tap-dancing monster in the movie "Young Frankenstein" and grouchy father Frank Barone in the TV series "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died at age 71.
The former Christian Brothers monk and friend of Beatle John Lennon died on Tuesday after a long battle with multiple myeloma and heart disease, his publicists said on Wednesday.
Boyle, who often played cantankerous characters, shot to fame as a foul-mouthed, working-class bigot in the 1970 film "Joe."
He also played one of Robert DeNiro's fellow taxi drivers in Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" in 1976 and the cruel, racist father to Billy Bob Thornton in 2001's "Monster's Ball."
In the 1974 Mel Brooks spoof "Young Frankenstein," he took a comic turn as the Frankenstein monster, singing and dancing to "Puttin' on the Ritz" with Gene Wilder in tuxedos and top hats.
"I was greatly saddened by the news. I will always cherish Peter Boyle's remarkable performance as the monster in 'Young Frankenstein,"' Brooks said.
In recent years he played numerous roles on television, including the father to Ray Romano's character on the situation comedy "Everybody Loves Raymond," which ended its celebrated nine-year run on CBS in May 2005. He acted in 201 episodes and received numerous Emmy nominations.
"We spent nine years together on 'Everybody Loves Raymond.' It is like losing a spouse," said Doris Roberts, who played his wife on the TV show.
"I am going to miss my dear friend, so unlike the character he played on television. He's a brilliant actor, a gentleman, incredibly intelligent, wonderfully well-read and a loving friend."
Boyle won an Emmy for outstanding guest actor appearance on "The X-Files" in 1996.
Lennon was the best man at Boyle's 1977 wedding to journalist Loraine Alterman, then a Rolling Stone reporter.
He is survived by his wife and two daughters, Amy and Lucy Boyle.
Despite playing some unsavory characters, he refused roles that glamorized violence, including the lead role of Popeye Doyle that went to Gene Hackman in 1971's "The French Connection," according to the IMDb entertainment Web site.
Boyle suffered a stroke in 1990 and recovered, then had a heart attack on the set of "Everybody Loves Raymond" in March 1999. He returned to the show soon after heart surgery.